Email, Upgrades

Add Email »Add Email through Office 365

If you have a custom domain powering your WordPress.com blog (say justanothersitename.com, for example) and you’d like to have an email address that is customised for that domain (like hello@justanothersitename.com) you can create this type of email address using Microsoft Office 365.  We’ll show you how.

Create an Office 365 Account

First, you’ll need to create an account by going to office.microsoft.com and sign up for the Small Business plan or higher to be able to use their business email service.

If you already have an Office 365 account, you can sign in to your account using your log in information by going to login.microsoftonline.com.

Office 365 login screen

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Add Your Domain Name to Office 365

Once you’ve logged in to your Microsoft account, you need to tell Office 365 which domain you want to use for your email. To do this, click the email address option from the Admin menu inside your Office 365 account.

Add your domain to Office 365

From there, you’ll be able to enter your domain name into the text box provided and click the next button to continue.

Choose your custom domain for Office 365

Once you’ve done that you’ll be given two options to set up your domain.

manage-dns-yourself

The first option requires you to change the name server records at your domain registrar, which is WordPress.com. We don’t want to do this, because it means your custom domain name will no longer work with your blog.

Instead, we need to choose the second option to set up and manage DNS yourself. Click next after choosing this option to continue.

Once we’ve configured our options to get this domain name working with Office 365, we have 4 steps to complete.

Set up your custom domain to work with Office 365

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Verify Your Domain Name

The first step is to confirm that you own the domain name you’re trying to use for your email. Let’s click Start step 1 to begin.

The next screen asks you to let Office 365 know where the DNS is managed for your domain name so they can provide the right instructions.

WordPress.com isn’t in the drop down list of so we need to choose the General instructions option and click next to find the DNS entries we need to use.

General instructions for setting up your domain

You’ll see that you have a choice of using either the TXT record type or the MX record type. We only need to use one of these to verify the domain name, so we’ll go ahead and use TXT.

Verify your domain

Copy the value from the Destination or Points to Address column so we have it in our clipboard.

Back in WordPress.com, Go to My Domains and click on Edit for the relevant domain. Screenshot of the My Domains page showing different domain options

Click on Edit DNS, and choose TXT from the drop down list. Leave the first box blank and in the second box paste the TXT value we copied to our clipboard.  Click Add to add the record and then click the Save Changes button.

Back in the Office 365 Admin screen, we’ll see a button which says Done, verify now. When we click this button Office 365 will check your domain to see if it’s been verified.

It can take a little while before Office 365 is able to find the record to verify your domain so don’t worry if it doesn’t find it right away. Go and grab yourself a cup of tea and try again in 15-30 minutes. You can try again in 15-30 minutes when the record has had time to update.

When your domain has been verified, you’ll see the notification on the screen and you’ll be able to click the Finish button to complete step 1.

Successfully verified your domain

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Update Email Addresses to Your Custom Domain

Step 2 is to update your existing Office 365 email addresses from your old default address of @username.onmicrosoft.com to the new domain name.

Click Start step 2 and you’ll see that you have your current email address and the new one which uses your custom domain name. If you have more than one email address already set up on your Office 365 account you can check the box against all of the addresses you want to change.

Update Existing Email Addresses

Click Update to make those changes and on the next screen click Finish to complete Step 2.

When you click Finish you’ll be asked to sign out of your Office 365 account and then sign in again using your new custom email address.

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Add Users to Office 365

Once you’ve signed back in you can click Start step 3 to add any users that you want to have custom email addresses to your account.

Add users

To add a user you simply check the option Yes, I want to add users, click next and you’ll be asked to enter a First Name, Last Name, custom email address and choose their country or region.

You can also enter their current email address in the last text box to send them their new user ID and password.

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Set Up Custom DNS

In this step we’ll update our DNS records back at your WordPress.com dashboard so that you can start sending and receiving emails in Office 365 from your custom domain email address.

Click Start step 4 to continue.

On this screen you’ll see a lot of complicated looking records. Don’t worry, it’s really easy to add these to your WordPress.com DNS records.

Let’s start at the top with MX record. We can see it has a Priority of 0 and a Points to Address value that includes our custom domain name.

MX record

Let’s copy that value to our clipboard and head back to our DNS editor in the WordPress.com dashboard.

Select MX from the drop down and leave the first text box empty.  Paste the value you copied into the second box and then put 0 in the priority box. Click Add to add the record.

Back on the DNS records page at Office 365 we have the CNAME record with a Host Name of autodiscover. We can copy the Points to Address value and add another entry to the editor back at WordPress.com.

Adding the autodiscover CNAME

Choose CNAME from the drop down and in the first box enter the hostname, which was autodiscover. In the second box, paste the value you copied and click Add to add this record in.

There are 3 more CNAME records which we can copy over in exactly the same way.

Now we’ve done all of the CNAMES we have one TXT record left and two SRV records. Let’s copy the TXT value first since we already did one back in step 1.

Choose TXT from the drop down, then paste your value into the second text box, clicking Add to complete the entry.

The last records we need to add are the SRV values. These are a little more complicated since we have a lot more values to work with.

Let’s take the top record first and work through it step by step.

Adding SRV records

Choose SRV from the drop down and leave the first text box blank. In the Service box, enter the value _sip and choose the TLS protocol from the drop down menu.  Fill in the Priority value of 100 and Weight value of 1. Enter the Target Host value sipdir.online.lync.com and Target Port number of 443 in the last two fields. Click Add to complete the entry.

srv-record

Now we can go ahead and tackle the second SRV record using the exact same format.

To finish our DNS record off, we just need to click Add and the Save Changes button.

Back in the Office 365 page, click Done, go check to verify the changes have worked.

Office 365 will check the updated records and let you know which records if any, haven’t been found yet.

DNS records not updated yet

These records will take a few minutes to update and in some cases they can take up to 72 hours to completely update. Perhaps have another cup of tea while you wait?

You can click Try again now to check whether the records have now been updated.

When the records have successfully been updated, you’ll see a confirmation message on the screen which says that from now on any emails sent to addresses using your custom domain name will arrive in your Office 365 account.

Just click Finish and then All done! to complete the setup of your custom domain email.

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Test Your New Office 365 Email Address

You can test that your new Office 365 email address is working by sending an email to your new address from another email address that you own.

When you’ve done that, click Outlook in your Office 365 menu bar to access your new inbox. When you receive that email in Office 365, send a reply back just to make sure you can send from your new email address as well.

And that’s it! You should now be able to send and receive emails through Office 365 by using your custom domain name here at WordPress.com.

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