Using Gmail

Introduction
A lot of our clients prefer to use Gmail or another web based email provider as it offers an easy, familiar and powerful solution.  Some customers are happy to simply point all of their domain-name email addresses to their Gmail, so they can deal with all emails in one place.   In this regard, you can set up an email forward in your cPanel account for example you@your-domain.com or enquiries@your-domain.com to forward to you@yourgmail.com.  Whilst this is very easy, the problem is when you reply to an email that has been forwarded to your Gmail account, that reply will come from you@yourgmail.com and not from your domain name email address.

In this respect, the following article provides some information on a workaround that can be a bit tricky to set up, but once done, you can then easily send and receive all emails to and from you@your-domain.com - but all through your Gmail account. If you need help just let us know by opening a support ticket, we can set all of this up for you for a modest fee.


Pros of Gmail

  1. Gmail is a powerful, free service that provides all kinds of great email functionality but most of all, provides you with more than enough space for a lifetime of emails! 
  2. Gmail has great anti-spam capability and of course fantastic Google Search built in, so you'll always be able to find that historical email easily and fast. 
  3. Gmail can be accessed from anywhere in the world, which means it's great when you are on the move.
  4. Gmail is easy and fast to use on mobile and smart devices.  It offers native email apps for Android and a downloadable app for IOS users from the Apple Store.
  5. Your customers need never know that you are using Gmail because Gmail will remain (largely) invisible to them - You'll use your own custom domain name email (e.g. joe@example.com) and, if you prefer, send and receive your email through your favourite email software client e.g. Outlook, or mail app. iPhone, Android, tablet or other device.
  6. Google Apps is an optional "upgrade" - a paid for service that may be a better fit for your organisation - but requires a little more thought around set up.  Let us know if you'd like to discuss Google Apps set up as we have plenty of experience of integration.


Cons of Gmail (IMPORTANT !)

  1. Support: Because Google Gmail is a service provided by a third party, support is pretty much non-existent from them (unless you are using the paid Google Apps version).  It is important to note that Purple Dog does not have any access to Google or their Gmail email service.  We are only able to offer limited support - of course we will always assist you however we can.
  2. Service Levels: There are times when even Google's servers suffer outages (though extremely rare) and this can affect your email performance. In over 15 years of using Gmail with clients, our experience has been excellent overall.  
  3. TOS and Privacy:  because Gmail is a public / commercial service, it should also be remembered that you will be subscribing to their terms of service and privacy rules, including being tracked and exposed to their advertisments.  Some people are overtly against this and others don't seem to mind.  If you are not comfortable routing your emails through Google's USA servers, you can always just use, or revert back to using, the Purple Dog email server instead.
  4. Moving to Google Apps from Gmail is difficult.
  5. Integrating Google with Outlook / other desktop software can be problematic (see separate articles).

 

Setting Up Email & Gmail

The first thing you will need to do is have an email address already set up on your webhosting account, for your domain (e.g. joe@example.com).  If you don't already have an email address set up, you can visit your webhosting client control panel (cPanel) by typing into your web browser your web site address followed by/cpanel,  So for example, if your website address is www.example.com you would type in www.example.com/cpanel

This will then ask you for your cPanel username and password (originally sent to you in the Hosting Account Welcome email when you signed up with Purple Dog.) Next, create an email address under the "Add Remove Email Accounts" e.g. joe@example.com  - Make sure to note down / save the password you will use as we will need this later.


Now we need to work in Gmail. If you don't already have a Gmail account, you will need to create a new one, which you can do on the login page: www.gmail.com. If you are creating a new Gmail account, for the sake of simplicity I recommend that you choose a concise and easy to remember username that closely matches your business name: e.g. examplecompany@gmail.com


Two Methods of Interacting with Gmail

The next step is to tell Gmail how to manage your emails.  There are two methods available and you should read through both to understand the differences, then select the method that best suits your needs. Basically, method one uses a POP feature through Gmail to grab a copy of your incomming emails, and method two uses the FORWARD function in cPanel instead.


We recommend method one as it is the easist to set up, however, with this method, Gmail controls when your emails will "POP" into your inbox and as such, you may notice a delay between the time someone sends the email to you and when it is actually received into your inbox (typically 1 - 3 minutes). If you can't live with this delay, you should choose option 2 (harder to set up).  Worth noting is that you can always switch to method two later if you prefer.  Also worth noting with method one is that you can also manually "refresh" your inbox at any tme, which is a faster way to retreive messages if you are waiting on something to arrive.


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Method One - Let Gmail do all the work


Before proceeding, please note: With this method, all of your historical and new emails associated to your primary / domain email address (e.g joe@example.com) will be captured and imported into Gmail.  At the end of this process, you will be able to send and receive via Gmail, but with your primary email address.  If you have a lot of historical emails that you have saved on the server over a period of months (or years), all of these will be downloaded into Gmail and this could take some time, especially if some of these emails are large.



Therefore it may be best to perform this task at an off-peak time when you can leave it running (e.g. set it up and then go and take a walk whilst it does it all!) - however because Gmail is clever, it will manage the workload of all of this for you, and you should still be able to compose and send emails in the normal way, during this import process.  You may also want to consider how to use Gmail's label system options so that all of your historical emails don't clutter your inbox.

Step One - Check email from other accounts (using POP)


Log into Gmail if you haven't already.  Once we are logged into Gmail, the first thing to do is to tell gmail that we want to grab the emails sent to your real email address.

  • In Gmail, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner
  • Click on "Accounts"
  • Under "Check email from other accounts", click on "Add a POP3 mail account you own" to start the wizard.
  • Enter your email address: e.g. joe@example.com then click next.
  • Add your username e.g. joe@example.com OR joe+example.com, and the associated password for that email account.
  • Now you can choose some of the other settings you prefer and may want to use Labels to categorise them. These settings can always be modified later.
  • "Leave a copy of the retrieved message on the server" - optional - if not ticked, Gmail will download all of your mail (recommended) - read Google's explanation here
  • Archive mail setting - read Google's explanation here
  • Click add account and hopefully, that will be it and Gmail will now start downloading and importing your emails.  You can now move on to Step Two below.
  • If you encounter any error messages and can't fix it yourself, please advise us via our support email so that we can assist you.


Step Two - send mail from your primary / custom address

  • Gmail should then ask you "Would you like to send email from this address?" - click yes and follow the wizard.
  • Click send through example.com SMTP servers
  • Enter SMTP Server like this:  mail.example.com
  • You may need to try different ports, usually PORT 587 will work.
  • Enter the email username like this:  joe+example.com using the plus sign, rather than the @ sign
  • Enter the password you chose when you set up joe@example.com
  • Tick Secured connection using TLS (recommended)
  • Click Finish
  • Gmail will then send a confirmation email to your primary domain email. 
  • Leave the confirmation window open, and go back to your Gmail inbox. Since we are POPing these mails into Gmail now, you should see it arrive in your gmail inbox shortly.
  • You can click on "Inbox" or the circular refresh button to try to speed up Gmail's fetching of the email.
  • Once you receive it, copy the confirmation code and go back to the confirmation box window and enter the code to complete the process.
  • Finally, in Gmail settings (Click the gear icon at top right), click on Accounts and check that your primary domain email - joe@example.com is selected as the default send from email address.
  • Compose a test email to yourself, making sure to select your primary domain as the "Send From" email address.
  • Hopefully, that will be successful and you've completed the set up.  If you encounter any error messages and can't fix it yourself, please advise us via our support email so that we can assist you.


Congratulations, you should now be able to send and receive your email through Gmail - without anyone knowing you're using Gmail!

You may also wish to set up your computer email software such as Outlook or Apple Mail, or your iPhone / Android to work with Gmail.  Please click here to find out how.


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Method Two: Forwarding to Gmail (not using POP).


Before proceeding, please note: This method is not recommended for novices as it is more difficult to set up. Only follow this if you are sure!



Step One - Send Mail From A Different Address

The first thing to do is to tell Gmail that we want to send email as joe@example.com  -  Google offers a helpful article here: http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=22370
 

  • Log in to your gmail account
  • Click the gear icon in the upper-right
  • Click on "Settings"
  • Click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP
  • Ensure ENABLE IMAP is ticked and save changes at the bottom of the page
  • Then Click on the Accounts and Import tab
  • Under the Send Mail As title, click on "Add another email address you own"
  • Enter the name: e.g. Joe Bloggs
  • Enter the email address: e.g. joe@example.com
  • UNTICK treat as alias
  • Click Next Step
  • Click send through example.com SMTP servers
  • Enter SMTP Server like this :  mail.example.com
  • You may need to try different ports, usually PORT 587 will work.
  • Enter the email username like this:  joe+example.com - using the plus sign, rather than the @ sign
  • Enter the password you chose when you set up joe@example.com
  • Tick Secured connection using TLS (recommended)
  • Click Finish


Now Gmail will send you a confirmation email to joe@example.com to confirm that you own this email address and that you want to enable it. You will need to log in to your cPanel Webmail account to retrieve this confirmation email.  To get to your webmail you will need to enter in your domain name /webmail e.g.  www.example.com/webmail. (I recommend you open a new browser window so that you don't navigate away from gmail).


You will be prompted to enter your email address and email password. Once logged in, you can read your email with one of the provided mail clients, find the Gmail confirmation email and follow the instructions within to confirm.

 

Congratulations! Step One Complete - you should now be able to send emails from with Gmail, using your primary / domain name email address.  If you encounter any error messages and can't fix it yourself, please advise us via our support email so that we can assist you.

 

Step Two - Forwarding to Gmail

Since we intend to use Gmail to also receive a copy of the all emails addressed to joe@example.com, we now have to tell cPanel to forward a copy all of our incoming mail to Gmail.  This will mean that your emails will exist in both locations - on the server and in Gmail (good for backups!)

  • Login to your webhosting cPanel account: e.g. example.com/cpanel
  • Click on Email Account Forwarders
  • Click Add Forwarder and enter your email address e.g. joe@example.com -> forward to "your-gmail-address@gmail.com"
  • Complete!


Now, any email sent to joe@example.com will be forwarded through to the Gmail account.  In that very same Gmail account you should now be able to send and receive emails using your primary / domain email address e.g. joe@example.com.  If you encounter any error messages and can't fix it yourself, please advise us via our support email so that we can assist you.

 

Part Two Complete! Congratulations, you should now be able to send and receive your email through Gmail !

You may also wish to set up your computer email software such as Outlook or Apple Mail, or your iPhone / Android to work with Gmail.  Please click here to find out how.

 

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Glossary

  1. SMTP: SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a set of standard Internet procedures by which two email providers (ex. Gmail, Yahoo Mail), transfer email messages to one another’s mail servers.
  2. domain: A domain is a name for an IP address and is more commonly recognized as a website or web address. For example, Google.com is a domain.
  3. SSL: SSL (secure socket layer) is a way of changing data such as your username and password into code as it travels across the Internet, so that the data will be secure and private.
  4. ISP: An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company (ex. AOL, AT&T, and Comcast) that gives your computer Internet access. ISPs are usually the companies that come to your house and set up all the wires.
  5. TLS: TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a way of changing data such as your username and password into code as it travels across the Internet, so that the data will be secure and private. With mail delivery, TLS begins with an unsecured connection to the mail servers, and then upgrades to a secure connection once information is sent.
  6. POP: POP (Post office protocol) is a one-way download of your messages that allows you to access your mail with a mail program like Outlook Express or Apple Mail. POP only offers one-way communication, which means that actions you take in the mail program (like marking a message as read) won’t be synced to Gmail.
  7. IMAP: IMAP (Internet message access protocol) lets you download messages from Gmail so you can access your mail with a program like Outlook Express or Apple Mail. IMAP syncs the actions you take in Outlook Express or Apple Mail with Gmail so if you read a message in your mail client, it'll be marked as read in Gmail.

 

 

 

 

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