Setting Up Email: Of MX Records and Forwards

Ten years ago, when we developed a web site, we usually were also responsible for the creation of mailboxes that connected to the domain. We would have to provide SMTP and POP server information and provide management rules for spamfilters, acceptable attachment sizes, etc.

Today we still do some of that, but that is now the minority of domain clients. Most email setups for a domain these days fall within two categories that do NOT require specific mailboxes:

1 – the domain has a MX record, essentially sending all email with that domain to another server that the client controls for purposes of creating, deleting, and managing mailboxes; or

2 – the customer has an email provider that they prefer to use for a limited number of email addresses and we simply set up a forward for any specific email address to their email address on that provider. Think Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

This is a good thing for both the client and the web developer.

Email has become so ubiquitous, with so many devices accessing it, and the turnover of those devices and the technology of those devices rapidly changing, that the responsibility for providing training on access needs to be with provider of the email access point. Generally you see larger organizations still provide a mailserver for their organizational mailboxes, and smaller organizations use services such as Gmail.  But it’s changing for larger organizations as more seek out a “cloud” option IF their email users regularly access their email outside the confines of the network.