28 Aug 2019

5 Amazing Free Stock Photo Sites in 2019 (Inc Pros & Cons)

I am completely baffled why websites still produce and use cheesy stock photos with no real meaning behind them. When you can get high quality free stock photos, why would you choose the cheap alternative. I’ve compiled a list of the most amazing free stock photo sites to prove to you that it’s entirely possible.

 

What Makes a Good Stock Photo

Before diving into the best stock photo sites, it’s worth knowing what makes a good stock photo. If you’re looking to print photos, you’ll need images with a resolution of at least 640 x 480 pixels. However, given it’s 2019, you’ll probably want higher (and most places offer this).

Photos should be well-focused and sharp. If you download a photo and zoom in and notice any noise, it’s probably not a decent image. As I’ve mentioned above, stock photo’s shouldn’t be cheesy and awkward. They’re meant to be used as representative images, and more often than not we don’t see this (even with premium websites).

Experienced photographers tend to have a good eye for detail. This is often represented in their work, capturing real-life without it looking cliche. Of course, it’s entirely up to you what you choose to use, but I don’t want to lead you down the wrong path.

 

1 | Unsplash

 

As featured above, it’s easy to see that Unsplash offer beautiful photos that are free to use. Their photos are actually donated by real and professional photographers. Although you may not find as many images on Unsplash as other sites, the quality makes up for this tenfold.

When you first visit Unsplash, the easiest way to search for a photo is by using their search tool. Simply enter in what you’re looking for and the results which show the most relevant images. If you don’t specifically know what you’re after, you can use their collections tool which categorises images by groups. If you sign up for an account you can create your own collections.

Unsplash has an iOS app which is really useful if you want to search for awesome stock photos on the go. What’s more, you don’t have to credit the photographer if you use any of their photos, but you can if you want to. I’d always recommend crediting the photographer as it’s a courteous thing to do.

High quality
Easy search tool
iOS app available

 

Visit Unsplash.com

 

2 | Pixabay

 

Pixabay has a wide selection of free images as well as vector graphics, illustrations, and videos. If you’re after landscape or nature photography, they have some very high quality photos available. I strongly recommend checking out their Editor’s Choice section for some inspiration.

When you’ve searched through their library and found an image you like, you can choose the resolution. Depending on the type of project you’re working on, you may need a high resolution. You’ll be asked to complete a Captcha then your file is ready to download. If you don’t want to keep completing Captchas, you can sign up to Pixabay with a free account.

Pixabay does contain some not safe for work (NSFW) images but you can avoid these quite easily. Simply check the Enable SafeSearch option before looking for content. This is a feature that I find quite interesting as I hadn’t really thought about this before discovering it on their site.

Large library of images
Illustrations and vector graphics
Quality not as good as others

 

Visit Pixabay.com

 

3 | Pikwizard

 

Pikwizard have thousands of stock photos available amongst multiple categories. After going through their images I can confirm the quality is very high, especially considering the content is free. Thankfully Pikwizard aren’t into cheesy poses as they present more natural photos. If it’s people you’re after, you’ll find plenty of choice on their site.

If you find an image you like but want to make some alterations, you can use the online photo editor. Many of the tools and features are premium so you’ll need to pay for them if you want to use them. However, none of them seem to cost more than a couple of quid.

My main gripe with Pikwizard is their licencing as they have two different licenses which are free and CCo. CCo means the copyright has been waived whereas free means the copyright is retained by the photographer. Free images can be used because the photographer has agreed for them to be used without payment. Similar to Unsplash, there’s no need to credit the photographer but it’s always nice to do so.

Plenty of natural poses
Online photo editor
Licensing applies to some photos

 

Visit Pikwizard.com

 

4 | Gratisography

 

Gratisography might not have as much content as other free stock photo sites, but they certainly offer something different. Professional photographer Ryan McGuire provides surreal photos with a certain sense of quirkiness. This site is a great choice if you’re looking for something unusual and are sick of the cliches.

New photos are added each week to ensure content remains consistent and fresh. If you want to be notified when new photos or updates are applied you can sign up to his newsletter or follow his twitter account.

When you download photos from Gratisography there’s no need to credit Ryan McGuire. Again, and I’ll keep saying this, it’s nice if you do and I’m sure he would appreciate it!

Unusual photos
Fresh content each week
Small selection

 

Visit Gratisography.com

 

5 | Negative Space

 

Negative Space invites anyone with a camera to contribute. It’s a great place for amateurs to get started and a place to show off photographer’s work. Supporting each other is at the forefront of what they do, allowing people to share their creativity and for it to be used in multiple places.

If you want to subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll get updates on when new content is added. New images seem to pop up fairly quickly, unlike Gratisography which is a bit slower because it’s a one man band. If you visit the site and don’t find what you’re looking for, it’s well worth revisiting as chances are new images will have appeared.

Negative Space is one of the few photography sites that’s actually based in the U.K. This gives people more opportunity to find British scenery including landscapes, cityscapes and more. The website is helpfully categorised, such as, abstract, travel, technology etc.

Invites amateur photographers to submit work
U.K. based
Copyright protection applies to some content

 

Visit Negativespace.co

 

Pros & Cons of Stock Photography

As with most things, there are pros and cons to using stock photography. Stock photography is available for anyone to use; some sites allow you to download images for free whereas others will charge a premium. We’ve had a look at 5 amazing free stock photo sites to get you started. Paul Suggett from The Balance Careers sums stock photography up quite nicely:

Stock photography is like clothing you buy off the rack at a popular department store. No matter how beautiful it looks, you won’t be the only person wearing that design.

Some websites like Negative Space invite photographers from any background to submit their work. This is a great option for those who want to share their work and those that want to support amateurs. Other sites like Gratisography are run by the photographers themselves and don’t request that you have to credit them. The majority of stock sites hire photographers to submit stock photography to be licensed. This is then sold on to anyone who buys them.

Perfect for mock-ups and presentations
Cheaper than a professional photo shoot
Available to download instantly
Wide range of resolutions
Ideal for those with a limited budget

Not original work
Likely to be used by multiple people and sites
Lacks brand identity
Can be cliche and awkward

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28 Aug 2019

7 Best Unlimited Cloud Storage Solutions

Rather than trying to predict the amount of storage you are going to need in the future, why not go for an unlimited cloud storage provider? That way there are no upper limit restrictions. You never know what you might need to back up in the future, and with so many massive files being created from videos to games, more space is always better. 

Although there are a few great unlimited file storage providers out there, as always – they differ on how they structure their business. Some offer a monthly or annual fee and others will charge you for how much space you use. 

There is a difference between a cloud backup provider and a cloud storage provider. I’ll quickly outline each type of storage below so that you have an idea of the difference. 

What is the difference between Backup, Storage and Sync?

With the increasing demand for cloud storage and the fact that they are becoming more affordable, the services are becoming more specialized. Often providers will offer a few of these services, however, it’s a great idea to get informed. Here are the three types of cloud storage that you should know about:

  1. Cloud Sync
  2. Cloud Backup
  3. Cloud Storage

What is Cloud Sync?

When you synchronize your device with a cloud storage provider, the files that you choose to sync are backed up on the cloud. We’d always advise having multiple copies of your files, especially ones of high value that you cannot replace. 

What is Cloud Backup?

Unlike Cloud Sync, cloud backup doesn’t require you to select the folder/s that you want to store. Cloud backup is normally automatic and it backs up your entire device. Think of cloud backup like the good old fashioned CD or DVD that you use to make a backup of your data.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage is a highly available data storage service. These services can be accessed by web developers via an API (application program interfaces).

Who is Cloud Storage For?

Cloud storage is a brilliant solution for anyone wanting to keep their data in a secure, accessible place. Great for both businesses and individuals alike, plus they are really easy to use (in most cases).

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of the top 7 UNLIMITED cloud file storage providers. For example – if they offer a FREE TRIAL, ease of use and price are all considerations. You’ll need to be uploading and downloading a lot with your cloud storage provider, so the speed of transfer is also something to check out. 

On the subject of file transfer – block-level transfer is a great feature, as it will allow you to only upload the parts of files that you have changed – saving time. These are our top six considerations when selecting the top unlimited file storage solution providers:

  1. User Experience
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Free Trial Offered
  4. Pricing 
  5. Speed of Transfer
  6. Block-level transfer

Ok, so let’s dive in and find out more about these “Unlimited” cloud storage providers so that you can pick the best one to fit your needs…

Here are our Top 7 Unlimited Cloud Storage Providers

#1 | Dropbox For Business (30-Day FREE Trial)

Dropbox is probably the most popular and widely known cloud storage provider out there. Founded in 2007, Dropbox has shot to the top of the cloud storage provider list. The negative publicity due to the breach in 2012 seems to have done them good. They have tightened up security and become the most popular out there. Not necessarily the “best” on all fronts, but they do offer a brilliant UNLIMITED option for businesses. 

Both their Advanced and Enterprise services offer completely UNLIMITED file storage on the cloud. The pricing is not too bad either – You can get the “Advanced Plan” for just $20 per month. Enterprise is one of those – “get in touch for more information deals”, designed for people who need to tailor their service, large businesses.  You can get a 30-day free trial of the Dropbox for Business service.

Both of the unlimited plans from Dropbox offer smart sync. They also offer block-level transfer for enhanced speed. The initial upload speeds are pretty decent when compared to some other cloud hosting providers. They also offer an easy to use the app.

Dropbox Business allows you to select the servers that you want to use. For example you can store your data in European servers or on a server in a country of your choice.

Click Here To Visit Dropbox

Pros
  • Smart Sync
  • Blok-level transfer
  • Decent transfer speeds
  • App provided
  • 256-bit AES encryption at rest
  • 128-bit in-transit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
Cons
  • No Zero-knowledge
  • Limited reporting features

#2 | Box (14-Day FREE Trial)

Box storage states that 70% of the fastest-growing fortune 500) businesses use their storage service. They offer a 14-day free trial and focus on providing cloud storage that is optimized for the business user. 

Box offers three levels of service that offer the Unlimited Cloud Storage – Business, Business Plus, and Enterprise. Like Dropbox, they don’t provide much info on the Enterprise edition, you need to contact them to discuss your requirements. You can add unlimited users onto your account, but know that you’ll need to pay for each user, and there is a minimum user count of 3. The Business plan from Box is $15 per additional user and the Business Plus is $25 per month for additional users. 

On the flip side, Box doesn’t have block-level file transfers, so you won’t see an increase in upload speed for file uploads. They also limit your file upload to 5GB, which is a bit restrictive. However, they offer a neat “Selective Sync” feature. You can then manage what files you want to sync which saves time and space. 

One great thing about Box is that you simply install their software and a sync folder will automatically be created. Saving files to this folder means that they will automatically be backed up on the cloud. Their mobile app and desktop client are both user friendly and the UX is clean and easy to use. Security is great with Box – they offer AES 256-bit encryption and in transit protection.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive desktop and mobile client
  • Good Security
  • 24/7 support
  • AES 256-bit encryption
Cons
  • No block-level sync
  • Files uploaded restricted to 5GB

#3 | OpenDrive (5GB FREE)

OpenDrive are one of the only providers that we’ve seen that Unlimited Storage on a personal plan. What’s more, you can add up to four users on the personal plan, which is just $9.95 per month. If you sign up to their annual service you get two months free. 

The Business Plan from OpenDrive is $29.95 per month and is white label – so you can add your business branding. They offer account manager to help you, should you need it. They also offer a reseller plan so that you can effectively make your File storage service and sell it which is just $59.95 – quite an attractive proposition! The only downside to this is that you get charged for every user that you add onto your reseller account. 

One downside to OpenDrive is that their upload and download speeds are quite slow. Their web and mobile clients are OK – nothing outstanding. OpenDrive is certainly not the easiest or initiative cloud storage web / mobile app out there. 

The security offered by OpenDrive is not too shabby – you get encrypted with AES-256 when the files are at rest and 128-bit AES while data is in transit. You can also select managed or private encryption for optimal control. However, they don’t offer two-factor authentication, which puts you at risk for a password breach.

Pros
  • Cost effective
  • Unlimited Personal Plan
  • Personal account manager
  • Reseller/ white label services
Cons
  • No two-factor authentication
  • Slow transfer speeds
  • Clumsy UX

#4 | LiveDrive (14-Day FREE Trial)

LiveDrive is a UK based cloud file storage provider. They offer Automatic Online Backup that is geared toward the individual/ personal user who wants to back-up their PC. They offer a 14 day unrestricted trial on the personal or business account. You can however, access your files from anywhere, which is great. They offer free apps for you to instantly access your files. As a backup service, they offer things like “Simple Restore” so that you can restore your PC to a previous version. 

They offer some good security features, for example, TLS encryption for files in transit and they are an ISO 27001 certified center. They do offer encryption via obfuscation; however, don’t disclose the actual encryption method. A good option if you want to back-up your files on UK soil. Also, they don’t restrict the size of the file that you upload or download.

There are two levels of Business service – Business Express that offers 2TB and 3 users, for $50 per month. Business Standard offers 10TB and 10+ users for $160 per month. The service is not really UNLIMITED despite them saying that it is, but you can add on additional space if an when required.

Pros
  • 14 day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Collaboration tools
  • Mobile apps
  • No file size limits.
Cons
  • Only UK based servers

#5 | AWS (5GB FREE)

AWS is Amazon’s cloud storage service. It can be scaled up to whatever you need to in effect you have access to unlimited storage space. You can store your data on AWS for cost $0.004 per gigabyte per month. They operate a Pay-as-you-go service model and they also offer volume discounts if you need to store a tonne of data on the AWS cloud. They have some handy calculators to figure out how much space you are using. You can use as much as you want, and that is why we have put it on the list, it is unlimited, however Pay-as-you-go.

With AWS you can get access to a Free Tier – that gives you 750 hours and 5GB of storage. You can then upgrade as and when you are ready. Amazon also has 60 other tools that you can access on the free tier.  Security wise AWS has TLS for in transit files and customer controlled encryption on their servers, additionally they offer AWS Multi-Factor Authentication.

Pros
  • Free tier
  • Pay only for what you use
Cons
  • Complicated setup

#6 | Rackspace Cloud Files (No FREE Option)

Rackspace Cloud Files is a large cloud infrastructure service (with have over 200 data centres, with locations all over the world) and for that reason they can easily store unlimited files. You do however need to download and integrate third party software like Storage Made Easy. So Rackspace Cloud Files don’t offer the full package – which could be complex for people who aren’t so tech savvy. 

Files can be uploaded via the Rackspace cloud manager which is easy to use and fast. They do however charge per  GB. Up to 1TB, it is $0.10 then the price goes down by one cent to $0.09 up to 49TB – you also need to pay for bandwidth. The good thing is you are only paying for what you use, but these types of payments can easily rack up (pardon the pun).

Security from Rackspace Cloud Files isn’t the best. They don’t encrypt the data at rest however they do protect data in transit with SSL. To access your files on the Rackspace cloud manager you’ll need an authorized API key, which  offers some security.

Pros
  • You can create your own cloud
  • Fast upload and download
  • Pay for what you use
Cons
  • Complicated to use
  • Not secure

#7 | Backblaze B2 (10GB FREE)

With Backblaze B2 you get 10GB for free – which is a great bonus. After you use this space up then you get a gigabyte for $0.005 per month. They also offer you 1GB download for free, but after this you’ll pay $0.004 per 10,000 downloads – certainly a pretty cheap option. They don’t have international servers like other hosting providers and store all of your files in their Californian servers. This can make transfer speeds slow and put you under the jurisdiction of US data laws. 

 Although Backblaze B2 is cheap, they don’t offer much in the way of security – no encryption or any real infrastructure.

Pros
  • Dirt Cheap
  • Scalable storage
Cons
  • Slow transfer speeds
  • Not an actual cloud storage provider

All in All

The best thing about ALL of the file storage solutions outlined above is the fact that they are all UNLIMITED. It all depends on what you need, if you are looking for a secure cloud storage provider, then don’t go for Backblaze or Rackspace as they don’t offer encryption or much in the way of security protocols. If you security is top on your list then:

Check out our article on Secure Cloud File Storage Providers

If you are looking for an unlimited cloud file storage provider that has a flat-fee then Dropbox or OpenDrive are great options. I hope that this list helps you find the best unlimited storage provider to suit your needs.

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28 Aug 2019

Setup Free Email Hosting Account in Minutes

When it comes to getting a FREE email address you need to consider what you’ll be using it for – Business or Personal email. If you are looking for a business email address, then you’ll want it to be professional to help your business image and make you stand out. 

Personal email addresses are easy to get, we’ll go into them. But many people are unaware that you can actually get professional email addresses for free in a few different ways. So in this article we’ll go into free business and free personal email addresses, how to set them up and the benefits of using each different option.

What is the Best FREE Business Email?

I personally love using cPanel on my server, then I can generate as many mailboxes and email addresses as I like. The only thing I am restricted on is the amount of space my emails take up. If you have unlimited cloud hosting then you can make email addresses until your heart is content. 

Be aware that some website hosts allow you to have unlimited email addresses while others restrict you on how many email addresses you can create. So check that out with your host (if you already have one). If you are choosing a new one, then you can check out how many email addresses you are allowed on each package. Generally speaking shared hosting will offer one or more email addresses for free, website builders will charge for email addresses and dedicated servers with cPanel will allow you to make as many emails as you like. 

I actually created a comprehensive guide to using cPanel that you can access here. It also has a whole section on creating email addresses included. It’s a lot simpler than you might think. 

If you don’t want to go down the cPanel and Webmail option – Webmail is the software you can use to access your emails free of charge with your hosting provider. Then let’s go over some other options. 

1. Zoho/ Webmail 

When you have your business email address created with your host or cPanel, then you need a way to read and reply to emails easily. For this you’ll need to install software. Webmail and Zoho are free options for you to use to read and send emails.

2. Bluehost, HostGator (or Other Hosting Providers)

Both of these hosts offer a free business email and software when you open your domain/ hosting account. This is a great place to start if you don’t want to have to mess around with things like cPanel or software. 

3. 100% FREE email providers

Email providers that are 100% free are great – but you’ll not get the professional domain name extension. What do I mean by that? Basically if you want name@yoursite.com, where you replace the “name” for your own name and “yoursite.com” for your business website address, then you can’t do that with a 100% free email providers. If you are happy with using the email providers domain name extension (for example @gmail.com or @yahoo.com) and just want a free email address for personal use then you can use Gmail or a similar provider.

Reasons to Choose a Professional Business Email Address 

For a start you can get your business email address up and running in minutes once you know how. So it is super easy to do. Secondly, using a custom domain name for your email address just looks so much more professional. 

A Custom Email Address is Free Advertising 

Thirdly, your domain name will be doing some advertising for you – when you send an email out, people might want to go over and check out everything that your business does. This is great for brand awareness.

People respond more favourably to a business email when they are buying goods and services. Plus they can go over and check you out by cutting and pasting your custom domain name.  Your professional email address does the work that a business card can do (especially if you put professional email footer at the end of your emails). 

Related: Get a FREE Domain Name

Generic FREE Email Addresses Can Hurt a Business

Using a free email address like yourname@gmail.com or yourname@yahoo.com is a NO-NO for business.  A business email builds trust as it has to come from someone at that company, while a generic FREE email address could come from anyone.  Here are 5 reasons to create a professional custom email address:

  1. To build trust
  2. Safety
  3. Professional persona
  4. Essential for B2B Businesses
  5. Build brand Awareness

How to Create a Custom Email Address

If you already have a business website, then you can get an email address (or several) to match it. I’ll go over several ways to approach this below.

Can You Get a Free Email Address With a Website Builder?

YES! Even website builders like Wix offer custom email addresses to match your domain name. The only thing is you’ll need to be on their premium plan to get a professional email address. Other hosts like 1&1 IONOS and Godaddy now have website builders that you can use to create your website in minutes, and some packages come with free email addresses. 

You can get a FREE email address and domain name with 1&1 IONOS when you buy their website hosting that starts at $1 per month.

How to Choose Your Domain Name

If you don’t already have your own domain name – you don’t need one to get a free personal email address – you just require a domain name for a business email address. Your domain name should represent your business. Normally the name of your business with a .com extension has been the standard practice. However you can now get domain extensions like .coach or .academy  that may fit your business better.

Check out our 21 Domain Name Generators

How to Choose a FREE Email Provider

When you are looking for a FREE email address, there are several things you should think about. Firstly, if you are using an email address from your host, then check that they can set everything up for you, like Bluehost and HostGator do. Unless you are confident that you can do this manually, for example – if you are a tech wizz kid. 

Checkout our Bluehost vs HostGator Review

In either case you want to choose an email service provider that has decent customer support. You don’t necessarily need this for a personal email address, but it is certainly a major consideration for your business email address. Your business email will be essential for your business to succeed in the online space. So it’s great to know that you can get support if and when it’s needed. 

Here are some other considerations when selecting your new FREE email provider:

1. Uptime Guarantee  

If you are thinking about using a basic generic free email address then the major providers like Yahoo and Gmail already have this in the bag. They just about never experience downtime. However, if you are using your own domain name, then you want to make sure that the host that you are using has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Consider the situation whereby your email hosting goes offline and you can’t receive emails. This means you could lose out on potential business. 

2. Spam Filters

Let’s face it – everybody hates spam. So make sure that your email provider offers decent spam filters. In our cPanal guide we discussed how to set up spam filters in your cPanel account. If you aren’t using cPanel then make sure that you provider has spam filters. Some providers like Gmail come with in-built spam filters. 

3. Security

You don’t want someone to access your email addresses, so make sure that the provider you use has security measures in place like malware detection and two-factor authentication.  Bear in mind that email providers like Gmail reserve the right to take a peek into your mail.

4. Ease of Use

There are two considerations here – how easy is it to compose, send and reply to emails? And how easy is it to set your email up? The setup with providers like Gmail and Yahoo is extremely simple. Some hosts will allow you to set up your professional custom email address in a few minutes. 

5. Storage Space / Archives

Most FREE email providers have a limit on the amount of data you can store in your mailbox. For instance the Gmail quota is 15GB. This gets filled up quickly if you have many images and videos in our email account. The emails that are stored in “archive” also take up space and should be deleted periodically. 

6. Advanced Features 

You can integrate your email with your CRM, for instance Hubspot or any other CRM. The reason I mentioned Hubspot is that they offer a FREE CRM tool to manage your customers. You can even use their calendar booking system on your website or via email and sync everything up. 

7. Customer Experience

It can pay to have a look at what other customers are saying about your new free email provider before signing up. That way you can establish any flaws without putting yourself out. To do this – type in your email provider name and reviews into Google to find out what people are saying. 

8. Additional Emails

How easy is it to add on new email accounts? If you are expanding your business you might want to add on new business users. Bear in mind that while some hosts and email providers will allow you to add unlimited people, this might come at an additional cost. 

Google for instance is a great FREE email provider; however when you start to add on custom domain names, the price can quickly mount up – even if you just have a few email addresses. 

Professional Email Formats

When setting up your business email address, consider your employees, including, if you plan on taking on employees in the future. Choose an email format that works for you. For example:

james@domainname.com

james.walker@ domainname.com

james.w@ domainname.com

james@ domainname.com

w.james@domainname.com

You get the gist – decide on a format and then use it for all of your employees. 

FREE Professional Email Account Setup – A Step-By-Step Guide

There are many ways to approach FREE business email setup. In this guide I’ll go through a few of the most straight forward options. If you already have a domain name you can use Zoho to set up your email address in minutes. 

If you don’t already have a domain name, you can get one and some cheap hosting – plus a fee email address from Bluehost, 1&1 IONOS  or HostGator. But first, let’s take a look at setting your account up on Zoho. 

Create Your Professional Email Address With Zoho

If you already own your domain name, you can set up your email address up with Zoho in minutes.  You might want to set up your email address up as a subdomain, if so discuss this with your system administrator or simply set up a subdomain in cPanel. If you want to go ahead and create a straight forward business email, then it’s easy with Zoho. 

Zoho also have CRM software, ad free email, accounting apps and some nice analytic tools. I’d say that this setup might not be great for complete beginners as you need to switch between your domain registrar/ host and Zoho. But if you’re cool with that, it’s fairly straight forward. Let’s get started setting up your professional account with Zoho.

Step 1 – Visit Zoho.com and create an account.

Step 2 – Select “Sign up with a Domain you already own.” 

Step 3 – Fill in your details and tap “Sign Up” 

Step 4 – Two-Factor Authentication code will be sent to your phone – fill this in on the site

Step 5 – Go to the Domain DNS Manager in Zoho. Choose your domain’s DNS host from dropdown

Step 6 – Login using your username and password domain registrar 

Step 7 – Go to “My Accounts” > “Domains” > “Manage DNS.”

Step 8 – Copy the Zoho code thath will begin with “zb*******” 

Step 9 – Paste code in “Host” field. Enter “zmverify.zoho.com” under “Points to” field in DNS records and hit “Save” to finish.

Step 10 – Verify your domain name by selecting “Proceed to CNAME Verification.” Then hit “Verify Now” 

Step 11 – Select “Create Account” 

Step 12 – Login to your domain name provider and go to the “DNS Manager”

Step 13 – Choose MX Record in DNS Manager (over on your domain host). In the “Host” field, enter “@” and in the “Points To” field, paste “mx.zoho.com.”

Step 14 – Select the “Priority” field and type “10” then hit “Save.

Step 15 – Add new MX Record by entering “@” in the “Host” field and pointing it to “mx2.zoho.com” set priority to “20” and then hit “Save.”

Step 16 – Add a 3rd  MX Record. Set the “Host” field to “@” and point it to “mx3.zoho.com” then set the priority to “50” and click “Save.”

Step 17 – Delete any other MX records as you only need the 3 I’ve outlined above.

Step 18 – A pop-up should appear that reads – “Configure Email Delivery” and should say that MX Records are pointed to Zoho servers. 

CONGRATUATIONS – Your email should now be configured. You should now be able to send and receive emails in Zoho.

If you get stuck at any point, then check your domain name hosts tutorials on managing DNS or email setup – because sometimes the MX records can be a bit different. Failing that give your host a quick call to make sure everything is set up correctly. 

Create Your Professional Email Address with Bluehost

If you have hosting with Bluehost, you get your email address free of charge. It’s really easy to set up, even for the complete novice. Here’s a quick guide:

Step 1 – Visit Bluehost.com and create an account or login (if you already have an account go to step 3).

Step 2 – Choose “Web Hosting” and select a plan and set it up

Step 3 – Log in to  Bluehost and go to your cPanel account and login.

Step 4 – Select “Email Accounts” under “Mail.” 

Step 5 – Enter in an email address and password. 

Step 6 – Tap “Create Account” 

As you can see, setting up email addresses this way is SUPER EASY. So you can go ahead and create a few if you require them. Remember to set the email quota if you are creating accounts for others. 

Bluehost also have some security settings that can help you manage spam. 

Create Your Professional Email Address with HostGator

If you have hosting with HostGator, you get your email address free of charge. It’s really easy to set up, even for the complete novice. Here’s a quick guide. 

Step 1 – Visit HostGator.com and select “Web Hosting.” (if you already have an account go to step 3).

Step 2 – After you have created your account check your email for ServerName

Step 3 – Paste this URL in your browser: https://ServerName:2083. Replace “ServerName” in the URL with the ServerName you received in your email.

Step 4 – Login to cPanel with your username and password to enter cPanel.

Step 5 – Select “Mail.” And then “Email Accounts.”

Step 6 – Enter your new email address name and strong password. 

Step 7 – Hit “Create Account.”

Sending and Receiving Emails

Zoho has their own software to send and receive emails, but hosts like Bluehost and HostGator use cPanel and then you install Webmail. Most hosting providers now use cPanel so you should be able to create your email account by accessing cPanel. If you are using cPanel then Webmail is the usual suspect for sending and receiving. 

If you have successfully created your email address, you’ll want to test it. You can normally access your webmail by going to yoursite.com/webmail (where yoursite.com is replaced for your own domain name).  You then put in your email and password (that you set up above). 

You can normally access your emails a number of ways. Another way is to login to your cPanel and then go to the mail section and selecting “view inbox”. 

What are the Best Free Personal Email Hosting Providers?

Do you want to get a quick and easy personal email address? Here are some of the best FREE email address providers:

#1 | Yahoo Mail

Yahoo mail is a brilliant solution if you want a tonne of storage space for FREE. Their email storage limit is a massive 1TB for all users. Founded over two decades ago, in 1997, and Yahoo continues to thrive. They currently have 225 million active users. They have some great features like spam filters, SSL encryption and search tools.

When you create your Yahoo account you’ll automatically have a login for Flickr and Tumblr as they are part of the same company. Yahoo is the best option for a free personal email address, as they give you so much space, features and security – all totally free.

#2 | Gmail

Gmail can be used for both personal and business email addresses. It is really user friendly and simple to set up – for that reason Gmail is a very popular email solution.  Gmail is intuitive and has some great folder structuring that allows you to organise your mail and also filter out spam and promotions. You get 15GB storage space for free when you sign up to Gmail. 

I personally love the Gmail user interface and would have put it top of my list if Yahoo didn’t offer such a jaw dropping storage quota for free.

Business Gmail – You’ll need to buy your domain name from a domain name registrar, and also buy G-Suite. 

Personal Gmail – Simply fill in your details and you’ll be up and running in minutes.

#3 | Outlook.com

It’s really quick and easy to set up an @outlook.com email address. Go to Outlook.com and follow the steps and you’ll be up and running in minutes. Outlook is a feature rich email solution that comes bundled with Microsoft Office 365. You can also set up a free account directly from their site. 

Outlook is a great solution for businesses as you can download the software to your computer and manage your emails there. It is really easy to use, even though it does look a little bit dated now. They automatically sort high-priority and low-priority mail with their “Clutter” feature, which is great for people who get a high volume of emails. You can also manage all of your emails into folders. 

#4 | iCloud Mail

If you use any Apple device you’ll need to set up an Apple ID. People say that you’ll already have an iCloud account with your Apple ID. However, this is not strictly true, because you can use your own business or personal email address with another provider as your Apple ID.  This will get you into iCloud, but not get you a free email address. 

If you have an Apple Iphone then iCloud is a great choice as you can check your email easily from your device. iCloud has a built in spam filter and also uses two-factor authentication, which is great to avoid the possibility of anyone logging into your email. 

iCloud is specifically designed for people who own an iPhone, iPad, iWatch or iPod touch. However you can also set it up on your Windows PC (provided you own an Apple device). If you are using a Windows PC then you’ll need to follow these steps:

Step 1 – Visit iCloud and download iCloud for Windows

Step 2 – Use your Apple ID from one of your Apple devices to login. 

Step 3 – You’ll then be asked to select the services you want. For example if you want to turn on iCloud Drive to store files on the cloud.

#5 | GMX Mail

GMX is another email provider that is great on storage space as they offer a UNLIMITED storage. Surprisingly, this lesser known mail service has been around just as long as Yahoo – since 1997. They offer an intuitive mobile app that you can use on both iPhone and Android. 

Like Yahoo and Google, GMX mail offers a lot of other features that you might like. For example they have virus protection and a spam filter. You can also use their version of the Google Calendar called “GMX Organizer.”

#6 | Yandex Mail

Yandex is part of a massive co-corporation based in Russia. They offer all sorts of digital products like mobile apps, a search engine and eCommerce. Their mail solution “Yandex Mail” has some cute e-card and template features to make your email stand out. They offer just 10GB of storage. Additionally they have some great features to optimize your inbox – for example mail sorting, highlighting emails that come from real people and virus/ spam protection.

All in All

There you go – a tonne of options to get your free email up and running in minutes. Businesses need to have a professional email address, whereas if you are just looking for a personal address, you can use one of the 6 totally free and easy accounts I’ve mentioned above. Looking for a free business address? Check if your host offers a free email address for your business and get started with cPanel.

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