Setting Up G Suite (Google Apps) Email with cPanel

G Suite (Google Apps) is one of the best email services. While having your email hosted on the same server as your website is convenient, in reality, it’s not always the wise choice. The following are a few reasons to make the switch, and how to do it – if your host provides cPanel.

G Suite (Google Apps)

Reasons to Switch to G Suite (Google Apps)

  • Reliability – Gmail has proven to be a very reliable email service.
  • Less Spam – Keep unwanted messages out of your inbox with Google’s innovative spam filter technology.
  • Clogged Email Queues – With the potential of hundreds of other accounts on the same server as you, resources often dry up. This can occur due to a spammer or a hacked script, thus resulting in backed-up email queues.
  • Blocked IP Addresses – Spammers or a hacked script/site cause all kinds of problems, and spam sent from one server often can get multiple servers with similar IPs blocked. Thus, your email can be affected even if your server or domain wasn’t even the problem.
  • Storage Space – With a whopping 30+ GB of storage that Google gives you – for each email account – you may never have to delete another email again.
  • Portability – Setup to receive IMAP and/or POP email, and you can also use their browser based client to get/store your email.
  • Service & Support – If there is a problem, it most likely effects everyone using Gmail – so you can be assured Google is probably already aware of it, and a fix is in the works.
  • Server Limits – Most hosting providers limit the number of emails sent per domain per hour; in-order-to prevent spammers. For organizations with many email accounts or that send out newsletters, this can be a problem.

Before Making the Switch

  1. Sign-up for a free G Suite account (see promo codes below)
  2. Make sure to verify domain ownership once your account is setup
  3. Setup all your email addresses in your G Suite admin dashboard
  4. Follow the remaining steps in the setup guide per the dashboard (help with MX, CNAME and SPF Records is provided below)
  5. Download and backup your current email

Promo Codes

Each promotion code provides 20% off the first year on either G Suite Basic plan or G Suite Business plan.

  • G Suite Basic Plan: E9CKWTQFNRTRL4U
  • G Suite Business Plan: LCQ6JEMKCTYYGRM

Setting Up Your Email Server

The steps for managing your domain’s email in the G Suite dashboard is pretty straightforward. However, setup of your MX, CNAME, and SPF records can be quite confusing. The following will guide you through the process:

Email Routing

Email Routing in cPanel
  • Login to your cPanel at www.your-domain.com/cpanel or cpanel.your-domain.com (of-course replace your-domain.com with your actual domain)
  • Click on the “Email Routing” icon under the “Email” section
  • Select your domain name in the drop-down menu
  • Change the Email Routing setting to “ Automatically Detect Configuration” — See Figure #1
Configure Email Routing
Fig. #1: Configure Email Routing

MX Records

Zone Editor in cPanel
  • Click on the “Zone Editor” icon under the “Domains” section
  • Select the “Manage” link across from your domain name
  • From the “Filter” menu select “MX”
  • Delete any existing MX records shown
  • Add the following five MX records to your DNS zone file – see Fig #2:
PriorityDestination
1ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
5ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
5ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
10ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
10ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
MX Records
Fig. #2: MX Records in cPanel

CNAME & SPF Records

By default, your email is now accessible via https://mail.google.com/a/your-domain.com. However, you can also easily redirect it to https://mail.your-domain.com by changing your CNAME records.

  • Click on the “Zone Editor” icon in the “Domains” section
  • Edit “mail.your-domain.com” so it points to ghs.googlehosted.com
    see Fig #3
CNAME Records
Fig. #3: CNAME Records in cPanel

Note you can also setup custom sub-domains for the other G Suite services (calendar, docs, etc.) by following the same steps you followed to set up your custom “mail” sub-domain. For instance, if you want to use calendar.your-domain.com to access your Google Apps calendar, you can add a new CNAME record for “calendar” as shown in Fig #3.

  • Add a SPF TXT record for “your-domain.com” so that it points to v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~allsee Fig #4
SPF Record
Fig. #4: SPF TXT Record in cPanel

Conclusion and Resources

At this point, you’re pretty much done. You now simply have to wait up to 48 hours before the changes to propagate.

Once the changes have completed, you can set up your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, Mail, etc.). The Gmail IMAP settings are fairly simple. They are as follows:

IMAP (incoming) mail:

  • Server: imap.gmail.com
  • Port: 993
  • Encryption: SSL

SMTP (outgoing) mail:

  • Server: smtp.gmail.com
  • Port: 465 or 587
  • Encryption: TLS

Google provides instructions for configuring mail clients, including specific email clients.

More Information

  1. MX Records
  2. CNAME Records
  3. SPF Records

Posted on May 13th, 2019 in Website Hosting. Tagged: