I have been a huge proponent of Google Apps for Business for several years now. Recently they updated their offering to remove their free plan. While i’m ok with companies removing their free plan, they should at least grandfather users in with the same features that they had previously. Unfortunately, Google did not do so – placing restrictions on things like Google Drive that forced me to upgrade to the paid plan for my business email.
With a bad taste in my mouth, I decided to look elsewhere for WP Temple. I considered some paid services like Godaddy and Rackspace, but it really wasn’t what I was looking for. I needed a simple email service for the light traffic that WP Temple will be using, mainly for social media accounts. After doing some digging, I found that Microsoft offers domain email hosting for free via this article.
Adding A Domain to Outlook.com
While a little dated, I was able to easily go to Windows Live Admin Center and go though the process of verifying my domain and getting email set up. It was pretty straight forward, asking me to add one MX record and recommending that I add an SPF record and TXT record for enhanced security and anti-spam measures. In about 5 minutes total, I was set up on my new Outlook.com Custom domain email. I was then able to add a CNAME record so that the mail subdomain redirects to the login for Outlook.com.
Adding Email Account to Mail.app
The next task at hand wasn’t as straightforward; adding an Outlook.com email to Apple’s Mail.app. Here is what I needed to do:
- Go to Preferences > Add New Account
- Enter your email address and password (you will then be directed to add more info).
- For IMAP the domain is imap-mail.outlook.com and the username is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For SMTP the domain is smtp-mail.outlook.com and the username is email@example.com.
Note: it may take some time for the account to show up in Mail.app, I recommend restarting the app for it to show instantly as the accounts refresh.
I was very pleased with my experience adding a custom domain to outlook.com and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a free hosted solution for email.