How to set up a custom email address

hand typing on a laptop with email illustrations covering the keyboard
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Billion Photos)

If you’re setting up a website for your business and wondering whether you should set up a custom email address as well – the short answer is yes, you should.

If you want to be taken seriously by your soon-to-be customers, you probably don’t want to use something that looks like “” as a professional email address for your business, right?  

While this is one of the most common mistakes young and aspiring entrepreneurs make, if you don’t showcase your business’s image as important, chances are your customer won’t see it either. Your business’s brand and its image on the internet are perceived through its online presence including the main site, blog, and social media accounts, but also through the official email address – so, create one that’ll reflect your brand in a positive light and build trust.  

On top of that, setting up a custom email address is surprisingly simple to do – all you really have to do is register a domain name, purchase an email hosting plan, and connect your newly-created custom email address with the email platform you wish to use.

So, to back you up, we’ll go through the process of creating a custom email address, step by step, and explore the main reasons why you’d want to do so in the first place. However, first things first, let’s clear up what exactly is a custom email address.

What is a custom email address? 

As its name suggests, a custom email address uses a custom domain name as opposed to a generic one, which gives it a more unique appearance.

For instance, instead of “” we’ve mentioned above, it could look something like SomeGenericName@NameOfYourBusiness. So, by choosing to create a custom email address you’ll be the one who’ll decide what goes before and after the symbol “@”, while with a generic name you only get to choose what goes after the “@” symbol – so, your choices are somewhat limited.  

Step-by-step guide on how to create a custom email address 

The complete setup of a custom email address can be split into three simple steps.

1. Go and get yourself a domain name

The first step of creating a custom email address is purchasing a domain name (it’s smart to get one of the top-level domains such as .com, .org, and .net), and doing so is child’s play.

There are two main paths you can follow and choose the right one depends on whether or not you're looking to build a website that uses that domain name.

If not, you can check one of the well-known domain name registrars (such as NameCheap, Google Domains, or and purchase a domain for about $12 per year. As an alternative, you could get it directly from email hosting providers (like Google Workspace) and enjoy the benefits of an automatic connection between your domain name and email host.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to build a website, your best bet is to purchase a web hosting package that comes with a free domain name (something like Bluehost’s entry-level plan). Since some website builder services offer free domain registration (for a year or so), you could also opt for that option.

2. Connect your domain to your email host

If you aren’t utilizing the advantages of having your domain connected automatically to your email host, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. For instance, if you’ve purchased your domain as a part of a hosting package, you’ll have to check the how-tos offered by your host and set up your custom email address.

When you arrive at your host’s dashboard you’ll probably see a button titled “Email”, so tap into that and follow any prompts your host has provided you. However, since this step will vary from one host to another, we’ll cite a couple of examples in one of the following chapters.

3. You could also connect your email to a third-party email host

While this step is optional, if you wish to connect your email with your favorite third-party email host (such as Gmail,, or Apple Mail), this is the right moment to do so. 

This process slightly differs with each email platform, so make sure to check the how-tos provided by the wanted email host. It usually includes creating an account on the platform (if you don’t have one already), importing your email address, and passing a verification process.  

 Benefits of having a custom email address 

The simplest benefit of having a custom email address is its simplicity – they are easier to remember (especially if you have a catchy business name) and therefore make it easier for your potential or current clients to contact you. The chances are if they’ve memorized your domain name, they’ll call to mind your email address as well.

Also, a custom email address will give your business credibility and consistency, as well as spread brand awareness – meaning that people will see your business as more professional, better-established, and an expert in its market.   

It’s also more convenient for your business since you’ll be able to create multiple email addresses for different departments (like sales, billing, and customer support) and even for your blog.

How to set up a custom email address with Bluehost, Hostinger, and Zoho 

Since the best web hosting providers often offer free email accounts, all you need to do to set up a custom email address is to purchase their hosting package and follow a few simple steps.

With Bluehost these steps include logging into your Bluehost control panel, tapping into “Email & Office” along the left side of the screen, and clicking on “Add Email Account”. In this section, you’ll be asked to complete your custom email address and come up with a strong password for it. Once this is done, click on “Create Account”, wait for a couple of seconds for Bluehost to create your custom email address, and you’ve done it.  

Since all of Hostinger’s hosting solutions include email accounts by default, the process is pretty similar to the one with Bluehost. So, get to the hPanel, go to “Emails”, and click on “Email Accounts”. There you’ll see a button titled “Add new email account” – so, tap into it and fill out your username and a password. Once you’re finished, click the “Create” and wait for your new custom email address to appear under the “Manage Email Accounts” section. 

While Bluehost and Hostinger are full-fledged web-hosting providers, Zoho is more geared towards email hosting as well as all the bits and pieces a small business could need (such as (CRM, online workplaces, and online office suite) – so the setup will be slightly simpler. 

After picking out a plan with Zoho you’ll be asked to select your DNS manager and add your domain name or register a new one. Then you’ll have to complete the sign-up process and once this is finished click on “Sign Up”, after which you can log into your “Zoho Mail” account. Once there, you’ll be able to add users and create custom email accounts (note that there are severe limits if you’ve signed up for a free plan). Also, you can import users from a CSV file or your Active Directory.

Go further with a custom email address

Since we’re at the end of the road, let’s stress the importance of setting up a custom email address for any business that takes itself seriously and plans to sweep the competition. 

The process of setting up a custom email address is surprisingly simple even for non-techies – and with our short guide you’ll be in full swing in a matter of minutes. So, choose your email hosting provider and get things going. 

Mirza Bahic is a freelance tech journalist and blogger from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past four years, Mirza has been ghostwriting for a number of tech start-ups from various industries, including cloud, retail and B2B technology.