How to set up Zoho Mail with your own domain

Recently Google has announced that Workspaces will be paid if you want to be able to use the email function of workspaces. So I was looking for some free alternatives and stumbled upon Zoho Mail. I will show you step-by-step how to set up Zoho Mail with your own domain.

Side Note: a while back I wrote about how to Use Gmail with your own domain for free. That method was utilising Mailgun and creating a free @gmail.com email and it is a bit more technical than some would want

Zoho Mail is part of Zoho Workplace suite and while there are paid plans for standalone email and Workplace, there is also a “Forever Free Plan” for email service only

Here is a brief comparisons of the plans, more details here.

Forever Free
Mail Lite
A$1.65 /A$2.20
Mail Premium
A$6.05
Workplace Standard
A$4.40
Workplace Professional
A$9.35
Email Hosting1 domainUnlimiited DomainsUnlimiited DomainsUnlimiited DomainsUnlimiited Domains
Mail Storage Per User5GB5GB/10GB30GB30GB100GB
Attachment limit (Mail)25MB30MB40MB30MB40MB
Huge Attachment Limit (Mail)up to 250 MBup to 1 GBup to 500 MBup to 1 GB
Zoho CalendarVVVVV
Zoho WorkDriveXXXVV
Zoho Office Suite (Writer, Sheet, Show)XXXVV
Zoho ClickVVVVV
Zoho MeetingXXXUp to 10 participantsUp to 100 participants
Zoho ConnectXXXXV
Zoho Mail Plans Comparison – Prices in AUD per User per Month when billed annually

Creating Zoho account

Browse to Zoho Mail Pricing page and choose the applicable plan.

Zoho Mail Pricing

If you are interested in the free one, then scroll down and select the “Forever Free Plan”

Zoho Mail Forever Free Plan

Fill in your details on the following page to create a Zoho account.

Zoho signup form

After the signup process is complete you can continue with setting up Zoho Mail account

Setting up Zoho Mail

Navigate to Zoho Mail Admin Console,

Create an Organization

Zoho New Organization form

Add a new Domain

Zoho create new Domain

Enter your domain name

Zoho New Domain form

Now to the “fun” part!

In order for Zoho to be able to Receive and Send email using your domain you will need to set DNS records with your hosting or your DNS provider. I must say that this process was very well guided an it has links to detailed guides based if you are with one of the major hosting/DNS providers. The screenshots in the next steps are from Google Cloud Platform (GCP) since I use it as my DNS provider.

Setting TXT DNS record to prove ownership of your domain

Zoho Mail Domain verification TXT DNS record

In GCP navigate to Networking > Network services > Cloud DNS and select your domain

Click ADD RECORD SET

GCP Cloud DNS

Create the TXT record using TXT data copied from Zoho Mail.

Leave TXT name blank (I was trying it with @ but it didn’t work for me)

Set TTL for 3600 seconds

GCP TXT Record

If everything was done correctly, when you click Verify TXT Record in Zoho mail wizard you will be able to proceed

Zoho Mail Domain verification successful

Set the remaining required DNS records

Next setup MX Records

Zoho Mail MX DNS record
GCP Cloud DNS MX records

SPF record and another TXT record for DKIM.

Now you are it’s time to configure users and start sending emails!!

Configure Users and Aliases

In Zoho Mail Admin Console navigate to Users and click CREATE MAIL ACCOUNT for your user.

Zoho Mail User creation

While you are there (or later) you can also setup Aliases for your User under Mail Settings > Email Alias

Zoho Mail Aliases creation

Sending and Receiving emails with your domain for free with Zoho Mail

Now you can send emails using any of the defined aliases

Zoho Mail send email using one of the aliases

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