There are many ways to set up your emails, and based on your requirements will determine which method you choose to utilise. The below information and flowchart will help point you in the right direction.
First, here's some information you need to consider and understand before determining how to set up your email accounts:
Disk Space Usage
Emails need to be deleted from the server after a set period of time. This will prevent the emails from using up all your Disk Space allocated to your account. If more disk space is needed to be allocated to your account, your monthly/annual hosting fees will increase as a result. This is avoidable if you set up your emails in the correct way.
If you want your emails to be accessible across many devices (Desktops, Laptops, Smart Phones and Tablets) you will need to utilise synchronisation. This way, if you read an email on your tablet, it will be marked as read on your other devices too. If you reply to an email, your reply will be able to be found on your other devices. This prevents you from potentially replying to an email twice or having to read an email twice, which increases your workload unnecessarily.
It is also important to understand the basics of the two email protocols available - POP3 and IMAP.
POP3 downloads all email from the server from the inbox and stores it on your computer. The emails are removed from the server and only stored locally in your mail client program (on your computers' hard drive). The benefit of this protocol is that the emails you have already received are available even when you're not connected to the internet, and since the emails are removed from the server (either instantly or after a set period of time (usually 14 days)) you will not have Disk Space Usage issues.
IMAP synchronises your email client program with the server. Emails stay on the server, and you can make and view your email folders on the server in addition to the inbox. Since emails stay on the server, you can see all your emails from many mail client programs or devices. The only downside is that you must delete the emails from your computer to delete them from the server to prevent your Disk Space Usage being used up which results in higher hosting fees.
How to set up your email accounts after determining your requirements
So with the above explained, you should now have your requirements and a decent understanding of what is going on with your emails and your server for your chosen method. Below are the recommended setups from most common and useful to least common and useful.
#1 - Use Gmail
Creating a Gmail account is quick and easy. It gives you access to 15 Gigabytes of free storage (which is a huge amount only for emails!), and if set up correctly, will allow you to respond to emails as your actual website email address. The main benefits are:
This is the method which is strongly recommended, most common and most beneficial set up to use to help keep costs down and have true synchronisation between all of your devices - Your desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets.
If you would like to use the Gmail method, please follow your preference of the knowledgebase articles linked below:
Image Guide: http://magicdustsupport.com.au/kb2/entry/427/
Video Guide (no audio): http://magicdustsupport.com.au/kb2/entry/285/
#2 - Use your Mail Client (eg, Microsoft Outlook, Mail for Mac) via POP3
If you only need one device only to access your emails, setting up your emails inside 'Microsoft Outlook' or inside 'Mail' for Mac makes sense (if you're not a fan of the Gmail method above). If you want to only View your emails on a second device, such as your Smart Phone or Tablet, this can also work well (though Gmail is recommended).
To set up your email account(s) using Microsoft Outlook 2013 in Windows, click here.
To set up your email account(s) using Apple/Mac Microsoft Outlook, contact support (Guide coming in 2015).
To set up your email account(s) using Mail for Apple/Mac, click here.
If you only wish to view and reply to your emails via your Android Smart Phone or Tablet (Samsung Galaxy, HTC, etc), contact support (Guide coming in 2015).
If you wish to view and reply to your emails via your Apple iPhone or iPad, click here.
#3 - Use your Mail Client (eg, Microsoft Outlook, Mail for Mac) via IMAP
This is the least recommended option. Due to your Disk Space Usage being shared across your website and your email accounts, disk space usage can become an issue very shortly after your website launches. If you are in an organisation where you can delete emails after 14-30 days and only have one or two email accounts, this method can work well, although it is strongly recommended you proceed with options #1 or #2. If you are not deleting your emails every 14-30 days, your hosting will inevitably increase in cost due to the emails being stored on the server indefinitely.
Currently we only have one guide on how to do this, due to the other methods being significantly better and more appropriate and cost-effective for small to medium businesses. If you want to set up your email account using IMAP in any other program than those shown below, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with information regarding which Mail Client you are intending on using and we can provide you a write up of what your details should be and guide you further.