G Suite Domain Setup
With my background in Software I'm a big fan of keeping a separation of concerns. So when it comes to email hosting I would prefer not to be tied down to my registrar or hosting provider. Let them do what they do, and let the guys that specialize in mail do what they do best. Thats why I decided to host our email in G-Suite. Its a per user fee with no minimums, setting up new domains is a breeze, it gives our users an interface they are used to dealing with (gmail), and you don't need a certification to manage it (eghmmm .. ms exchange).
The first thing you are going to want to do once you decide you are going to move forwar with G-Suite / Google Apps for business is to configure your domain so that google can start handling your mail for you.
Step By Step G-Suite Domain Setup Instructions
First we are going to need to browse to our admin console... you can get there by browsing to https://admin.google.com.
If you haven't already setup an account you can sign up for a free trial here
Once you are logged in you will be presented with the following admin dashboard.
from here you have a couple options. One of the REALLY nice features about using g-suite is that it offers the familiar google search box, and no one does search better than google.
From here you can either enter in "domains" to the search box.
or you can click on the more controls box at the bottom of the page.
I'm guessing that Google has this hidden on purpose since adding domains isn't something that you are going to be doing as regularly as other management functions.
If you would like it to be visible on your dash board without having to google how to find it each time you need to do this (personal experience ), you can drag it into the primary view section, and it will be added to your dashboard view.
once you are in the domain management section you will have the ability to add or remove domains and domain aliases.
Now you will have to choose whether or not you want to create a domain or a domain alias.
Use cases for creating A Domain
- This is your accounts primary domain, and thus the first you are creating, so there are no other domains to create an alias of
- You want to be able to manage these users & groups separately from users in other domains.
Use Cases for Creating a Domain Alias
- You want your users to be able to send / receive mail under a separate domain but you don't want to have to manage the users separetly.
In this example I'm want to be able to provide my users with email addresses for a new domain we are launching a product on. So I will choose the "Add a domain alias of ____" option.
Now we will have to prove that we own the domain.
The recommended verification method is to add a txt record to your dns. Here they say that you need to choose your domain name provider, which is a touch misleading. If you have read some of our other posts you know that we use cloudflare for all of our dns, and what google is looking for here is for you to add a txt record to your domains dns. In the drop down you will only find Registrars though. Since we understand how DNS works though we can just choose whatever registrar we want in the list, knowing that we are going to make the updates in cloudflare.
*if you aren't using cloudflare, you will need to go to the DNS management section of whoever is managing your DNS and follow the appropriate steps for adding an additional dns txt record.
As you can see here I have chosen namecheap, although it doesn't really matter. No matter which provide you choose its going to give you the same instructions.
Now we will pop over to cloudflare, and browse to the DNS tab of your site.
For a txt record we choose the TXT option from the drop down, and then in the name field we are going to put in an @ symbol, like you see in the screenshot.
now when we click on the "click to configure" text box we are going to copy and paste the google site verification text that google gave us.
after we click save we will have a completed txt record, and we just need to click the "add record" button for it to be added to our DNS records.
Now we can go back to the google verification page, and we can click verify. Google will look at your DNS records, and can now verify that you have the site verification record.
After we have verified the site, we can set up our MX records which will tell email servers where to connect to in order to deliver mail.
All we need from google here is the MX server addresses and the priority in which they should be configured. As you can see in the screenshot below there are 5 different servers, so we will need to create 5 different mx records in cloudflare.
This is actually a very similar process as when we created the txt record.
In cloudflare we will choose MX from the new record field, and then once again we will enter an @ sign into the name field. Then we will click into the "click to configure" input field.
Now we are presented with two input fields
In the server field we will put the server that is listed with the lowest priority (lowest = first choice in this case), and then we will set the priority.
Once you click save, you can add the record.
You will repeat the process for all 5 of the mail servers google provides.
Once you are finished your dns recods should look something like this.
Now we can pop back over to our google admin tab, and click the I have completed these steps button.
Now your mail is set up to be delivered for your new domain!
Since we created this as an alias domain, our users will automatically have email aliases created for them for all of there existing email addresses.
Setting Up Gmail To Send From New Email
Now that we have our new email alias set up we are probably going to want to be able to send mail in gmail from the new address right?
Well this is how your users can configure gmail so that when they are sending a new email they can choose which email it will send from.
First we are going to select the cog in the upper right hand corner.
From there we will select the settings option in the context menu.
In settings we are going to choose the "Accounts" tab. This will show us our "Send mail as" option. You will click the "Add another email address" option, and make sure you ahve the "reply from the same address" check box selected so that you don't have to look up which email address you should be replying from.
Once you click that you will be presented with a form where you can put in the "Name" which is what people who you email will see, and the new email address.
As long as we configured everything correctly when setting up the domain, you should now be able to open up a new email, click in the from tab and be presented with the new email address!
Having your own custom domain name in your email can lend a lot of credibility to your business. Hopefully this tutorial has helped you see that the process of setting up your domain in g-suite is really quite simple process. You can quite literally have a new email address on your own custom domain setup in just a few minutes!