Continued from my previous post – Assembling the tech bits for your startup – I
Most companies set up an MS Exchange server for email functionality. MS-Exchange is a great piece of software, but there are couple problems with this. Firstly, a legal copy of MS-Exchange costs big bucks and secondly you’ll need an IT guy for ongoing maintenance (think scary things like storage quotas, spam blocking, upgrades etc).
Here is a quick and easy way to get email accounts going for your team for gratis (free) and that too without any maintenance. Sounds too good to be true, na? Well read on –
- Create an account with Zoneedit (http://www.zoneedit.com). It is free and their service rocks. Zoneedit lets you manage your domain. You can setup Mail forwards, Web forwards etc.
- Zoneedit gives your 2 free nameservers to point to your domain. If you remember, I had asked you book domains with a provider that lets you point your domain to custom nameservers. So now is the time to point the nameserver records for your domain to the ones provided by Zoneedit.
- Zoneedit also lets you setup Mailforwards. Simply put, it lets you forward an incoming mail to another mail provider of your choice. You can setup your incoming mails, for say firstname.lastname@example.org, to be forwarded to your email@example.com account. You can even setup email groups through Zoneedit, but specifying multiple recipients for the same incoming email address.
- You can setup your Gmail with a multi-account setup and then start receiving and replying emails from firstname.lastname@example.org account. I won’t tell you how, you’ll need to explore a little bit on your own :-). Here is a little hint, it is done through Account Settings in GMail and involves a verification code.
Congratulations. You’ve just offloaded the maintenance of your email accounts to Google. You won’t need to maintain an email server or pay a dime to anyone. On top of it all, Google provides an excellent spam filter and provides POP3/IMAP access. So you can download all your email to your Outlook also. Zoneedit + Gmail = Winning combo.
A little caveat to this setup is that your mails are now residing on the network of a third party – Google. This may or may not freak you out, it largely depends on your comfort level.
Total cost of setup = $0 + the time it took to set it all up. You would’ve spent probably more time setting up MS Exchange anyways.
In part III of this post, we’ll cover setting up a blog and wiki for cheap.