Do you know the most cost-effective way to host multiple e-mail addresses?

Posted August 31, 2014 6.3k views


I’ve started to experiment with hosting my sites on Digital Ocean. At the moment I’m trying to find out what the best way is to setup and host e-mail for all my websites.

I own about 15 small websites which are currently all on a shared hosting package using cPanel.

Note: All websites are owned by me

My current setup is as follows (using cPanel):

To send, receive and organize e-mail for each site, I make use of Gmail (free). I setup an email account for every website domain on cPanel and then forward all mail to my primary Gmail account.

In Gmail, incoming mails are automatically organized using labels depending on which domain it was sent to. This way, I can manage e-mail of all of my domains/websites from one location.

It is neccesary for me to use the SMTP of the domain (hosting provider) when setting up and sending e-mails from Gmail. So for example; would use, would use

If I would use the SMTP of Gmail, the recipient will see a “sent on behalf from [main gmail address]” line next to the sender’s email address. So this is not an option for me.

Using DigitalOcean, I don’t have the SMTP anymore that cPanel sets up for each domain I add.

Do you know any cost-effective option how I could manage e-mails of all my domains, preferably from one location/interface?

I’ve looked into Google Apps, but I would have to pay about $5 for each domain, which would become expensive for me.

I’ve also looked into hosting a mailserver myself, but I’m not too technical and from what I’ve read this is not a easy and reliable option.

Thank you very much!


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I’m still trying to figure out the best way to host email on a droplet, but this is probably the best tutorial to start with:

There is a certain risk involved in setting it up yourself, especially security-wise, as you definitely don’t want your email server to get hacked and send thousands of spam emails.

However, in the meantime I have relied on free (up to a certain point) third-party solutions.

For “transactional” email sending, I’ve been using Mandrill. it’s free up to 12,000 emails per month (which I’m not even close to using up yet). It’s insanely easy to set up.

For standard email accounts, I’ve been using Zohomail. It’s free for up to 10 accounts on one domain. It will require some DNS changes on your end.

I’d love to see some answers with some best practices relating to hosting/forwarding email on your own droplet.

  • Thanks. There’s indeed the risk that I would rather not take by hosting the mailserver myself.

    I’ve been looking into 3rd party providers, Zohomail seems to be the best for the value you get.

    However, I would have to pay for each domain.. whereas with using cPanel there’s no extra cost in adding domains and or email accounts. I would rather not use/install cPanel though :)

    I’m very curious how other people who own several websites tackle their email.