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Wild Apricot and Email

Wild Apricot provides a LOT of great tools and options for associations and other organizations in building their web site, from membership management tools to contact management and content management. But Wild Apricot does not provide hosted email:

http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Email+setup+and+WildApricot

“Wild Apricot does not include email hosting services (neither mailboxes nor email aliases) – we do not want to reinvent the wheel. There are many great free or very cheap email hosting services you can use together with your Wild Apricot account.”

And that’s a very smart choice for them, but if you plan to use WildApricot for your website you will need to realize this and plan accordingly. For organizations that have their own mailserver and simply need an MX record to point there for the domain, this isn’t really different than having web hosting anywhere else. For newer or smaller organizations that do not have their own mailserver, they will need to determine where they want to pick up their email.

It’s strongly recommended that you use your domain for your email address even if you choose to pick up your email at a free provider such as Google/Gmail or Yahoo mail. This will allow you to extend the branding of the domain, and to move the location of where you pick up your email in the future without requiring an email address change.

This will also require that you have an MX record for your domain that points to a mailserver that allows for the creation of mailboxes or email address aliases (forwards). Many of the domain registrars have an add-on service that allows you to do just that for an annual fee, and if you have your domain’s DNS servers set up through the registrar’s DNS servers already this might be available to you already. Google Apps and Gmail can do so as well. Other providers exist – you just have to choose one that you find easiest to work with and the most cost-effective for your organization.  We do it all the time for our clients, you just need to find the right fit.

But do not expect Wild Apricot to provide the mailboxes and forwarding.  You’ll need to set that up separately.

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