I’ve been a Gmail user since 2005 (that’s the oldest email I could find) and have had a very pleasant experience thus far. Keep in mind, this is the free Gmail service. As I became more web savvy, learned some new skills, and started building websites, I needed email addresses for those domains. Enter, Google Apps (now Google Apps for Work).
Back in the day, Google allowed you to add domain names and email accounts to your Google Apps account. In turn, this allowed you to create email addresses for your domain names (for FREE!). This was a fantastic service for folks wanting an email address for their domains and for small businesses. I’m assuming Google finally did the math to figure out how much money they were missing out on. This is when Google Apps for Work was created (I’m assuming).
Since the transition from the Free Edition to Google Apps for Work, Google allows you to keep any domains and email accounts. However, if you go to add a new domain, you can’t! There was a work around to adding a domain and it could easily be done by trying out Google Apps for Work for 30 days. Within that 30 day window, you could add a domain and downgrade your account. This little hack was useful and was even recommended by Google support!
So, what did I do? As I purchased a few more domain names for side projects, I created email addresses with the above method: Upgrade my account to Google Apps for Work, added the domain names, created email accounts, and tried to downgrade. Yes, tried to downgrade! They fixed this loophole…
Once again, Google caught on and this little hack no longer works. I had to remove the email accounts and domain names before I could downgrade. Total time wasted: a few hours.
Long story short, if you’re building a website and you’re looking for a free email alternative, Zoho has been treating me well. They offer a free solution that supports one domain for 25 users. Not bad at all!