Setting up domain-based email hosting
10 November 2023
The process involves setting up mailboxes that your people can access to read and send emails using your domain.
The first step is to decide whether you want mailboxes associated with 'people' (John Smith) or 'roles' (President, Treasurer, etc.).
If you have fixed roles that are handed down in an ordered fashion then you might want to use secretary@ and treasurer@ as mailbox names, and just transfer ownership each time the role changes hands.
On the other hand, if you have a group of people who often change roles, then individual mailboxes (john.smith@) and aliases (treasurer@ -> john.smith@) may be a better option. In this model you create and delete mailboxes for individuals and 'alias' the functional email addresses to the relevant user.
After this you should know how many mailboxes you need, and whether aliases are required, which factors into the cost (below).
With this information you can work out the cost of the different services by looking at their pricing plans:
- Google Workspace for Nonprofits
- Google Workspace for Business
- Zoho Business Email
- NameCheap Private Email
- some other provider...
Note: if you plan to use 'aliases' or 'group aliases' make sure they are supported by the selected provider.
You need to sign up for the selected service using a credit card or other form of subscription payment. This will provide you with an administrator login you can use to set up mailboxes, allocate storage space, configure aliases and group aliases as required (and where supported).
Once you are satisfied with your mailbox settings, you will receive instructions for configuring DNS settings (which we will do for you) in the form of 'MX', 'TXT' and/or 'CNAME' records.
Send us these details in an email and we will activate your new email system. From that moment all emails to/from your domain will go through the new service.
We have selected <HOST> as an email provider. Please update our DNS for <DOMAIN> with the following:
We would like the new system to go live at <TIME>.
In most cases emails will be accessible both through an online 'webmail' interface, as well as (optional) POP3/IMAP settings which can be used to connect using Apple Mail, Outlook, or any other email client on your computer or device. The administrator will have oversight.
Note that when this is activated, all emails to/from your domain will now use the selected provider, and the existing email relay managed by Chirp will cease to exist. This does not impact your website in any way.
Users will need to either configure their device to access the new mailbox, or use the provided webmail system. Any emails they send will now come from an 'official' email address rather than their home address.