What Is An Email Domain?

Email addresses have become part of our everyday lives, and when we hear ‘email domain’ we may think they’re the same thing. But are they? Well, not technically.

What Is An Email Domain

In our article below we not only break down the differences between email domains and email addresses, but how you can create a free email domain as well as custom domains for your business. Let’s get into it!

Email Domain Vs Email Address

When we talk about email domains, we’re referring to a specific organization that owns a collection of email addresses.

Think about your work email, for example. It will be ‘username@domain.com,’ with your username being your full name, and the ‘domain’ will be the name of your employer. Email domains are also known as ‘email accounts’ or ‘sub-addresses.’

The same also applies to personal email addresses.

For example, your email address might be your “username@gmail.com.”

In this instance your username would be your name (or whatever you want, but to keep things professional it’s best to just stick to your name), and ‘gmail’ would be the domain name of your chosen internet browser.

The same also applies to email domains that end in ‘yahoo.com’ and ‘hotmail.com.’ Your internet service provider may also have their own email domains, but gmail, yahoo, and hotmail are the three most popular email domains. 

There are also many organizations that provide email services as well as paid hosting solutions.

Domain names are normally bought from an internet service provider, but you can also purchase them from organizations that provide domain registration services. 

The process of obtaining a domain name will vary depending on if you would like to use the domain with your current internet service provider, or with a new one.

If you would like to change providers, your current provider will most likely tell you what you need to do to transfer your domain name. 

However, keep in mind that if you transfer your domain you still need to keep all contact information, as this data is not transferable.

For example, you may not be able to register your name as a domain name because it already exists, or somebody else has reserved it.

If the domain name you wish to have isn’t publicly available, you can select another one, or request that your domain name be secured so only you can use it.

Still, you should be aware that reserving an email domain is not a guarantee that you’ll be able to use your desired domain when the time comes. Domain names have to be paid for and registered before they’re activated.

Creating A Free Email Domain

Creating a free domain couldn’t be simpler! Let’s go through the steps to creating a free email domain. 

Shop around the companies that provide registration services so you can choose a company that can be trusted, has no hidden fees, will accept credit cards, and whose services are reasonably priced.

Most companies will ask you to complete an online form with your desired domain, email address, and contact information for the registrar, so it can be administered later. 

Once you’re registered you can use your account with the domain registrar to change settings, and find emails from contacts who will receive notifications from you about transfers or updates. 

Once your registration is complete, your new domain will be added to your account. You should have an option to change the nameservers, which lets you designate how other websites will be linked to yours.

Creating A Custom Email Domain

You also have the option to create your own custom email domain. However, this is more time-consuming than creating a free email domain, and there are some limitations to this process. 

Some platforms that create custom email domains are based on cloud services like AWS S3 and Route 53. This may mean that creating subdomain namespaces with custom domains will require further access from platforms like Amazon or Route 53.

This will also mean that getting things ready will take longer than required, as Amazon or Route 53 needs extra verification (such as further information about you), to accept your request.

What Is An Email Domain (1)

If a platform is created using cloud-services then a few subdomain names will be reserved by AWS or Route 53, and they will reserve these subdomain names for themselves. 

So when using these platforms a record cannot be created with these specific subdomains. 

While the creation of CNAME records is supported for custom domains, this doesn’t mean that setting up a custom domain will always go smoothly. Some providers will support CNAME Flattening, such as Cloudflare.

This means that when a CNAME record directs your custom domain to Cloudflare, the DNS query being sent over will ask the provider for a CDN endpoint with a specific pattern such as cdn.xxxxxxx.com.

This may be an issue because some providers might not own any domains that end in xxxxxx, and may not know how to respond to this pattern.

This may lead to you having to wait on your provider to respond, and therefore you may have to wait to use your custom domain.

Final Thoughts

We hope that our article has explained the difference between an email domain and an email address. Basically, an email domain is one part of an email address.

There are three types of email domain names, and they can be classified as business email addresses, personal email addresses, and free email addresses.

Creating a free domain is easy, but creating a custom domain has its limitations and it’s best to shop around when looking for a provider who can do this for you.

Justin Shaw
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