How to Setup an Email Address with Bluehost for FREE and connect to Gmail or Outlook (2020)

Let’s say you purchased the following domain name when you opened your Bluehost account:

www.myname.com

And now, you want to set up the following email address in Gmail or Outlook:

contact@myname.com

Here’s how you do it in Bluehost for FREE.

Setting up your custom Email Address

First, click on the “Advanced” tab from your Bluehost Dashboard.

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Click “Email Accounts” and then click “CREATE”.

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Enter your desired email address and select a login password.

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Once created, click “CHECK EMAIL”

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You will be redirected to your Webmail Dashboard. You can open your new email inbox with Roundcube.

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And here is a snapshot of the Roundcube email software:

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I have the welcome email open, which tells us the necessary information to set up our email address with Gmail or any other popular mail client.

Couldn’t I Just use Roundcube?

Absolutely! If you are happy with using Roundcube to manage your email, then you are all set. You could also use another open-source email client already configured with Bluehost such as horde or SquirrelMail.

Once you get used to them, these open-source options aren’t all that bad. But most of us prefer convenience, which is why the next part of this tutorial will be instructions for setting up your new email on Gmail or Outlook.

How to Configure your Email with Gmail

Open the welcome email that was sent to you upon the creation of your new email. Go to the box that says “Secure SSL/TLS Settings”:

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IMAP, POP3, and SMTP are internet protocols used for email, similar to how we use the HTTP protocol to transfer information about websites over the internet.

Now go to Gmail and click the settings icon:

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When this opens up, click “See all settings”

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Click “Accounts and Import”

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Scroll down to the section called “Check mail from other accounts”

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A yellow box should pop up. Enter the email address you just created.

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Select “Next”

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Select “Next”

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Here is where the bulk of the setup comes in. Remember that blue box that we received in our welcome email?

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We will use this information to fill out the yellow box. I will walk through each option below:

  1. Username — this should be your email address, but just copy it straight from the blue box if you are unsure.
  2. Password — This is the password you made when you set up the email account in Bluehost a few minutes ago
  3. POP Server — POP or “Post Office Protocol” retrieves mail from a remote server (like Bluehost) so that we can read it in Gmail. This should already be filled in for you. Be sure to change the port to 995, which forces your mail to be encrypted and secure.
  4. “Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server” — I suggest checking this box, but if your server is running out of space (you only get 100MB), you can switch this off later. If checked, this will not only receive mail from Gmail but when you check your mail directly on the Bluehost server (via Roundcube or another email client), the emails will also be stored there. If unchecked, you will not be able to check mail directly from your server; you are stuck with Gmail.
  5. “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail” — This makes sure that your emails are encrypted and don’t get read by a nefarious hacker.
  6. “Label Incoming Messages” — This is not required, but I suggest it. This is a personal preference, but I don’t like getting my website’s mail mixed up with the mail on my Gmail account. By labeling the incoming messages, you can ensure that messages aren’t getting lost in the chaos of your regular Gmail inbox.
  7. “Archive Incoming Messages” — I only suggest checking this box if you checked the previous box and have applied a label to your messages. When combined, you can essentially create a brand new Gmail inbox that never gets confused with the Gmail account you are using to see these messages! In my opinion, this is the way to go.

Pheww… Time to move on:

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Gmail is now asking if you want to be able to send emails with this new address. If you do this, you will be able to see a dropdown of emails that you can send messages within your Gmail account, like this:

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After you hit “Next Step”, you’ll be asked for some more technical details.

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Again, you can find the correct details for this from that blue box that we used earlier. We’ll quickly go through these options:

  1. SMTP Server — Should be filled in for you already
  2. Port — Make sure that you check port 465, which is the “secure” way to send mail
  3. Username — Same as your previous configuration (your email)
  4. Password — Same as your previous configuration (the password you set up with Bluehost when you created the email)

Once you’ve added your account, you will be asked for a one-time code to confirm:

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You will need to go back to your Roundcube account (from your Bluehost dashboard) to retrieve this one-time code:

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Once you are verified, I suggest refreshing the browser where you have Gmail open. Additionally, I suggest going back to your import settings and checking the box that says “When replying to a message… Reply from the same address the message was sent to”. This will save you from accidentally responding to people who have contacted your website email address from your personal email. Here’s how you do that:

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And that’s it! Remember, we are dealing with internet protocols and DNS records (Domain Name System), which means that some of these changes might take a few minutes to start working. Be patient if these settings don’t work immediately. Likely, after an hour or so you’ll be up and running with no issues!

How to Configure your Email with Outlook (Web Version)

The setup for Outlook (Web Version) is similar to Gmail.

Start by opening your advanced settings:

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The top right corner of Outlook
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Once in your settings, click on “Sync Email” and then “Other email accounts”

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When you click this, you should see a form to fill out. Before you fill out anything, check the box under Advanced Settings and click “OK”.

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This will extend the form with some more configuration options. To fill it out, you are going to need that blue box you received in your instruction email:

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Below I will go through each field and explain it:

  1. Display Name — This is what someone will see in the “Sender” field when they receive an email from this email address. This is the “friendly name” that people see instead of the actual email address.
  2. Email Address — Put your website’s email
  3. User name — This should be your website’s email, but you can also find this in the blue table above.
  4. Password — This is the password that you used to create your email within Bluehost
  5. “Create a new folder for imported email…” — I suggest checking this box because it will ensure that your website emails do not get mixed up with your Outlook email. I like to keep them separated and suggest you do so as well, but just a preference here.

Moving on to the next few options…

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6. Choose your connection type — Either of the first two options will work, but we will be choosing POP/SMTP

7. Incoming (POP) server — This should be in the format mail.yourdomain.yourtopleveldomain

8. Incoming server port — Per the blue box we looked at above, we should be using SSL/TLS settings, and use port 995.

9. Leave a copy of messages on the server — I suggest checking this box, but if your server is running out of space (you only get 100MB), you can switch this off later. If checked, this will not only receive mail from Outlook, but when you check your mail directly on the Bluehost server (via Roundcube or another email client), the emails will also be stored there. If unchecked, you will not be able to check mail directly from your server; you are stuck with Outlook.

10. Authentication — The Basic configuration will use usernames and passwords.

11. Encryption — Per the blue box, we will select SSL

12. “Accept untrusted certificates” — Do not check this. It kind of defeats the purpose of using TLS/SSL settings.

And finally, the last section of the form:

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13. “Send email using your provider’s server” — You will want to check this so that your emails are actually coming from your website’s email address.

14. Outgoing (SMTP) server — This should be the same as your incoming server above

15. Outgoing server port — Use port 465 according to the blue box you received in the instructions email from Bluehost.

And that’s it! Remember, we are dealing with internet protocols and DNS records (Domain Name System), which means that some of these changes might take a few minutes to start working. Be patient if these settings don’t work immediately. Likely, after an hour or so you’ll be up and running with no issues!

Personally, I have found that connecting your email with Gmail is faster than Outlook (web version). When I connect my email to Outlook (web version), receiving emails is on a 1–5-minute lag. If that is a dealbreaker for you, you may want to use one of the open-source mail clients like Roundcube for faster delivery.

If you haven’t created an account with Bluehost yet, get signed up for as little as $3.95 / month today (affiliate link)!

If you’re unsure which plan is right for you, check out my post where I compare all the plan features and pricing.

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I write software tutorials and golf software

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