This part of the guide will help you understand how to set up and manage your Bluehost email accounts.
One good thing about self-hosting your website is the possibility of having personalized email addresses. In order to do so, you will naturally need to buy a unique domain for your website. This has been discussed in the previous guide, Managing Your Domain.
Bluehost allows you to create unlimited email accounts. Configuring these emails is quite straight forward but here are some steps to help you handle some of the challenges that you may have. We will touch on:
- Email Accounts
- Email Clients
- Webmail Clients
- Auto Responders
An email account is a place where your emails are received and stored. You can read and reply or delete the emails as well as move them into respective folders for future reference.
First, you will need to log into your Bluehost cPanel control panel. Then just scroll to the Mail category and click on email accounts.
Configuring the email accounts
From here, you are able to perform many tasks to manage your emails. These include create a new email account, view your current email accounts, delete the email accounts as well as changing the quota of an email account and changing the password of an email account.
Guide: Managing Your Email Accounts
Now that you have set up your email accounts, you will need to configure your email clients. Email clients are applications that you can use to access and manage your email accounts. There are 2 basic types of mail clients i.e. desktop email client and webmail client (we’ll discuss this in the following part).
An email client is a mail client that is run on your device, be it your computer or smart phone. Examples of email clients are Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird. Thunderbird is a free open sourced software.
Benefits of using email clients include:
- You have access to your emails even when you are not connected to Internet, provided that you have downloaded them earlier
- You can compose your emails and save it as draft to be sent out later when you connect to the Internet
- There are more features compared to what webmail clients offer
- You can save a copy of your emails on your local device, without taking up space on the server
Webmail clients on the other hand are web based emails, where you access your email through websites from any computer or devices that are connected to the Internet. Examples of popular webmail clients are Gmail and Yahoo Mail.
Benefits of webmail clients are:
- You can use any devices to log into your webmail, as long as they are connected to the Internet
- You can login anytime, anywhere
- You won’t have to worry about losing your emails should your computer has problems
- Popular webmails such as Gmail, Yahoo mail and Outlook.com are free!
Bluehost default webmail clients
Bluehost offers three default webmail clients. They are Horde, Squirrelmail and RoundCube. You can choose to access these default webmail clients via the control panel or a direct URL.
The latter option is useful when you have multiple users and multiple webmail accounts. The administrator only needs to provide these users with the respective webmail addresses and passwords and not the control panel’s login credentials.
POP (Post Office Protocol) vs IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
You should also have some basic knowledge of what POP and IMAP are, especially if you are accessing your emails via multiple devices. Both these email protocols allows you to remotely access your emails.
The difference is that POP allows emails to be downloaded to your local device without saving a copy or your changes in the server.
Meanwhile, IMAP allows changes made in one device to be saved in the server and to be synchronized with another device when that is connected later.
Guide: POP vs IMAP
What if you wish to configure your own webmail like Gmail?
Gmail is gaining popularity as one of the best free webmail clients. It comes with tons of disk space and is very reliable. Thus, it’s not surprising if you would like to use Gmail instead, riding on its speed, disk space and reliability. Well, you do have the option to setup your Gmail account on your Bluehost email account.
Email forwarding is a quick and easy way to have your emails re-delivered to another email address. You can also use this option to redirect emails from your various email addresses to a single email address for easy email management.
As the name suggest, an auto-responder is a pre-written message or email that will automatically be sent to the senders who had emailed to a particular email address. You will normally see an auto responder being used in acknowledging the receipt of an order or a comment or even when one is off on a holiday. It can range from a “Thank you for your order” to “Thank you for your email” to “I am currently on leave and shall be back in office on…”.
This service helps the website owner to track the emails coming in or perhaps to just inform them of your absence. It is quite easy to set up an auto responder. See the guide to do so below.
Guide: Create an Auto Responder
With unsolicited bulk emails or spam on the increase, it is always a good idea to protect your emails from these spammers. Not only are they annoying but they can also pose a threat to your account and website especially if they include malicious attachments. So how do you get rid of them? See the following guide in preventing spam.
Guide: Spam Prevention
There is no 100% protection against spammers but there are tools that you can use to filter out these spam emails. Bluehost offers 3 anti-spam options i.e. Spam Assassin, Spam Hammer and Postini Premium Spam and Virus Protection. It is advised that you install only one anti-spam so choose the one that fits your requirements better.