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Zip has customized his settings menu. Time to write and design, right? Oh, dear, Zip…not quite yet, I’m afraid. I find the default “Hello World,” post in WordPress annoying, too, and we’ll get around to changing it before we do a bunch of other important things.

However, if Zip starts writing right now, or responds to any comments, he’ll end up with one of my Gravatars. Why would he want a cringy Bitmoji of a middle-aged white lady sipping coffee as his Gravatar. He wouldn’t!

Why would he end up with that? Because, by default, WordPress uses a Gravatar for any user that has one linked to their email. And Zip doesn’t have an email, let alone a Gravatar.

Let’s remedy that. In this post, we’ll be setting up an email via cPanel. If you have a managed WordPress hosting account, such as the ones at WPEngine or Flywheel, you may not have cPanel access. With some managed hosting providers, you’ll need to purchase email services separately. For instance, when I hosted at WPEngine, I purchased an email address for my domain at my domain registrar’s website.

Why not just set up a Gmail account? Sure, Zip can do that (and you’ll need a Gmail account when you want to set up Google analytics) but having an email account with your domain name looks more professional.

How to set up an email address in cPanel

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Log into your cPanel from your web hosting account.

  2. In cPanel, click on “Email Accounts.”

    cpanel email

  3. Fill in the form fields.

    There should already be a default email account set up. But you probably want to create your own. Fill in your email username (what you want to go before the @yourdomain.com), your password twice to confirm (choose a strong password), and either set a mailbox quota, if you are setting up an account for someone else and want to limit how much storage they have or “unlimited” if you don’t want to worry about storage space.setup email account in cpanel

  4. Click “Create Account.”

  5. You’ll see your new email account listed there.

    If you click on the “More” tab, you can find the links to access webmail or the information you need to configure your email client for IMAP for POP access so you can use email clients like the email app on your phone, import emails into your Gmail, Outlook, or any other email client.

    If you’re having difficulty getting connected with a mail client, ask your web hosting provider for help. My server, for instance, that I need to use to get my email is NOT the same one shown here in my account.

    But what if you want to forward your email one of your other email addresses? Go into Access webmail and you’ll see a link where you can forward your new email account to another email.
    Email account created

But wait! What about DNS Settings?

Remember when Zip had to point his domain name to his web host by configuring his DNS settings? The way he has things set up right now with his domain name servers pointing directly at his hosting account, he doesn’t need to do anything.

But sometime in the future, we’ll make Zip use a Content Delivery Network to improve his website speed. When he does that, he’ll need to add some extra records called MX records that will point his domain name to his email accounts. Your MX records will vary with your hosting provider and you’ll need to check with them for the correct settings in case you need to edit them.

But for now, the way Zip has things set up is just fine. There! he has a new email account set up. Next step, he’ll use it to set up his Gravatar.

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