All the other solutions that I’ve seen posted either don’t work or aren’t free, so here are two that work, and are free, allowing you to use your own custom domain email with Gmail:
METHOD 1: USE GMAIL’S SMTP SERVER (WORKS FOR NOW…)
Caveat: this method requires that you enable 2-step security on your Google account, which may or may not be desirable in your specific situation. This means you will need a second code (delivered via text message or the Google Authenticator app) every time you want to log in to Google. In my case I was using 2-step security already, so it cost me nothing in terms of convenience!
1) Within Gmail, click the cog on the top right and choose “settings”
2) Within the top tabs, click “Accounts and import”
3) Within the “Change Account Settings:” category, click “Other Google account settings”
4) Choose “Sign-in & Security” and “Signing in to Google”
5) Enable 2-step security (you will need to enter your password plus a code from your second step security – a PIN sent to your phone by text message)
6) Click the “App-specific passwords” tab at the top
7) Click “Manage application-specific passwords”
8) Where it says “Select App”, choose Mail. Where it says “Select device” choose “Other customised name” and call it something like Gmail custom domain, then click “GENERATE”
9) A pop up will come up showing the 16-digit app-specific password you just generated. Don’t close this page or navigate away from it.
10) In a new tab, go to gmail.com, click the cog at the top right and choose “settings”, “Accounts and import” then within “Send mail as:” category, click “Add another email address that you own”
11) In the “Name:” field enter the From name you want to be associated with the own-domain email address (this is what people will see as the sender when they see emails sent by you from this address). In the “Email address:” field enter the email address you want to send from e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. Uncheck the “Treat as an alias” box. Click “Next step”
12) “SMTP server” should be smtp.gmail.com “Username” should be your Gmail username (the front part of your gmail adddress before the @ symbol)
13) The password that you use here should *not* be your normal Gmail password. Switch to the first tab in your browser and copy the 16-digit app-specific password that you generated earlier; switch to the second tab and paste in this 16-digit password
14) Use port 587 and TLS (or port 465 and SSL). Click “Add account”
15) Wait for your confirmation email to arrive, then copy the confirmation code from the email and click “Verify”
16) Test and hopefully celebrate
Assume that the above plan is a temporary measure that’s just buying you some time
(credit goes to Gertie Kawleweski, Keith R and Goofy 365 for this one – thanks guys!)
METHOD 2 : USE MANDRILLAPP.COM
Same as above, but rather than using Gmail’s servers, create a free account on Mandrillapp.com.
This will not require you to set up 2-step authentication on your Gmail so this may be preferable for that reason.
It is also probably preferable because Gmail has a nasty habit of removing features people are using without notice.
Mandrill App is for bulk emailing, so they allow a lot of email volume before they even start charging you; for most individuals, you will probably never be charged.
1) Go to mandrillapp.com
2) Click “Don’t have an account? Sign Up for Mandrill”
3) Fill in your email address; pick a password (min 10 characters, must contain a number or symbol). Click “Get started”
4) Click no thanks to the popup (or fill it in if you like) – then on your dashboard on the bottom half of the page, left hand side click “Get SMTP credentials”, and enter your password when prompted
5) Scroll down to the button “+ Add API Key” – click this.
6) Note down all the details on this page – host, port, SMTP username and the new API key you just generated (definitely copy-paste that rather than trying to write it down!)
7) Follow the steps from (10) onwards from METHOD 1 (above), but instead of the gmail details, use the mandrill details you just noted down. Instead of the 16-digit app-specific password, use your copy-pasted API key. One other addition – when you get to the point when you specify the port (587) choose “TLS”. Other than that, the rest of the process is the same as METHOD 1.