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Using email hosting services

Wild Apricot does not provide email hosting services or help you set up email accounts. There are, however, numerous email hosting services that you can use together with your Wild Apricot account. In this way, Wild Apricot takes care of your website (www.<yourdomain.org>) while your hosting services takes care of your email account (<anything>@<yourdomain.org>).

A free service is available for eligible non-profits from Google. As well, you can take a look at email hosting services offered by Rackspace, Exchange Online, GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Hover.com, Microsoft Office 365 – as well as many others. Your domain registrar might also offer email hosting services.

Verifying your domain with Google Apps

Google requires that you verify the ownership of your domain name before you can use it with Google Apps. There are two ways you can verify your Wild Apricot domain:

Create a TXT record

You create a TXT record using the admin panel available from your domain provider – the company you purchased your domain from – not Google or Wild Apricot. For instructions on doing this, see Verify domain ownership.

Add a meta-tag

You add a verification meta-tag provided by Google to your Wild Apricot site's home page. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Site pages and select the home page within the list.
  2. Click the Edit button towards the top of the screen. 
  3. In the Meta-tags section within the page settings on the left, add  the meta-tag provided by Google in the Raw Headers box.

For more information, see Search engine optimization (SEO).

Modifying your SPF record

An SPF – Sender Policy Framework – record is an email validation system designed to prevent email spam by verifying the IP address of the sender. SPF records are set up in your domain management system as TXT records.

As part of setting up your Wild Apricot account to use a custom domain name, you create a SPF record for your domain that identifies Wild Apricot servers as being allowed to send emails on your behalf. If you are also using an email hosting service to handle emails from that domain, you must also include a reference to your email host. In addition to the include statement for Wild Apricot, you may need to add an include statement for your email host. For example, if your email host is Google Apps, you would publish the following TXT record in your DNS (Domain Naming System):

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Contact your domain provider's support department for assistance with setting up your SPF record.

Adding DKIM support

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a method of authenticating emails sent from your domain, reducing the chance of your messages being identified as spam or junk. DKIM associates your domain name with your messages, thereby vouching for its authenticity.

Accounts that send emails from the wildapricot.org domain will automatically use DKIM. To set up DKIM authentication for custom domains, you need to add another CNAME record to the DNS settings for your primary domain name (minus the www if you're using the www version of your domain as the primary domain).

The CNAME record for DKIM should appear as follows:

where yourdomain.org is your primary domain name (minus the www prefix).

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When setting the CNAME record for DKIM from GoDaddy, you just specify default._domainkey as the Host name rather than default._domainkey.yourdomain.org. Similarly, when setting up the CNAME record from Network Solutions, you just specify default._domainkey as the Alias rather than default._domainkey.yourdomain.org.

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