It is possible to use generic webmail accounts (e.g. Gmail, Outlook.com, iCloud) with Joomla! but there are constraints on their use and some people have problems configuring their websites to use them. This article is not about how to fix webmail-to-Joomla! configuration issues. This article is about the appropriateness in choosing to use webmail accounts when developing Joomla! websites for your business or for your clients.
One of the most popular webmail providers is Google. Owning a Gmail account can be quite useful to a web developer. It’s good for working with Google+, for obtaining reCAPTCHA keys, to use Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and a host of other products including e-mail!
Most people I know have a Gmail account; I have a Gmail account but I do not use Gmail for mail. My business card does not have a @gmail.com address. If people send e-mail to my @gmail.com address I won’t see it.
If you have a website and you want your website to look like you mean business then I would suggest you use an e-mail address that reflects your business. For example, suppose you choose to represent your business with a calling card shown at right.
Put yourself in the place of your customers and ask yourself whether the @gmail.com address looks “professional” in a business sense. Sure, use your @gmail.com e-mail account for personal correspondence, to preserve your privacy and anonymity, but use @yourbusiness.com for managing your website and transacting business in the real world.
I suggest that a website is more likely to attract and retain customers if all of its parts are integrated around the theme of the business. The e-mail address that you choose to contact your customers with is a key part of your business success.
While I would not go as far as to suggest that people should outlaw webmail addresses when building Joomla! websites, if you own a domain then chances are the hosting provider you’ve partnered with will allow you to create your own e-mail accounts to use with that domain. If it’s not possible to use an e-mail address that reflects the website then I guess you will have to use something else … and you’ll just have to figure out how to configure your Joomla! website to use that “something else”.
Some names, characters, businesses and incidents appearing in this article are fictional and are either the products of the author’s imaginiation or intended for illustrative purposes only. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and unintentional.