Recently we have known that Google started charging for its Google Apps for Business service. Although the fee seems to be small ($50 per user per year), it is still a significant amount if you have a company of a few hundreds people.
We had a workaround to register the Google Apps Standard account for free, however, they allow just 1 user per account and we can’t be sure Google will keep it free in the future. Therefore, some of us probably are looking for an alternative for Google Apps and Outlook.com is among the best choice.
This post will introduce some easy steps to create and setup your email with custom domain on Outlook.com. Just follow the simple guide.
1. Sign up for a Microsoft account
If you haven’t got a Hotmail, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE or owned a Windows Phone, you will need to create your Microsoft account at https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx?lic=1
2. Add domain name
Go to domain.live.com to add your domain name. Fill in your domain name and remember to choose the option Set up Windows Live Hotmail for my domain.
3. Assign Domain Administrator
In the next step, it requires you to assign a Microsoft ID to administer the domain. Choose Sign in with an existing Windows Live ID and then sign in with the account you signed up in the first step. After that, another page will appear to confirm your settings and accept agreements.
4. Domain Settings
In this step, we will need to set up mail and prove domain ownership. You are now in the Windows Live Admin Center, the screen will show you exactly what you need to do. For example, in my case, I need to create a MX record through my hosting’s CPanel to set up mail and then prove domain ownership by adding a TXT record or a MX record. If your hosting service uses CPanel, you can also create your MX records with the icon MX Entry in Mail section. To add TXT records, just go to the icon Advanced DNS Zone Editor under Domains section.
On the left sidebar of Windows Live Admin Center, you can also go to the tab Custom Address to set up your subdomain for email service. For instance, I can use the subdomain mail.techwalls.com to access my mail and don’t need to go to Outlook.com anymore. You will just need to add your sub-domain in this section and it will show you configurations. Then go to your hosting service to create a CNAME record. You can add a CNAME record in CPanel by going to Simple DNS Zone Editor in Domains section.
5. Create member accounts
Now you can see the new tab Member accounts appear on the left sidebar. Go to this tab to start adding member accounts with your custom domain. At the moment, Outlook allows up to 500 accounts for a domain.
Almost done. Now you just wait for the DNS records updated. After a few hours, you can start accessing your mails though http://mail.live.com/ or your sub-domain. Let us know if you have any problem and I will try to help.
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