Sorry for the newbie questions. My wife is starting a new blog, and I’m helping her set up the platform for it. She wanted Wordpress. Having no experience with it, I purchased Managed Wordpress Hosting from GoDaddy. I used a domain that I already had registered elsewhere. Also bought a premium theme.
We’re getting things set up on the Staging site, and it’s mostly going well. The questions I have are around email handling. This will be a simple blog site; she won’t be selling anything.
She has a free gmail email account that she could dedicate to the blog. It’s not essential that she use that, but it’s available.
For #1 above, the Contact forms don’t look too difficult, but I’m struggling a little with the email portion. The forms want the “from” email to have the same domain as her blog, but it's my understanding that GoDaddy doesn’t include that with the Managed Wordpress site. So she doesn’t have an email account like firstname.lastname@example.org. It seems like overkill to purchase an email service just to provide this, but perhaps that’s only way? How do other people with simple blogs handle this?
Is there some way to build a simple Contact Me form on a Managed GoDaddy without purchasing an email service from GoDaddy or elsewhere?
If I need to purchase email hosting, what is a recommended simple, very affordable low-volume service?
For #2 above, she’s not going to send out newsletters or marketing campaigns. But she would like to send simple notices, probably once or twice a month to a few subscribers. She was planning to use her gmail account to send the notices, but that’s not necessary. I’m trying to figure out the pieces I need to assemble to enable this.
As with #1, do I need a purchased email service for this? Or can it be done from gmail?
What’s the best way to collect and maintain a subscriber list?
Do I need something like Mailchimp?
And if I had a Mailchimp account, would I still need a separate email service or is that included?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Congrats on your new endeavor! I'll try to tick things off point by point... 😉
=> Most Managed WordPress hosts do not offer email. And that's okay. It is not a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket so to speak. If the server is having issues -- so is your email. That is why I do not have my email on my website server (even with hosting that includes that).
=> WordPress will notify her subscribers when new posts are added via the RSS Feed.
=> Use NinjaForms for your contact form and to create your various sign-up forms -- very easy to use.
=> Sign-up for MailChimp -- free up to a couple thousand subscribers. What you are going to setup there is an RSS feed campaign for post notices. And regular campaigns for other marketing emails. MailChimp has a plugin that integrates with Ninja.
=> Yes, you need an email service. While you can use her gmail address to respond -- that doesn't help her to build her brand. In addition, when her post notices or contact form replies land in the recipient's inbox you want them to see she is using her domain address. Credibility and trust issue!
=> I use both GoDaddy Professional Email for a small monthly fee and Zoho.com which is free.
I think that covers all your questions! If not, let me know, okay?
I'll add that you can set up a forwarding address on the domain to direct email to the gmail account.
With that in place you should be able to verify it as an alias to send email from the gmail account.
Judith, thanks so much for your detailed reply.
=> I don't have a good understanding of how RSS feeds work, but I'll look into it. 🙂
=> Thanks for the pointer on NinjaForms.
=> I've signed up for MailChimp, and I'll look into the RSS feed campaign.
=> And now ... email service. I understand your point about using her domain address and credibility. As she's just starting, do you think Zoho would be sufficient at this point? That is, could she start with a free account there at first? She'd like to avoid any more expenses until she gets a bit more established. On the other hand, I want to make sure it's actually going to work.
So let me see if I have this right. I sign up for Zoho and structure her account there such that it uses her domain (e.g. email@example.com). For her Contact Me form, I build the form with Ninja, so that it sends and email from firstname.lastname@example.org to her personal email. Do I have that right? Then for her subscriber notifications, I connect her blog to mailchimp via RSS (I'll have to figure out how to do this) and set it up so that it sends an email (via the zoho account with her domain) to her subscribed user distribution list (I'll have to figure out how to build that and link it to mailchimp). Do I have that right or am I missing something?
Again, really appreciate the help as I am just learning all the disparate parts.
Since she also wants to send out emails to her subscribers, I think I'm resigned to the notion that she will need to sign up for a (paid or free) email service. That's probably my first order of business.
Appreciate the help!
@teamcary No problem. The second part was how to send email with the gmail account using an external address that you control. But in general it would be better to set up an actual email account.
The sending of subscription emails would be handled by MailChimp. Her email account would be separate, but used to verify that you control the domain. Here is more information on using the RSS feed to keep subscribers updated.
Yes, you understand everything correctly! 😉
Zoho is fine -- I use that myself (or I wouldn't recommend it). Zoho will be herdomain.com email that stands alone from everything else.
If you are forwarding herdomain.com to her gmail, she'll reply as gmail unless you look into changing the settings so that herdomain.com address is reflected in the from field.
Better yet, just use webmail (login to Zoho to manage website email) or use an email program for website email (Outlook).