Setting up your email in Gmail

gmail

This guide will show you how to configure Gmail to automatically retrieve email that is sent to an email account hosted on a server using Plesk control panel. It will also show you how to configure Gmail to send email through your hosting server.

If you haven’t already created the email account in Plesk, do that first and report back here when you’re done. Here’s how! 

It’s strongly recommended that you ensure you can successfully log in to Websavers webmail prior to beginning this process. By confirming that our webmail works, you’re confirming that you have the correct email address and password combination and that email is generally working.

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Here’s what you’ll need

  • Your email address and password (click the link above to create the account in Plesk if you don’t have these yet)
  • Your server (host)name. You can find this in your Websavers account by logging in to our Client Centre, then choosing “Manage” beside your hosting plan. It will look something like: nutmeg.websavers.ca, though the spice/herb will likely be different for your account.

Step 1: Login and go to Account & Import Settings

1-settings

Get started by logging in to your Gmail account. Once you’re logged in, look for the cog/wheel icon in the upper right corner (see screenshot to the left).

Click the icon then choose Settings (4th option from the bottom).

2-accounts-and-import

When the settings pane opens, select the fourth tab called “Accounts and Import”

Scan the options on this page until you see “Check mail from other accounts (using POP3)” then click the link to the right that says “Add a POP3 mail account that you own”.

Step 2: Provide your hosted mail account details

In the pop-up window, provide your Websavers hosted email address, then click Next Step.

4-add-mail-account-2This is where things get a bit more detailed:

  • For your Username be sure to enter your full email address
  • Supply your password, then enter your server hostname for the POP Server. See above under the “Here’s what you’ll need” section to learn how to obtain this information.
  • Ensure it shows the Port drop down set to 995.
  • Check the box that says “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail”
  • Ensure the option called “Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server” is not checked to ensure your mailbox on the Websavers server does not become full and start bouncing messages.
  • I like to label incoming messages so I know they’re from my hosted email and not just regular Gmail messages, but that’s entirely up to you!
  • Archiving incoming messages is not normally preferred.

Press the Add Account button.

It’s possible you will recieve an error at this point. Make absolutely sure that you’re filling out the details exactly as described above. If you can confirm all is as described, then the error should only be indicating that our server is rate limiting the Gmail connection. It is OK to proceed even with this error.

Step 3: Configure Gmail to send mail using your Websavers email account

The setup steps will now ask if you wish to use Gmail to send email or use your hosting provider’s server.

Although you can use Gmail to send email, you will need to configure your DNS SPF record to allow Gmail to send email on behalf of your domain by following step 2 of this KB article, otherwise some of your outgoing emails will bounce. This is a somewhat complex procedure, so the simpler solution is to send email using your hosting account instead. Here’s how:

5-send-mail-through-gmailChoose the option that says “Yes I want to be able to send mail as {your email address}” and click the Next Step button.

On the next page, enter your name and press Next Step once again (the other settings can be left at their defaults).

  • 7-send-mail-gmail-smtp-configurationChoose the option to “send through yourdomain.com SMTP servers”
  • Enter your server hostname (the same as you entered above for the POP configuration) as your SMTP server. Leave the port at the default of 587. If it is not already 587, change it.
  • Be sure to provide your full email address as the username and enter your email password again.
  • Leave the default “Secure connection using TLS” selected.

Step 4: Confirm your configuration

8-confirm-in-gmailGoogle will now ask you to confirm your settings.

To be clear, Google is asking you to confirm the second half of this guide — outgoing email. To do this, it sends the confirmation email to your hosted account, but since Gmail is now retrieving that email (as part of the previous step), as long as you set things up according to this guide, you can simply close the window, go back to your inbox and look for the confirmation email. It might take up to 15 minutes to show up. If you don’t spot it within Gmail, log in to webmail; you should find it there.

Once you have found the confirmation email in your Gmail inbox, click the link to confirm that you have access to the account.

Congratulations! You can now receive and send email to / from your Gmail account using your hosted email.

Troubleshooting

It is not possible to test that the POP import is working by sending a message from within Gmail to your Websavers hosted account. Gmail sees that the message is already in your Sent mailbox and, when connecting to the Websavers server, it discards the message as a duplicate. Therefore you must only test that Gmail POP connectivity is working by sending a message to the account from a non-related email address.

It’s important to note that you may not see messages immediately in your Gmail inbox for a few reasons:

  1. It can take up to 24 hours for Gmail to retrieve all messages from the account, particularly when there were a lot of messages in the inbox already. Please wait 24 hours before opening a support ticket with us.
  2. Gmail will place all messages in your inbox according to the date and time they were sent. This means that you won’t see them at the top of the inbox, but rather intermixed with existing emails. It also means that if the last message received in your Websavers hosted email arrived three days ago, you’ll need to look to the point in your Inbox that shows messages from three days ago.
  3. If you enabled the option called “Archive incoming messages (skip the inbox)” then the messages will not appear in your Inbox. You must look under “All Mail” to see them.

If, during setup, you left the option enabled to “Label incoming messages” as is recommended, then the easiest way to confirm that you are receiving messages in Gmail is to look in the left sidebar for that label (it’s probably named the same as your Websavers hosted email address) and click on it. Gmail should then show you only the messages from that account, and none of the emails sent to your Gmail address.

After 24 hours has passed (to ensure Gmail has had time to pull in all messages) send a test message to your Websavers hosted email address. You should find the message within your Gmail account within 1 hour.

Note: After the initial import of emails from your Websavers hosted account, Gmail servers are configured to only retrieve messages on an hourly basis. To our knowledge there is no way to change this, it is a shortcoming of using Gmail for all mail services. To avoid this delay in receiving emails, it is recommended to use Websavers Webmail or set up your email account directly in the mail application of your choice.

Jordan is a computer, security, and network systems expert and a lover of all things web and tech. Jordan consults with project management for software companies. Jordan is a founder and managing partner at Websavers Inc.