When communicating with businesses online, you might notice their email address is different from the personal addresses you use – like firstname.lastname@example.org. The reality is, a personal, professional email address is not something reserved for businesses. Anyone can set up their own custom email address and instantly become more reputable on the web. Here’s how.
Step 1: Get a domain
The domain you choose will depend on what you want to use it for. If you want to start a business, you should pick a domain name to reflect the brand name or industry of the business. You’ll need to make a decision on both the part before the dot, and after. The part of the domain after the dot is called a domain extension, or top-level domain (TLD).
The most popular and recognisable domain extension is .com, so if you intend for your business to be globally available, securing the .com domain name of your company name is advised.
However, being the most common, this means that many of the more memorable .com domains have already been registered. You don’t need to rule out or change your business name because of this – simply try out some alternative TLDs.
For example, .co.uk is made for UK companies, so if you’re based primarily in the UK, using a .co.uk domain is often better than using the more US-based .com. But if your business is more global, there are plenty of other choices for alternative extensions, including:
- .net – great for networking or IT businesses
- .co – used by a lot of tech startups
- .shop – perfect for ecommerce businesses
But what if you don’t have a business at all? As we mentioned, you can have a personal email address regardless. Whether you’re a freelancer who wants to communicate better with their clients, or a professional who wants to represent themselves to prospective employers, having a personal email address will help you do just that. Nothing’s stopping you from registering a .com email, but why not be more specific?
- A .name domain is specifically designed for individuals to register their name as a domain. This extension is perfect if you want to represent yourself online.
- A .me extension is another popular choice for individual domains. It’s a little snappier than .name, and still clearly states what it represents.
Step 2: Choose an email provider
Once you’ve registered your domain, you’ll need to find an email provider which supports the use of a personalised email address. These options are almost always paid, but with services like our Standard Email packages starting at only £0.99 per month, the cost is negligible for the value of having a personal, professional email address.
Using a paid email provider over a freemail site like Gmail comes with other benefits too. If you’re using a paid service, you won’t be on the same platform as bots, spammers, and malicious users. This can help to prevent your emails to clients or colleagues being lost in their spam folders.
Step 3: Set up your mailbox
Now you’ve registered a domain and found an email provider, it’s time to set up your custom email address.
If you’ve chosen to register your domain with Fasthosts, setting up your mailbox is simple. Just head into your Control Panel, and click on ‘Domain Names’ on the left side. Click on the domain you want to use for your email in the list, then go to the ‘Email’ tab and click ‘Add a mailbox’.
You’ll be shown some fields which you can fill out to set up your email account. The first field lets you choose what you would like your custom email address to be. This depends on what you would like to use the email for, but there are a number of options that are picked most often.
- email@example.com – if you’re representing yourself as an individual and want your custom email address to be a point of contact for you, putting just the word ‘me’ before the @ symbol is a memorable way of showing this.
- firstname.lastname@example.org – this one does what it says on the tin, and can be a great way for people to get information about you. It’s also a good address to send email from, as it adds a layer of credibility to the information you’re sending out.
- email@example.com – this is a great domain to use to discuss jobs, business, or other commercial opportunities.
Unlike a free email account, what’s before the @ symbol can be whatever you like, as only you are using your domain name – so you can set it to whatever you want!
Once you’ve set up your Fasthosts mail account, you can either access your mailbox through your browser on our webmail service, or you can follow our handy guide to find out how you can set up your new personal email address on popular clients. Check out our email packages to find one that’s right for you, and get started using your custom email address.