How To Create Your Own Custom Email Address

by | Jun 4, 2020 | Blogging | 0 comments

Have you ever signed up for a free email from somewhere like gmail and got stuck using an email address you didn’t like?

You would probably end up something like because all the other good and simple names were taken. Most generic email providers like gmail or outlook have all regular names taken, leaving you to get creative for whats available.

gmail email address already taken

So is there an alternative? Could I just make my own from scratch?

Well, most people only see a non-generic email when they get one from work or open an email from a company. So for most this is a mystery.

What is a Custom Email Address?

A Custom Email Address is your own unique, fully customizable email address. This is also known as a professional email address.

It would something like this.

custom email address example - melyssa griffin newletter

In fact, you can make it almost anything you want.

The difference between this and a generic email address is that you control the domain name, which is the last part of the email address. Because you control the domain name, you take (make) any email name you desire.

You can use your name, if you’re running a company you can name it after that or even after a specific department for the same company.

Why Would You Use a Custom Email Address?

Besides making you look unique in someone’s inbox, there are other benefits to your own custom email address:

  • It looks Professional. Because free email accounts are so readily available, they come off as generic. A custom email address adds a level of professionalism and makes your business looks legitimate.
  • It looks Trustworthy. 75% of americans view a custom email address as a sign of trust. People are more likely to open your emails when they are from non-generic email addresses. This is important for people doing email marketing or sending cold emails.
  • It helps with Branding. Each time you send out an email, you’re promoting your brand. An email with your business name, make it easier for people to find and remember you. Getting your brand out there is a very important step for businesses.
  • It can be easier to Remember. An email address is like an internet phone number. Short and uncomplicated email addresses are much easier to remember which makes it easier for customers to contact you.
  • It increases Accessibility. Some online services don’t accept generic email accounts like those from google. Companies sometimes use this as a filtering mechanism to only allow people who might be serious about their products/services.

Structure of an Email Address

Email addresses are of the format local-part@domain.

This is made of three parts and all parts are needed for the address to be valid.

  1. Local-part
  2. @
  3. Domain

addr-spec = local-part “@” domain ; global address
local-part = word *(“.” word) ; uninterpreted; case-preserved
domain = sub-domain *(“.” sub-domain)
sub-domain = domain-ref / domain-literal
domain-ref = atom ; symbolic reference” – RFC 822 section 6.1

Email Address rules

Local Part


  • Upper and Lower case letters (A-Z; a-z)
  • Digits (0-9)
  • Special characters (!#$%&’*+-/=?^_`{|}~)
  • Spaces and special characters such as “(),:;<>@[\] are allowed with some restrictions
  • Comments are allowed within parentheses


  • A maximum of 64 characters are allowed and a minimum of 1.
  • Dot (.) cannot appear consecutively and cannot be the first or last character.

Domain Part


  • Upper and Lower case letters (A-Z; a-z)
  • Digits (0-9)
  • Hyphen
  • Can contain an IP address surrounded by brackets


  • Hyphens (-) cannot be at the start or end of the domain name
  • You cannot use a domain name that is already in use


Valid Email Addresses

  • admin@mailserver1 (local domain name with no TLD, although ICANN highly discourages dotless email addresses)
  • example@s.example
  • ” “ (space between the quotes)
  • “john..doe” (quoted double dot)
  • mailhost!
  • (% escaped mail route to via

Invalid Email Addresses

  • (no @ character)
  • (only one @ is allowed outside quotation marks)
  • a”b(c)d,e:f;g<h>i[j\k] (none of the special characters in this local-part are allowed outside quotation marks)
  • just”not” (quoted strings must be dot separated or the only element making up the local-part)
  • this is”not\ (spaces, quotes, and backslashes may only exist when within quoted strings and preceded by a backslash)
  • this\ still\”not\\ (even if escaped (preceded by a backslash), spaces, quotes, and backslashes must still be contained by quotes)
  • (local part is longer than 64 characters)

What Do You Need to Create a Custom Email Address

Emails are hosted on servers so that they can be accessed from anywhere through the internet. Additionally, there is also a matter of the software you need to use on the server so that you can access and manage emails.

Thankfully, we do not have to worry about any of that anymore. Nowadays many companies provide this as a service (SAAS).

Since these companies tend to be large companies that are experts in this field, it is mainly cost and time efficient to go with them rather than try to create your own server.

So, to create a custom email address, all we need are two things:

  1. Domain Name
  2. Email Hosting

domain name + email hosting

How to Create a Custom Email Address

We are going to go through step by step two [2] ways to set up a custom email address.

Afterwards we will talk about the pros and cons of each and which one might be for you.

Each method will require a domain name. In some cases you can purchase a domain name as part of the process.

We still start with the ones that allow us to do so as the aim is the list the methods by the easiest first.

  1. Custom Email using a traditional Email Hosting Provider
  2. Custom Email using a Web Hosting Service

1. Custom Email Using a Traditional Email Hosting Provider

A traditional email hosting provider is what most people would be familiar with.

This is a service service like Gmail or Office 365 (outlook). They are normally known for their free email service.

gmail account creation screen

Less talked about is their premium service which is an upgraded suite with other features, including the option to use your own domain name.

Gsuite (Gmail), which is very popular, costs $6 per month and has a free trial. Most other providers charge about the same.

gsuite business plans

Set up for these services are easy. The set up process walks you through:

a. Adding personal information.

b. Using a domain you won already or purchasing a new one.

c. Completing payment for the service.

4. Enter your business address or personal address if you don’t have one then click “Continue”.

2. Custom Email Using a Web Hosting Service

Web hosting services rent space to store websites and it is big business. Once a web host gets a customer, they tend to stay with them for years. So web hosting companies offer many freebies to entice new subscribers.

One of these freebies is free email. Email from a web hosting company uses the same server that comes as part of the web hosting package. This is an important note and we will get into why in the comparison section.


For most of us, one email address will do us just fine. But there are good reasons for having multiple email addresses. Check with your web hosting provider to see what restrictions you have on making more. This may include the amount of addresses and size of the inbox.

Set up, while easy, will not be as straightforward as the previous option. Most popular web hosts use cPanel for users to manage the back end of their website. The interface looks something like this.

It is from here that we can create new email addresses.

Setting up with cPanel will look the same for most providers with possibly slight differences. If your web host does not support cPanel, check with them for the set up instructions.

hostgator cpanel email settings section

create new email address in cpanel hostgator

  1. Log into cPanel
  2. Scroll to the email section, click ‘Email Accounts’
  3. In the Email field, type in the name (local part) that you want to email to have.
  4. Select the domain name from the drop down box.
  5. Type in your desired password and another time to confirm.
  6. Set the Mailbox quota as needed.
  7. Click ‘Create Account’

Your email address is now active and can now be accessed from their webmail interface.

hostgator web hosting webmail panel

You can now send and receive emails using this address.

Webmail is a little basic and ugly for most who are used to the likes of gmail. You have the option to manage emails using:

  1. Outlook
  2. Gmail
  3. Phone

Just a bit of setup would be required for each.

Which Method Is Right for You? (How to Choose)

So what are the differences between the two, which one is better?

Email hosting providers specialize in providing emails. They have dedicated servers and software for this purpose.

This is different compared to web hosting providers. They specialize in providing web hosting services. Emails from these companies use the same servers that they use to provide web hosting.

Because email hosting providers are specialists you expect better deliverability, service uptime and technical support.

Reasons to use Email Hosting Provider

  1. Reliability. Apart from simply having better systems to cater to emails. You can expect to have better reliability by having your web host separated. This is because if your web host server went down so would your email. This will be a problem for businesses where emails are more important.
  2. Deliverability.
  3. Storage options.
  4. Better technician support. Web hosting are experts at websites. By extension their technician support for email will be secondary. So if by chance you have a complicated issue, it might take some time to resolve. For the most you will be fine but it is still worth mentioning.
  5. Email Restrictions. For the average user there will be no issue. You might send a basic text email here or there or maybe even a few pictures. However, for higher needs users, you will have to be mindful of each company’s limitations. This may include attachment size limit, data limits and even daily email limit.
  6. Email software/User interface. Web hosting email tends to have a very basic appearance. This is especially true if you are coming from a service like gmail. So you can expect to be a little disappointed.
  7. No shared resources. If email and web hosting are on the same server that means resources are shared. This can lead to resource straining especially if you’re using shared hosting and also sending bulk emails. Depending on your web host, using ‘too much’ resource can lead to account termination.

Reasons to use Web host as email provider

  1. Cheaper. The standard starting price for email hosting is $5 per month. So if you already have web hosting, then chances are you have free email. This is almost a given. So it is an attractive option to save some cash over the course of years.
  2. Convenience. It can be nice to have to only manage dealing with one company and one bill. Having web hosting email can reduce you.

Which one is right for you?

Overwhelmingly, email hosting outclasses web hosting and does so at a reasonable price. As good as this is, it will not be for everyone. If you are having trouble deciding, asking yourself a few questions.

  1. I am running a business, and reliable communication with customers affects my bottom line.
  2. I do not currently have a website nor am I or will ever be interested in one.

If any of these are true, then go with a regular email hosting provider.


1) Can You Set up One for Free?

No, there is no free way to create a custom email address.

The reason for this is that the domain name that is required and has to be purchased.

Namecheap front page domain name prices

More accurately, it has to be rented.

The closest to a free option, is if you have a web hosting or are planning to build a website/blog. Email hosting is normally a free addition with web hosting accounts. 

Bluehost is one of the more popular web hosting solutions. They offer web hosting for $2.65 per month when a 3 year package is purchased. This includes hosting and free email.

2) How Much Does a Custom Email Address Cost?

There are many companies that can provide you with a custom email address.

The prices range from $2.65* to $6.00 per month.

Bluehost special shared hosting discount popup

Check here for more details on the different ways you can get one and also which one is better for you.

3) Are Email Addresses Case Sensitive?

The short answer is, for the most part email addresses are not case sensitive.

This means when you’re sending an email, you dont have to worry if or will work.

They will both go to the same email address.

Long Answer:

Email addresses are made of two parts that we have control over.

Local Part

The part before the @ symbol, the local part, can be case sensitive depending in the provider, but this is generally not enforced for most email providers.

The standard mailbox naming convention is defined to be “local-part@domain”; contemporary usage permits a much broader set of applications than simple “user names”. Consequently, and due to a long history of problems when intermediate hosts have attempted to optimize transport by modifying them, the local-part MUST be interpreted and assigned semantics only by the host specified in the domain part of the address.” – RFC 5321 section 2.3.11

Domain Name

The part after the @ symbol, the domain name, is however universally case-insensitive.

Name servers and resolvers must compare labels in a case-insensitive manner. (i.e., A=a)” – RFC 1035 section 3.1


Even though the local part can be case sensitive, in practice, most providers do not enforce it. This means that if you create an email account with a typical email provider, they will:

  1. Make it so the email account created in lowercase.
  2. Change the case of email addresses to lowercase automatically when you are sending emails.

Email providers are however required to store email addresses as case sensitive.

The local-part of a mailbox MUST BE treated as case sensitive. Therefore, SMTP implementations MUST take care to preserve the case of mailbox local-parts.  In particular, for some hosts, the user “smith” is different from the user “Smith”.” – RFC 5321 section 2.4

Therefore, when creating an email, opt to use lowercase for better deliverability.

4) Are Email Addresses Case Sensitive in Gmail?

Email addresses are not case sensitive when using gmail. In fact, most email providers do not enforce it and for free email providers they do not allow similar names in different cases. eg and


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