Gandi.net Can Host Your IMAP Email

I figured I would throw this tip out to spare anyone the trouble of setting up their own mail server for their domain. Gandi.net offers IMAP email to anyone who registers a domain with them. This is potentially very cool as it makes going it alone on a barebones CloudVPS (like Linode or DigitalOcean) much more practical as you can avoid the headache of setting up and administering Postfix / Dovecot email system. It could also be a boon for domainers who don’t want to setup a cPanel account for a site just to get email for it.

Benefits of Registering with Gandi

Gandi is a bit more expensive than other domain registrars but they give you quite a bit:

  • You get free blog hosting for your site. Dotclear 2 is the platform they use for their blogs and you can see sample blog themes here. You can also host 3 simple ‘presentation’ style html pages.
  • Free privacy on your domain.
  • Free SSL certificate the first year on new registrations and transfers.
  • Gandi also has an excellent tagging system for managing domains:
    Gandi tags

Gandi.net is a featured email service provider of the popular email client Thunderbird (I don’t recommend Hover):
gandi is an email provider

Gandi is a French company that also has servers in the US. Gandi’s email benefits include:

  • 1GB space with 5 accounts, 1,000 forwarding addresses and unlimited aliases that forward under your own domain.
  • Webmail, SMTP, POP, IMAP are all SSL enabled.
  • A clean & fast webmail interface using Roundcube.
  • Gandi hides the original sending IP.
  • Good antispam protection.

Instructions for setting up MX records on your Gandi domain are here.

Domainer’s Strategy for Managing Emails Across Multiple Domains

Let’s say you have 100 domains. 5 of these are developed sites that you want to have email on.

  • Register these 5 domains at Gandi and setup your email there.
  • Forward the rest of your 95 domains to one of these 5 email addresses so you can field sales queries.

Gandi.net Won’t Work for Me

Not everyone is going to move their domain registrar to Gandi just to get IMAP email. I can think of a few objections off the top of my head:

  • They’re too expensive. For example, .com registrations are 50% more expensive compared to mainstream registrars.
  • You don’t want to move your domains over to Gandi for whatever reason.
  • You have many email domains you want to administer. If you have 50+ domains and need to manage email for each and every one of them, then you might try a Fastmail email strategy for managing many domains from one inbox. Note that you can control up to 50 domains for every ‘personal enhanced’ mailbox you register with Fastmail (about $40/year).

Another Simple Hosted Email Option

Sonic.net offers simple DNS hosting for $2/month. You’ll be able to setup 50 @sonic.net email addresses and associate each email with a different domain if you want (you@yourdomain.com could be associated with you@sonic.net). They offer IMAP, webmail login and SpamAssasin filtering.

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