UK WebnamesDomain name registration, email & web site hosting

Email forwarding is a free service we offer that allows you to start receiving emails addressed to your domain (for example emails to "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk"). The key points are:

  • You need a working email address for us to forward emails to
  • There is no setup required on your part
  • Forwarding does not in itself delay mail delivery

Please use this form to request email forwarding. You just tell us the email addresses you need (e.g. "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk", "fred@our-domain.co.uk" ) and the address to forward the emails to (e.g. "my.email.account@gmail.com"). Once we have you're instructions, we configure your domain, and then it takes between six and twenty four hours for the service to start working

Why you might need email hosting instead of our free email forwarding service

From the point of view of receiving emails addressed to your domain, our email hosting service offers a number of additional features to the free email forwarding service. For example, you can have multiple password protected accounts for different individuals or departments, access your email via POP or IMAP, there is a powerful server-side spam filter and anti-virus filter and so forth. Check out the information on our email hosting service for full details and an explanation of these terms.

But the main difference is that our email hosting service allows you to send as well as receive emails with your own domain name.

What's the issue with sending email with your own domain name?

In the past, when the Internet was a more trusting, simple place, it was easy: If you had some email software (such as Microsoft Outlook Express), then you could enter the "setup" options and simply put in the email address that you wished to use as your "identity". So that could be an address with your domain name, such as "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk". That way, if you sent an email to me, the following three desirable things would happen:

  1. Your email would appear to me as being from "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk"
  2. If I chose to reply to your email, my email software would automatically address the email to "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk"
  3. My email software would add "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk" to my address book

However, nowadays, this simple method is not likely to work for you. Why so? Well, for the most part, folks use software running on their computer to compose and send emails e.g. Microsoft Outlook Express (or the more recent Windows Live Mail), Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and so on. All of these depend on the Internet connection and mail servers provided to you by your broadband provider (your "ISP") in order to work. And nowadays, most broadband providers will routinely block you from sending email through their mail servers unless you use an email address that they have provided to you themselves.

If you're cynical, you might suppose that ISPs do that as a way to try to "lock you in" to their service. After all, if they oblige you to use the email address that they have given you (not one that uses your own domain name), then, if you ever think about changing broadband provider, you will have to face up to the fact that in losing that email address - all your friends, family and business contacts will lose it too!

But actually they also have a good reason for this policy: It prevents bad-guy spammers (or computers infected by "trojans" from abusing their email service by sending emails out with fake email addresses.

What about webmail?

What if you use a "webmail" service such as Hotmail or Yahoo? Unfortunately this is no better: Almost every free, popular webmail service does not allow you to use your own domain name to send email. The one exception we know about is Google's Gmail!

Google's Gmail service works - but there's a catch

Gmail is free, and it's excellent because it comes with virtually unlimited storage. Not only that, but unlike Hotmail and Yahoo, you can use your own domain name! On the one hand you can use our free email forwarding service to receive emails into your Gmail account. And on the other hand you can select "settings" and then "send email from another address" and put in, say, "enquiries@your-domain.co.uk" as your sending address. If you wish you can make that your "default" address when composing email. Very, very good. Well done Google!

But there's a catch. When someone receives an email from you, their email software may display a message like this to them:

"From username@gmail.com on behalf of enquiries@your-domain.co.uk"

This is not displayed by all email software, only certain types such as Microsoft Outlook Express.

If your emails are for friends and family, this issue may not be that important to you. But if you use email for business you will most likely be unhappy with this!

The good news is that you can get rid of this message, and still stick with Gmail if you like, provided you have an email hosting service - in other words you need to have your own email servers for your domain name.

Doing it the right way

Ultimately there is only one proper way to handle email with your own domain name: You need your own server for incoming mail (called a "POP" or "IMAP" server), and you need your own server for outgoing email ("SMTP"). And that's what you get with our email hosting service (and our web hosting service too).

With your own SMTP mail server you are able to send emails completely independently of your broadband provider using any type of email software (Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail, whatever). Because you no longer need to make use of your ISP's mail servers to send mail, the problems that we describe above do not come into play. You can even configure Gmail to use your own outgoing (SMTP) mail server instead of the Google one - which means that although you still use Gmail to read and compose emails, none of your recipients will see the dreaded message "From username@gmail.com on behalf of enquiries@your-domain.co.uk"!

This means that if you one day change ISP, or if you are traveling with your laptop and getting your internet connection from a different source, your ability to send & receive emails will not be affected.

Summing up

  1. If you only need to receive emails with your domain name, then email forwarding is fine
  2. If you combine Gmail with our forwarding service, you can both send and receive emails with your domain, but you must expect that some recipients of your email will see a message such as "From username@gmail.com on behalf of enquiries@your-domain.co.uk".
  3. For serious business users, there is only one way to go: You need proper, commercial-grade email hosting. We offer this with both our email-only hosting service and our full web hosting service.

Please use this form to request email forwarding.