Hello everybody!

It is once again Simon Davis from TMDHosting Genius Support Team  with another great article following up our tradition – #TechWednesday. In today’s article I would like not only to address a known issue of your emails being recognized as spam but also to extend a little bit more an article my colleague  wrote few weeks ago.

That moment when your message is flagged as spam!

Everyone has experienced that moment when a message is sent from you personal email account, which you have just created with your brand new domain name and that message is received in the spam folder of your recipient’s mailbox. This could be very frustrating especially when you have done nothing wrong for this to happen.

Assuming that your message is valid (there is no reason for the same to be flagged as spam when it comes to the subject and the body of the message) the only possible reason for such issue is if the IP address of the outgoing mail service you are using for sending the message is with low reputation in the Blacklist organizations used by your recipients MTA for filtering the incoming messages.

The solution to the puzzle!

Here in TMDHosting we are doing our best to provide our customers with spam free Hosting service with our 0 tolerance to spam senders, our own custom spam filters and also our own blacklists for spam senders. However despite all our efforts there is always the probability of spam messages to be sent intentionally from one of the accounts hosted on our servers  or for a legit message to be flagged as spam from one of its recipients. In that case the reputation of the outgoing mail IP address your domain name is using on our servers is either dropped or the IP address get blacklisted by the thousands of active blacklists currently.

There are few solutions to the puzzle you may consider in such situation but I would like to address the ultimate one which will provide you with a safe and straight exit from the labyrinth of frustration and inconvenience – Hotmail Custom Domains !

What exactly is Hotmail Custom Domains and why should you use that service?

Hotmail Custom Domains is a service provided by Hotmail which will basically route your incoming and outgoing mail service via their own mail servers. How cool is that? Your domain name and your web-site will remain hosted with us and in the same time all of your email accounts will be managed by Hotmail.

As a major email service provider Hotmail has proven over the years that they have the most advanced and reliable mail service from probably all of the free email providers around the world. Their outgoing IP addresses cannot be blacklisted by any known blacklist due to the many filters they have for ensuring spam free mail service.

Hotmail Custom Domains..3..2..1.. Lift of!

Requirements 

In order to setup the service for your domain name you will need to ensure the following pre-requirements:

  1. You need to have an active Hotmail account – If you do not have such you can simply create one at Hotmail.
  2. You need to have an active domain name of your possession. 
  3. You will need an access to the DNS management of your domain name as you will need to change the MX record for your domain name. For all our clients this setting can be found in the cPanel service > MX records.

Now, lets set this up!

The setup of the service starts at http://www.domains.live.com/ . Assuming the fact that you are logged in with your Hotmail account the only thing you should do at that page is to simply click on the “Get Started” link:

Get StartedOn the next screen you will need to input your domain name, choose a mail service for it and click on the “Continue” button:

Hotmail Custom Domains

Once you submit this form you will be presented with a summary page where you should verify the submitted information like Domain, Mail service and the email address of the administrator which is your actual Hotmail account and lastly input the code from the security image.

After the submitted data is verified you will be redirected to the Domain Settings page of your brand new service. The first thing you will notice on that page will be the Warning message at the top:

Domain verification
This message is prompted due to the fact that your domain name is still not verified . In order to verify the domain name ownership you will need to follow the provided information on the same page related to Mail setup .

MX EntryThe Hotmail team took care for the verification process and the process of pointing your MX records to be combined into a single MX record added to the DNS zone of your domain. In order to add this record all clients of TMDHosting can simply go to their cPanel service and access the MX Entry feature.

MX Records Edit

As suggested from the image above you will need to either edit the record with 0 priority or if yo u do not have such at all you should simply create it via the Add New Record Interface also shown above.

MX records

The Destination of the record need to be set as suggested from the Mail setup part of the Hotmail Domain Settings page. Keep in mind that changing/adding a DNS record such as the MX record will require for 24 hours period of time to be allowed in order for the propagation period to pass. During that period your emails might be still received on their old location and not on your new service.

Once you setup the MX record properly and hit the Refresh button of the above mentioned Warning message you will be directly presented with the Member accounts page. On that page by simply pressing the Add button you will be able to add all of your email accounts.
Adding email accounts

 You will notice a message after you add each and every account from the interface that the created account is ready for activation. Well, as strange as it might look every new account you create there need to be manually activated. This fortunately is quite an easy job – by simply logging into each email account and filling the required fields you will easily handle the activation process.

As I mentioned “logging” this process will no longer require for you to go to your cPanel Webmail service and login with the email account which is the action you normally do for your email accounts with us. Instead Hotmail provides you with fully functional mail interface the same as those they provide to all their users with email accounts @hotmail.com. So if you would like to login into your newly added accounts and verify them you will have to do it via the Hotmail home page .

Setting up your email client with the new settings for your Hotmail Custom Domains service!

Last but not least what is a mail account without the option for you to manage it from your local computer. Well, Hotmail took care for this also. You can configure you favorite desktop email client for a normal connection to the Hotmail mail servers and the only thing you need to pay attention to is properly adding your username and password:

IMAP
Hotmail Incoming server Hostname: imap-mail.outlook.com
Port: 993
Encrypted Connection Type: SSL

SMTP
Hotmail Outgoing server Hostname: smtp-mail.outlook.com
Port: 25 or 587
Server Require Authentication (Or just Authentication) : Yes
Encrypted Connection Type: SSL

The username and the password are the same as those you have used for the creation of the new account at the Member accounts page:

Userame: username@yourdomain.com
Password: **********

Well, there you have it an easy and fast way to setup and use the Hotmail Custom Domains service for all of your email accounts.

Of course all our users can benefit from the free installation service we are offering for all of the services we are offering. The only thing they need to do is to simply submit a support ticket to our Genius Support department and they will gladly do all the rest.