Assembling the tech bits for your startup – II

Continued from my previous post – Assembling the tech bits for your startup – I

Email Accounts

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 –

  1. Create an account with Zoneedit ( It is free and their service rocks. Zoneedit lets you manage your domain. You can setup Mail forwards, Web forwards etc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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, to be forwarded to your account. You can even setup email groups through Zoneedit, but specifying multiple recipients for the same incoming email address.
  4. You can setup your Gmail with a multi-account setup and then start receiving and replying emails from 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.


Author: anand

Currently CleverTap. Founder & ex-CTO - burrp. A techie and an entrepreneur at heart. Have worked in US, China and India.

7 thoughts on “Assembling the tech bits for your startup – II”

  1. AFAIK, it comes with a predefined set of domains from which you can choose from. It won’t let you create or set something like a

  2. Good point on offloading email to someone else to take care off. Although it looks like ZoneEdit has bandiwth caps before they start charging you. How about Google apps for your domain, they are easy to set up and provide all the standard features

  3. So far, we haven’t reached the bandwidth cap with Zoneedit and we have more than moderate email volume. Besides, if your business is really taking off, then it is totally worth to invest money in reliable services. It might even make more sense to setup your own mail server once your number of employees crosses the 25 – 40 mark.

    I tried setting up the Google Apps for domain, but didn’t want to be totally dependent on the Big G. We host our wiki/blog someplace other than our email. So incase one service goes down, we can at least communicate with the outside world.

  4. Note: I typed all this crap without reading comment-no-4 from Anand. Well, I don’t want to leave it. Just for trivia purpose, move this to your brains. Thanks

    I would suggest creating MX entries pointing to Google Apps mx. And creating an account in “Google Apps”

    Where it goes like this
    1. Create an account in Google Apps for your domain
    2. Create/Change MX entries pointing to google’s MX
    3. Create CNAME mail[dot]yourdomain[dot]com and other services and point them to ghd[dot]google[dot]com
    4. Create a SPF record so that spammers don’t abuse your domain for spamming
    5. Enjoy Gmail Service of Google on mail[dot]YourDomain[dot]com

    Then, you get POP/IMAP services for mail[at]YourDomain[dot]com instead of your gmail, or instead you can follow what Anand suggested, forward them to Your Mail.

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