What Is an Email Domain Name?

Most businesses use custom email domains for their communication with potential and existing customers. A professional email is more memorable and brandable than a free email domain name. Check out how to set it up and the cons of doing it.

Email Domain Name Definition

An email domain is a part of the email address that comes after the @ symbol. For example, if you use [email protected], the whole thing is your email address, and its domain is gmail.com.

Unlike domain names that need to be unique, email domains are not. They refer to a specific server (or servers) where your inbox is located.

Think of it this way: the email domain is the street you live in, and the username (the unique part before the @ symbol) is your apartment number.

How to Set Up a Custom Email Domain

Having a custom email domain establishes a professional impression for your business, instilling confidence in your customers that their messages will reach the intended recipient promptly. It’s simple:, [email protected] sounds more professional and trustworthy than [email protected].

For a custom email, you need to register a domain name. Although you don’t have to build a website on the domain, you need to obtain usage rights and make sure nobody else is using it. Learn how to buy a domain name with ease from our video guide:

Most hosting providers offer custom email domains as a regular feature in their pricing plans. Make sure your provider of choice does as well. Note that you need a hosting provider for this. If, for example, you choose to get a free domain name via a website builder, you need to pay for a hosting service separately.


Choosing a domain name (for your website and email) can be tricky. You need to pick a name that will represent your brand and be catchy, memorable, and easy to spell. Use our AI-powered domain name generator for free to get 1,000+ name ideas instantly.

Once you have a domain name and a paid hosting plan, it’s time to create your custom addresses. The steps differ slightly depending on the provider, but the process is essentially the same. We’ll now show you how to do it via Cloudflare:

Step 1: Visit the Cloudflare dashboard and log in to your account,

Step 2: Go to the Email section and click on Email Routing,

Step 3: Click Get started,

Step 4: Enter your preferred username in the Custom address field (e.g., if your domain name is xy.com, your address will be [email protected]),

Step 5: Add your current email address to the Destination field to forward emails to it,

Step 6: Click Create and continue.

Screenshot of Cloudflare's dashboard showing how to set up a custom email domain

Cloudflare will send a verification email to the address you provided, and from then on, you can use your new email address. If you want to create new ones, you just repeat the process.

Check if your domain name is available below:

How to Get an Email Address

There are plenty of email service providers out there for which you don’t have to own a domain name. You can get a free email address via a provider like Google (gmail.com). The process to get an email address for free is straightforward, and all you need to do is create an account.

Most free email providers also offer premium accounts with additional features. For example, Mail.com provides the following services to premium users:

  • Email forwarding,
  • Mailbox personalization,
  • Delay sending,
  • Telephone support,
  • Ad-free inbox,
  • Read receipt,
  • Message recall,
  • Access POP3 / IMAP.

Popular Email Domain Providers

The most popular email domain providers are as follows:

Email Service ProviderNumber of Users
Gmail1.5 billion
iCloud mail850 million
Outlook400 million
Yahoo! mail230 million
ProtonMail50 million
Zoho15 million
GMX11 million
AOL1.5 million

Other notable mentions include Neo, Mail.com, Constant Contact, Yandex mail, and HubSpot.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Professional Email Domain

Most businesses use professional email domains for correspondence with their customers. However, there are some drawbacks to setting up a custom email domain, and you need to weigh your options to see if that’s something you want to do.

The truth is, if someone’s determined to buy your product, they won’t get discouraged by your Gmail address. But, with a custom domain, you can establish brand recognition, and they will perceive you as a more reputable company.

Check out the table below to learn about the pros and cons of professional email domains:

A more professional imageCostlier
Branding purposesRequires basic technical knowledge
Creating unique addressesThe preferred domain name might not be available
Personalizing correspondence with customersPoor setup can alert spam filters
Full control over settings and securityA transitional period of informing established contacts of a new address
Increased privacy
Increased email open rates

While cons do exist, advantages outweigh them in most cases. If that’s not something you want to get into in the early stages of your business, it’s definitely worth coming back to it later on.

Takeaway Points

Having a custom email domain leaves a professional impression and helps you establish your brand value on the internet. If you already have a domain name, there’s no reason why you should avoid creating unique email addresses that will help you with customer communication.

Setting up a custom email domain is not a troublesome process. All you need to do is visit your hosting provider’s dashboard and follow the on-screen instructions. However, if you want to do it, you’ll need a domain name. Use our domain name generator to come up with the best domain for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

An email domain is the part of the email address that comes after the @ symbol. It’s the common part of the address, whereas the username needs to be unique. Popular examples of email domains are gmail.com, yahoo.com, and outlook.com.

You can use free (and paid) email services to set up your email address. In that case, you don’t need a custom domain name. If you want to set up a professional address with your business name after the @ symbol, you need to register a domain name for it.

Firstly, you need to register a domain name and get a web hosting provider, such as Dreamhost or HostGator. You can visit their dashboards (or cPanel) to create custom email addresses with your domain.

A domain name represents the name of your website address. For example, when you visit Google’s website, you type in its domain name – google.com. An email address is a virtual mailbox used for sending and receiving messages. It consists of a username and a domain name.

If you want to create a custom email address for your business, you first need to register a domain name. If this was not the case, somebody could register the domain name you’re using for your email address and falsely represent your company. It also stops people from creating a custom email using an already registered domain name.


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