We wanted to set up mailboxes with our website domain, but Wix is quite pricey coming to this feature – $6 per month per mailbox. It probably worth the price since they are using Google’s powerful mail solution – G Suite (Which costs $8.4 from Google). However, indie companies like us may not want to spend $40+ a month so everyone in the expanding team can use their own mailboxes. Here’s the go-through on how we setup frees external mailboxes in Wix, and fixing the problem that all mails were marked as spams.
Setup the mailboxes in Wix
First, you will need a web hosting server. I already have one for hosting our SweatyChair.com and RichardFu.net so I can simply use that. If you don’t have one, there’s a few you can try, or just pay a few dollars a month so you can host multiple websites and unlimited mailboxes. 🙃
You may already know how to add DNS records in Wix, when you port your domain there. Now we just need to add few more records that point to the hosting server:
mail.yourdomain.com → server IP
(Optional) webmail.yourdomain.com → server IP
The webmail record lets you access the mailboxes through a webpage, without the need for mailing software. It is a very handy and great feature provided by cPanel, so you can access your mail anywhere. (Off topic) You may also see that we have few records pointing to the hosting server too, this benefits us for having sub-websites or download folders outside the main website in Wix.
CNAME records (Optional):
imap.yourdomain.com → mail.yourdomain.com
pop.yourdomain.com → mail.yourdomain.com
smtp.yourdomain.com → mail.yourdomain.com
The CNAME records are also optional, just pointing the different mail protocols to one, mail.yourdomain.com, which is auto-detectable by most mailing software.
yourdomain.com → mail.yourdomain.com
Last and most importantly, the MX records, which is simply pointing to mail.yourdomain.com.
Setup the mailboxes in hosting server
After we have done with Wix, we can continue with the hosting server. Most modern hosting servers provide cPanel console, and we will show how we do in cPanel.
First, click “Create A New Domain” in Domains page. Although we don’t use this domain for the main website here, it will automatically manage all subdomains of your domain, including mail.yourdomain.com of course.
That’s it! cPanel will do all the tedious setup for you. You can now create unlimited mailboxes on the cPanel Email Account page. Of course, the only limitation will only be the server disk space.
Avoid mails being spammed
We were able to happily send and receive emails until people constantly complained about not seeing our emails and found them in the junk boxes. After a further investigation, we’ve found that the mails we sent were not authorized because the website server (or more correctly, the name server) is different from the server that sent the mails.
To authorize the mailing server, SPF and DKIM authentication will be needed. Luckily, cPanel also provides you those authentication keys in Email Deliverability page. You will see a “Problems Exist (DKIM and SPF)” warning for your domain. Click “Manage” and it will show you the values, copy them and paste into the TXT records in Wix.
Please make sure you paste the SPF value in the TXT section and disregard the SPF section in Wix. SPF record is not been used anymore.
You will find that you cannot fit the DKIM value in one single record. As required by Wix, you need to separate it into two records. However, it still didn’t work and only the second records were detected, thus, of course, it was invalid. It turned out that I had to contact Wix support to get them to manually enter it in one record. I don’t know why they wrote a page asking to separate it but it doesn’t work. I suspected that they make this process so tedious so you may need to stick with their mailboxes. 😡
Finally, you can test if authorization settings are valid, and Mail-Tester is your friend here. Send a mail to it and you will get a score out of 10. You may fail the SPF test like me here:
This may be because my web hosting server is using another server to send the mail, instead of the hosting server itself. Now, just listen to your friend and replace the value with its suggestion.
After all this pains, you should see the awesome number 10 in the result:
Phew~ Did you get it set up successfully? Let me know if you encounter a problem. Happy mailing (spamming)!