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How to Forward Domain Email to Gmail

How to Forward Domain Email to Gmail

Do you want to forward your domain email to Gmail? If so, read on, because it’s very easy, and I’m going to explain exactly how to do it!

According to a recent TechCrunch report, around 900 Million people now subscribe to Gmail. As such, it’s little wonder that many people are very familiar with the platform and therefore like the idea of being able to carry on using it once they have their own Web domain.

Forward domain email to Gmail

As I said, it’s easy to forward domain email to Gmail, regardless of which Web hosting service you choose. (If you haven’t chosen one yet, why not check out our in-depth hosting reviews?) However, as with all things technical, there are a few things you should be aware of before you proceed, so let’s cover them first.

Forward domain email to Gmail – your options

There are two options open to you if you’d like to forward your domain email to Google:

  1. Set up an email account at your domain, and simply forward everything sent to it to an existing Gmail account.
  2. Make use of Google Apps for Work, for a slightly more complex setup, but one that comes with many additional benefits.

I’ll now explore each of these options in turn:

Forward domain email to Google the simple way:

The easiest and quickest way to forward email sent to your domain to a Gmail account is to set up a simple mail forward in your domain’s hosting control panel.

In the below screenshot, I show how to do it with DreamHost, who performed well in our recent review:

Forward email

As you can see, it’s dead simple. You just define an email address at your own domain (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com) and then enter your Gmail address. Everything sent to your new domain address will end up in your Gmail account.

It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s free. However, it’s not without its disadvantages. The biggest one is that when you reply to an email, the reply will come from your Gmail account. This doesn’t look particularly professional. In addition, it means that email within your Gmail account will be mixed together – you’ll have mail sent to your domain AND mail sent directly to your Gmail address.

So while this method is the quickest and simplest, you may find it doesn’t do quite enough and that you want to improve things – and that’s where the next method comes in.

Use Google Apps for Work for your domain email

Google Apps for Work is the business variant of the popular Google Apps suite. It offers far more than just email, including document storage and the use of Google Docs and Google Sheets.

Google apps for work

For the purposes we’re discussing here, it also gives you the ability to properly use the Gmail platform for your own domain – so you can use the Gmail system you are familiar with, but with a yourname@yourdomain.com email address instead of a Gmail address. In essence, you get the benefits of the familiar system, but the professionalism of replies coming from the correct address, and a place to centrally manage all your domain email.

In addition, you can benefit from how easy it is to configure mobile devices and email programs for Gmail accounts – a process that usually requires nothing more than your email address and password.

Google Apps used to be free for small businesses with simple needs, but unfortunately the Internet giant has now started charging. That said, the pricing is very low, at around $5 per user, per month – a very small fee for such a comprehensive suite of online applications, as well as Gmail business email.

So how do you set up Google Apps for Work so you can use it to get your domain email to Gmail?

Again using DreamHost as an example, you must first sign up to Google Apps for Work, then it’s a simple case of selecting an option in the DreamHost control panel, as shown below.

Apps for business setup

DreamHost isn’t the only web host out there that offers such simple integration with Google Apps for Work (or Google Apps for Business, as it was formerly known, and still referred to by some!) Setup is usually a simple process of just a few clicks.

If your host doesn’t offer this integration, the changes are rather more technical, but you’ll find all the details you need here.

Alternatives

As we’ve discussed, using one of these methods to forward your domain email to Google has plenty of plus points, the most significant being the fact that you and your team can use a very familiar email system with your domain.

However, these aren’t the only options available to you in terms of email for your domain. I’ve produced a separate article on all the different email options which you’ll find here. I’d suggest considering all the alternatives before making a final decision.

Forward domain email to Gmail: Conclusion

Many individuals and companies of all sizes make the decision to forward their domain email to Gmail. This article has explained the two ways of doing it.

In conclusion, I would suggest the following:

  • If you have very simple requirements, and just wish to receive mail sent to your domain in an existing Gmail mailbox, log in to your hosting control panel and set up a simple forward.
  • If you’d like a more professional and flexible solution, and a familiar place to manage all your domain email, consider signing up to Google Apps for Work.

If you want to read some more about hosting, why not check out my recent hosting tips article?


Published on: March 18,2016.
Ben was a geek long before "geek chic," learning the ropes on BBC Micros, before moving on to Atari STs and IBM compatibles. He was "online" using a 1200bps modem before the Internet was even a thing. Now, after two decades in the industry, he writes about technology for various publications, operates a few websites of his own, and runs a bespoke IT consultancy based in London.

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