Migrating from Gmail to FastMail: part 5

In this part, I will discuss the changes that I had to make to get FastMail working with my own personal domain.

When I was only using Gmail, I used a personal domain name that I had purchased from the excellent Hover domain name registrar[1]. For just $5 a year, Hover will forward email from a personal email address (using your own domain) to another email account. If I borrow from the fictional example in part 1 of this series, let’s assume I own the domain name mos-eisley-cantina.com and I was previously using Hover to forward mail to greedo@mos-eisley-cantina.com to my Gmail address (greedo_1977@gmail.com). How does this happen with FastMail?

One of the reasons I chose FastMail was that I knew that they supported personal domains[2]. You still get your own FastMail email address as well (and this becomes your account name) but I don't intend to ever use this as an email address.

On following FastMail’s guide to setting up your own domain name I was surprised to find that I had to alter my Hover name server settings for the mos-eisley-cantina.com domain name. I.e. I had to configure Hover to redirect all traffic heading towards mos-eisley-cantina.com to instead go to FastMail’s servers.

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I thought I would just be configuring the mail settings at Hover.com rather than redirecting all traffic to FastMail. One of my concerns about this was that I was also using Hover to forward web traffic from mos-eisley-cantina.com to another domain that I own (er…let’s call it wretchedhiveofscumandvillainry.com). As soon as I changed the name server settings in Hover, this forwarding was broken.

I needn’t have worried. Turns out that FastMail provides a lot of options for custom DNS configuration. By visiting Settings->Advanced->Websites/Redirects I could configure my web traffic to be redirected just as before:

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So I now have FastMail set up to use my custom domain, though when I set up mail clients such as Apple’s Mail app, I need to use my underlying FastMail email address[3] in the 'User Name' field. To make my custom domain name the default email account, you need to place it first in a comma separated list of email addresses in Apple Mail’s ‘Email address’ field:

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  1. If you want to give me some Hover referral love, please use this link when signing up for a domain (I will get $5 in credit)  ↩
  2. Though you have to sign up for the more expensive enhanced plan to have this feature. On the flip side, I’m no longer paying Hover $5 a year for the email forwarding.  ↩
  3. FastMail provides many different options for your account email address with maybe 50 different domain name extensions (e.g. allmail.net, fastemail.us, myfastmail.com). I went for the default username@fastmail.fm format.  ↩