Google stopped new signups of the free version of Google Apps for Business in December 2012, which was popular amongst small businesses using Gmail as their email service. The free Google Apps for Business earlier allowed 10 email accounts, which was enough for small businesses on a budget. The paid Google Apps cost minimum $5 per user per month which comes with more storage, support and a few other features.
If you are looking for free alternatives to Google Apps to host email, there are few options like Microsoft Outlook, Zoho. Here we will show you how to configure a Microsoft Outlook email account for your own domain.
How to configure a Microsoft Outlook email account for your own domain
Sign in with your Live or Hotmail email account, if you don’t have any, you can create one.
Once you sign in, click on the button to add a new domain.
Enter your domain name and choose “Setup Outlook.com for my domain”, hit Continue.
After you add your domain, you will need to prove ownership of the domain by creating DNS records. There are several options given, creating MX Record for Mail setup is required, creating TXT record for domain ownership proof and Server trust is recommended. These MX and TXT records can be created at your hosting control panel.
After you add these records, if everything went right, the service will show Active.
Now you can go ahead and add email accounts for your users. You can add upto 50 users in the free account.
To set a custom url to access your mail, e.g. mail.domain.com, click on Custom Addresses. Click Add against mail.
Create a CNAME, i.e. type ‘mail’ if you want to set the custom address as mail.domain.com
Visit your Hosting/DNS control panel and create a CNAME record and point to go.domains.live.com
After you create the CNAME successfully, the status will show enabled for your custom address.
Now you are ready to access your spanking new Outlook inbox, a screenshot is provided below.