In my article last week about choosing the correct mail client I discussed several different options you can consider, including MacMail, Outlook and Thunderbird.
This week I’d like to go over how to actually configure your e-mail client.
This guide is written specifically for use in our system, which uses a webmail-based interface. However, the guide should also be helpful to those who do not use webmail, or who’s sites are hosted elsewhere.
Configuring a mail client is a fairly straightforward process, but some of the more common issues that crop up are the following:
- Outgoing mail isn’t sending, but incoming works just fine
- Login settings are not correct
- Email looks like it is sending but the recipient never received the email
- Settings on the mail client show that it is configured correctly but no mail is received
If one or some of the above has happened to you while trying to configure a third-party mail client, don’t despair! The step-by-step guide below should help you configure the client correctly so you can send and receive mail.
Step 1. Log into your account
The first thing you will need to do is to log-in to your webmail account straight from your website. Every site that is configured to work with webmail (which includes all of our sites that we host) has a login portal from which you can check email. To access this portal, navigate to your website. We will use http://smartauthorsites.com as an example. When you enter your site URL in the navigation bar above, you just need to type the following: /webmail at the end of the URL to access this portal.
So if your website URL is http://annetteqwriter.com you would go to http://annetteqwriter.com/webmail. Then, on the screen show at the right, enter your full email address as the username, as well as your password. The system will sometimes not allow you to log-in if you don’t enter the full address with the domain. So, firstname.lastname@example.org would need to be entered rather than just “annette” for the username.
Step 2. Navigate to configuration settings screen
On the next screen you have the option to use one of the built-in pieces of webmail software to check your email right on the web. While is a very useful feature, this guide is all about showing you how to bypass the need to log-in every time you check mail. This is what using a mail client is all about!
So instead we will select the “configure mail client” button, as this will help us figure out exactly which settings we need to enter into our mail client to get everything working correctly.
Step 3. Copy settings to your new mail client
This is the most important step in the process. When you arrive at the next screen you will see a lot of different settings and options. It might look confusing to you at first, but these are the settings you will need to either automatically configure or manually enter into your new mail client.
First, check to see if you are using Outlook or Mac Mail with your OS from the top box. Then select either POP over SSL/TLS or IMAP over SSL/TLS. Either option is perfectly fine in terms of receiving and sending mail – the key difference is that POP will download a copy of all email to your mail client whereas IMAP will sync with your mail client. So if you use POP then a copy of the email will not be retained on the server. We recommend IMAP.
Here is some more useful information about the difference between the two and why IMAP is preferable.
Once you make your selection, webmail will attempt to automatically sync your email account to your mail client. Almost all of the time this is successful. If, for some reason it is not, or the mail client of your choice does not have an option on this page for auto-synching then you will need to do it manually by entering the settings shown in “Manual Settings” below. These will vary depending on your server settings. You will almost always want to use secure settings, which are in the grey box on the left. Enter the username (full, with domain), password and IMAP/POP settings shown in the grey box into your mail client. This will allow the configuration script to complete and you will be able to start sending and receiving mail right away.
If you are synching with a mobile device, you will also likely need to use these manual settings.
Step 4. Watch the mail come in!
Email can definitely be a headache to set-up, and dealing with spam, bounced mail and other mail-related issues is not fun. But our hope is that the guide above will make this process a breeze.
Using a mail client is so much easier than logging in to your system every single time you want to check email. You may have gotten into the habit of using webmail, but a properly-configured mail-client is a must for running an effective business or marketing yourself as an author. It will make everything go so much faster. Personally, I would never go back to just using webmail!