How to create a domain email address for route53 and host it for free on Zoho ?

When you are building the website on top of AWS stack, using AWS Route53 to register your domain name is usually a good idea. (Cheap and well connected)

However, Route53 only work as a DNS with no integrated hosting to use an email server.

You then have a couple of choices available to you to create those email address :

  • Amazon Workmail

At an expensive price of 5$/address/month. The tool isn’t actually competitive

  • Google Apps

At an expensive price of 5$/address/month. Interesting if you want to leverage the full google drive/word/collab tools

  • SES / S3 combination
  • Create your own EC2 webmail server
  • Register on Zoho free tier (free up to 25 emails on this domain)

I’ve been using this one a lot. It’s free and works well on web/ desktop/mobile.

Prerequisite :

  • Registered domain on Route53

Here’s how to register and connect your domain name :

  1. Select the forever free plan for Zoho mail at the bottom of their pricing page : https://www.zoho.com/workplace/pricing.html
  2. Enter your domain name, address mail expected and contact information
  3. Verify your domain name by choosing the “other” option and getting your CNAME code
  4. Log to your Route53 hosted zone and add a new CNAME record set
  5. Add your CNAME code to the URL (eg: zb15346435MyDomainName.com) + Add the value point to  destination (zmverify.zoho.com)
  6. Wait 10 minutes and click verify on Zoho
  7. Add Users
  8. Add Groups
  9. Add your MX record to Route53 (Name:  / Value:  10 mx.zoho.com)
  10. To protect from spoofing add a TXT record to Route53 : (Name: / Value : v=spf1 include:zoho.com ~all)

That’s it!

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2 thoughts on “How to create a domain email address for route53 and host it for free on Zoho ?”

    1. Hi Rdx, the free plan is still there. Look at the bottom of the pricing page for the “Forever Free Plan Up to five users, GB/User, 25MB attachment limit. Web access only. Email hosting for single domain.”

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