On expecting your emails to Just Work

Firstly, if you've tried to email me recently, I'm sorry that they've been bouncing! If you want to get in touch with me, my inbox is open!

Wait, what happened?

In September I moved my site from Github Pages to Digital Ocean, with plans to do something Big And Grand. Whilst those plans are still in progress, it was in early December when I'd gone to check some domain configuration and noticed that my email configuration had changed. Due to moving my DNS records to DO, my domain provider could no longer redirect my emails for me.

Whilst I wasn't flooded with emails, this did mean I've missed over two months of potential contact - not great! This needed prioritising... playing with code is fun but the basics should work first!

In order to get things working, I had two requirements:

  • to use my existing domain, and
  • for those emails to forward to an existing inbox

There are plenty of options for someone who wants emails forwarded to their inbox. Below I've listed the ones I took a look into with a brief description of each.

Note: All quoted prices are for using custom domains, as this is part of what I was looking for. All options but DigitalOcean offer a free inbox if you're after



Cost: $4+ per month

A quick search suggested that I could, in fact, route my emails via DigitalOcean. Handy! Looking into it, however, made it clear that it wasn't for me - it involves servers and setup and configuration on a droplet. This would be great for finer-grained control, but at this juncture, I don't trust myself enough to not break things. I may investigate it one day, once I have the guts to give it a shot. For now, a faster solution is all I need.



Cost: €3+ per month

Tuta promotes privacy and encryption as it's core selling points. It was quick and easy to set up, though to get domains for my inboxes meant I had to pay. I appreciate that, rather than dropping you into the premium plan as a trial to tempt you to buy! That's a conversation for a different time, though. However, Tuta uses it's own mailboxes, instead of redirecting to my existing inbox. I may move to Tuta at a later date, but for now I needed to redirect to an existing mailbox. See you in the future, Tuta!



Cost: $4 per month / $30 per year

SimpleLogin offers email aliasing, with unlimited space in each alias' inbox alongside directing them to your inbox. This is pretty much what I was looking for in a service! It gives you immediate access to the premium plan for a short time (a week, if I recall correctly), which I'd rather was opt-in but it did give me a chance to test the premium features (which I needed anyway!). Overall, SimpleLogin was pretty decent, and I may review it again once they release the work they're doing for phone numbers. I struggled a bit to set it up which is why I didn't choose it in the end - but let's be realistic, that was likely user error!

Forward Email


Cost: $3 per month

Forward Email works much the same way as SimpleLogin - you can set up custom domains that will redirect mail to an address of your choice. This doesn't come with the sample of premium, but it's much the same concept as SimpleLogin. Setting up the domain records was a little fiddly but was easy enough to get working in the end. The easier setup and lower price combined to make it my provider of choice!

With that, I can finally receive emails again! Hurrah! I still need to fix some issues, such as properly accessing calendar invites emailed to my domain, but after 3 months without emails (and another 3 months writing this post...), I can safely say that the worst is over. So if there's anything you want to talk to me about, feel free to get in touch!