Knowledgebase: Email

How Do I Set Up My Domain Email With An External/3rd Party?

 

In order to better focus on our eCommerce site hosting services, Shift4Shop no longer offers email hosting on its plans. The following guide will outline the steps needed to get an external email provider set up on your Shift4Shop store.

The basic process is as follows:

*Note
You can sign up for your external mail service whenever you'd like. However, if your domain is in the process of being registered (either by yourself or through Shift4Shop), you should wait until the registration is confirmed and completed before you begin setting domain preferences on your email service. The domain will also need to be registered in order to make DNS and MX record changes.


Set Up Your External Email Host

This part of the process is entirely up to the email hosting service you decide to use.

There are many email service providers to choose from with varying costs and features. Most services offer email hosting priced at a "per user" basis, while others offer free email for small businesses. A broad Internet search for "Domain Email Providers" should give you plenty of options to choose from. Click here for some popular ones that offer free email for businesses.

Apart from pricing and features, you'll also want to make sure the email hosting service you choose will allow you to use your own domain for your email addresses. In other words, you want the emails to reflect @yourdomain instead of @email-service.


Verify Your Domain With The External Mail Service

When setting up your external email service to use your domain, your email service provider may require you to verify the domain as being yours. There are two common methods used for this type of verification:

  • A TXT record added to your domain's DNS.
  • A meta tag added to your domain's site

Verification Using A TXT Record

If your domain's DNS is pointed to Shift4Shop, the following steps can be used to add the verification TXT record form your email provider:

Important
The following will only apply if your domain is pointed to Shift4Shop's DNS servers. If your domain's DNS is being managed separately (for example, with your registrar), you will need to add the TXT record there instead.

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Settings >General >Store Settings
  3. Once there, click on the "Manage Domain & Store Url" button
  4. Under Primary Domain, look for your "Store URL" and click on the "Manage DNS" link listed for it.

Note
Make sure your store URL reflects your domain name and not the temporary *.s4shops.com or *.3dcartstores.com URL.

  1. In the Shift4Shop DNS Manager page, click on the "Add New Record" button at the top right.
  2. Select the record type as TXT
  3. Leave TTL at its default 3600 setting
  4. Enter a record name provided by your email provider
    (Note if no record name was provided by them, you can just write your domain name.)
  5. Enter the TXT provided for you in the "Text Data" box.
  6. Click "Save"

The next step is to clear the store's cache.

  1. Go once again to Settings >General >Store Settings
  2. This time, click on the "General" tab found along the top.
  3. Look under the "Performance" section and click on the "Clear Cache" button

The TXT record is added and you can now check with your email service provider to complete the verification process with them.

Verification using a META tag

If your email service provider is using a meta tag to verify your domain ownership, the following steps will allow you to add the meta-tag to your site.

Note

Unlike the verification TXT method, these steps does not require your domain's DNS to be with Shift4Shop. However, you should have the domain pointed to your Shift4Shop store (either through A Record or CNAME) from wherever the domain's DNS is being handled. (i.e. your registrar or previous hosting service)
  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Marketing >SEO Tools
  3. Once there, click on the "Google Tools" tab found along the top.
  4. Look for the "Google Webmaster Tools Verification Meta Tag" section and enter the verification meta tag in this field.

Tip
This field is intended specifically for Google Search Console verification, but it can also work for any other situation where a verification meta tag is needed.

  1. Click "Save" at the top right.

The next step is to clear the store's cache.

  1. Go to Settings >General >Store Settings
  2. Once there, click on the "General" tab found along the top.
  3. Look under the "Performance" section and click on the "Clear Cache" button

The verification meta-tag is added and you can now check with your email service provider to complete the verification process with them.


Update Your Domain's MX Records

The final step is to add the email provider's Mail Exchanger (MX) records to your domain's DNS. These records will basically "tell" the Internet that the domain's mail service will be handled by your external email provider.

Before beginning this process, go to your external email hosting service and copy the following.

  • MX records
    These will usually be 2 or more mail server names along with a numerical value known as the server's "preference"
    For example:
    • 10 mail.externalservice.com
    • 20 mail2.externalservice.com
  • SPF records
    If your external mail service provides SPF records, you'll want to copy this as well.
    Typically an SPF record will look like the following:
    • v=spf1 include:spf.providername.com ~all

Once you have these records on hand and copied, you may proceed with the following steps to add them to your store.

Important
The following will only apply if your domain is pointed to Shift4Shop's DNS servers. If your domain's DNS is being managed separately (for example, with your registrar), you will need to add the MX records there instead.

  1. Log into your Shift4Shop Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Settings >General >Store Settings
  3. Once there, click on the "Manage Domain & Store Url" button
  4. Under Primary Domain, look for your "Store URL" and click on the "Manage DNS" link listed for it.

Note
Make sure your store URL reflects your domain name and not the temporary *.s4shops.com or *.3dcartstores.com URL.

  1. In the Shift4Shop DNS Manager page, click on the "Add New Record" button at the top right.
  2. Select the record type as MX
  3. Leave TTL at its default 3600 setting
  4. Enter your domain as the record name
  5. Enter the mail server name provided for you in the "Mail Server Host" field
  6. Enter the Preference number for the host
  7. Click "Save"
  8. Repeat for all other MX records given to you and used by your external email service

Adding the SPF record

While you're in this section of the Shift4Shop Online Store Manager, you can also add the SPF record for your email service.

  1. In the Shift4Shop DNS Manager page, click on the "Add New Record" button at the top right.
  2. Select the record type as TXT
  3. Leave TTL at its default 3600 setting
  4. Enter your domain as the record name
  5. Enter the SPF record provided for you in the "Text Data" field
  6. Click "Save"

The next step it to clear the store's cache.

  1. Go once again to Settings >General >Store Settings
  2. This time, click on the "General" tab found along the top.
  3. Look under the "Performance" section and click on the "Clear Cache" button

That's it! You're all set up to use the external email service for your Shift4Shop store's email.


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