Did you ever consider getting your own domain name so you can have email address like Flash@Gordon.com for yourself and family? It is not as hard as you think. I’ll walk you through a high level overview beginning with the domain name, email server hosting, and finally client device configuration.

Step 1

First you need to find an available domain name. This is the most important step, because as long as you control the domain name you can always switch providers down the road.

When I’m searching for a new domain name, I try using a couple of different domain registrars to see what which domain names are available.

Since we started our example with Flash Gordon, I’ll check for available domain names for the Gordon family. Navigate over to hover.com and enter “gordon” in to the domain search box. Hover should return a list of available names with the annual price next to them.

Example of Hover Domain Name Searching on Gordon

Below is a list of three (3) example domain names I found that Flash may want to use as his family domain name.

Domain Name Price
Gordon.life $24.60
Gordon.work $5.03
Gordon.camp $24.50

If Flash decided to go with “gordon.work”, since it was the cheapest, then he could grant himself the email address of flash@gordon.work. Notice have the top level domain TLD is .work, instead of the more well known .com TDL.

As an alternative, we can try searching on Gandi’s site as well to see if we can find anything else. Navigate over to gandi.net and type “gordon” in the domain box. Hit Go. Then change the results from 10 per page to 100 per page.

Example of Gandi Domain Name Searching on Gordon

Below are three (3) more example domain names I found that Flash may want to use as his family domain name.

Domain Name Price
Gordon.life $38.34
Gordon.place $38.34
Gordon.cool $32.49

Once you settle on a domain name, go ahead an purchase it with a registrar of choice. Currently, I have domain names with GoDaddy.com, Hover.com, and Gandi.net. These or others should work fine.

Step 2

Find someone to host and manage your email accounts.

All of example domain name registrars will provide different options for hosting mail depending on your needs. At a minimum, select a email provide that offers IMAP and plenty of storage. Below are some different options with the current prices.

Vendor Services IMAP Redirects Price / email address Comments
Fastmail.com email hosting Yes 15 GB / $40 / user / Year    
Hover.com email hosting Yes 10 GB / $20 / User / Year Forward Only ($5/user/year)  
Gandi.net email hosting Yes 5 Free Email Boxes per domain name (1 GB total space)    
Google Gmail for Business Yes $5 / user / month 25 GB per user (I currently use this)  

Once you pick a email host, you will then need to configure your domain names DNS record to point to the email hosting providers servers. If you purchase the domain and email from the same provider, they will handle this step for you.

Step 3

Configure email clients.

On each device that will access your email account, you will need to configure the device. The key pieces of information you will need are:

  1. STMP address. This is the name of the server so you can send outbound email.
  2. IMAP address. This is the name of the server so you can read inbound email messages that you have already received.

Each email hosting provider typically provides online instructions for getting things setup. For example, Hover provides multiple instructions for getting email hosting running.

Happy hacking.

–Chris