And the solution to that handling those accounts is...
The ChallengeWhen I'm managing a website, I have different roles and responsibilities.
- As webmaster, I are responsible for the technical aspects of running the page, ergo I need a "webmaster@" address.
- As the owner of a domain, I have certain responsibilities to the organizations that "run" the Internet; hence I need a "postmaster@" address.
- From time to time there may be an issue that needs my attention but doesn't actually have anything to do with the technical aspect of a website: I want a catch-all "abuse@" address.
- When I mailing lists, as I often do, then I should also have a "listmaster@" address.
- If I want to separate inquiries about products, I may want an "info@" address
- Of course I will want an address that goes directly to me by name: "Rick@" address
I don't want to check 18 (or more) individual mailboxes!
Phone AnalogyMost people have experience with call forwarding for telephones. An incoming call is transferred to another phone number, and the caller doesn't need to know the difference.
For example, some people forward their landline to their cell phone. The phone call "hits" the landline and then shows up on the cell phone. The land line is essentially a relay point, a forwarder.
I personally have a Google voice number that I forward to my landline and my cell phone at the same time. If I'm at home, I can answer the call. If I'm out of the house, then I can still answer. My Google voice is essentially a relay point, a forwarder.
Phone Analogy, applied to emailAn email forwarder, also known as an email alias, is a relay point, too. An incoming email is transferred to another email mailbox, and the sender doesn't need to know the difference.
I believe in using email forwarders to manage these responsibilities I outlined in the opening paragraphs above.
It is this easy:
- This is probably the hardest part because so many different place offer forwarders. For example you have forwarders in cPanel, Gmail.com, Hotmail.com, Outlook.com and Yahoo.com.
- If you don't know which friend/admin to ask, you can Google the word forwarder and the name of your mail box. e.g. "Forwarder cPanel"
There are two broad categories of email addresses associated with a web site. First there are addresses associated with site management, as illustrated above. Then there are user addresses, which can be particularly useful when the user doesn't want to want to be "bothered" with checking more than one mailbox.
Site Management addressesTo start building this collection of site management addresses, I create a forwarder to use as a single exit point. This makes the destination address easier to change.
I often start with creating 0.administrator@domain... (The "0" in 0.admin is the number zero, not the letter "o") Here's why:
- An address that starts with a zero automatically sorts to the top of the list of address that are sorted by alphabetical order
- SPAMMERS don't guess at dotted email addresses because that's too many
Important: I never advertise or use this exit point email address for anything once I create it. If I ever receive an email addressed to that account then I know something is up. Did I get hacked?
- Depending on the phase of the moon or time of day, I may use something different (but always starting with a zero and using a dot somewhere in the name!). Examples:
Next, I create the usual accounts as forwarders:
- 0.admin@domain... forwarded to abctampabay@gmail...
- Info@domain... forwarded to 0.admin@domain...
- Hello@domain... forwarded to 0.admin@domain...
- Postmaster@domain... forwarded to 0.admin@domain...
- Webmaster@domain... forwarded to 0.admin@domain...
- Abuse@domain... forwarded to 0.admin@domain...
- Rick.Jaggers@domain... forwarded to 0.admin@domain...
User AddressesMany people today have Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo for their primary, day-to-day, everyday email. It's free, easy to use, and reliable.
The challenge is that the free email accounts:
- are so very much unprofessional ,but
- the user doesn't want to give up the address they've been using for years
- the user doesn't want to check a 2nd mailbox
The solution is to set up a forwarder to the free email account!
A Personal Case Study
I have a gmail account that I like to use (RickJaggers@GMail.moc) because it's online and I can check it anywhere. When I get home I can download the messages to my local computer.
But, I have a presence on several websites. By careful management of email forwarders, I have many email address but only one mailbox to check!
- R.Jaggers@ABetterComputerInc.moc is forwarded to RickJaggers@GMail.moc
- R.Jaggers@JustForLaughs.moc is forwarded to RickJaggers@GMail.moc
- R.Jaggers@SoapWorks.moc is forwarded to RickJaggers@GMail.moc
- R.Jaggers@Jaggers.ten is forwarded to RickJaggers@GMail.moc
- R.Jaggers@BayshoreTownhomes.moc is forwarded to RickJaggers@GMail.moc
- R.Jaggers@ABCInc.zib forwarded to RickJaggers@GMail.moc
I can have business cards printed for those businesses, and I have a professional address to match. Yet, I still have only one mailbox to check.
One Last Benefit 😃 for advanced users
Emails are forwarded unchanged. That means the "To" address in the message is unchanged.
An email address [to] R.Jaggers@BayshoreTownhomes.moc will arrive at my RickJaggers@GMail.moc account.
I can instantly recognize that this is concerned with Bayshore business, and I can filter or move it to a folder that I've created to hold Bayshore messages.
For me, it just works. I use forwarders a lot.
And I'll help you set up forwarders for your domains.