1. Purchase a Domain Name
In order to use a custom email address, you will first need to purchase a domain name. You can purchase a domain name from many hosting companies. I recommend the affordable and powerful Host Gator.
2. Create Your Custom Domain Email Address
Since every hosting company’s backend is a little different these directions will be more generic rather than specific. You will want to locate the “Mail Central” section inside your hosting control panel. I have taken a screen shot of what that looks like in my hosting panel.
From there, if you have already purchased your domain name, you can create a new custom email address using your domain name. For instance, I have own the domain name www.girlwebdesigner.com and my custom email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Forward Your Email Address to Gmail
If your like me and you would rather use a familiar and powerful email service, then you will want to forward your emails to that location rather than use the email service provided by the hosting company. Sign up with a free email service like Gmail. You will have to sign up using a gmail address. I signed up using email@example.com. In your mail central settings inside your hosting control panel, there should be an option for email forwarding. Enter your new gmail address in this section.
4. Setup Gmail To Use Your Custom Domain Name
In Gmail, locate the settings icon on the left hand side. Looks like a gear. From the drop down choose settings. From the settings page choose the “Accounts and Import” Tab. From this tab you will see the “Send Mail As” Section and here is where you will add your new custom domain email address. When you are done you will be asked to verify by email in which they will send an email to your gmail and all you need to do is click the link they provide you. Head back to the settings area and make your new domain name the “default” email. From now on you will be able to use your Gmail account with your new custom domain email address. When you send an email the reciever will see your email as (for example) firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also be able to receive email from this address.