The new interface by Bluehost makes it a cinch to set up and configure e-mail accounts for your new domains. This has traditionally always been a bit of a bugbear for new website owners who have to suddenly come to grips with terms like "mail servers", "IMAP" and "POP3". Moreover, given how central e-mail and branding is for a new business, the option to set this up was always hidden away inside the cPanel administration screen along with all the other "advanced" hosting options. Setting up e-mail was never front and center.
But with the redesigned Bluehost interface, users have a dedicated tab for enabling e-mail on their domains, and setting up an account couldn't be easier.
Setting up E-mail on Bluehost
When you log in, the e-mail tab on the left hand side of the dashboard allows you to jump right into the process of creating an e-mail account for your domain:
Here you just need to enter the basics - your desired e-mail ID, and your password. The indicator will also tell you whether your password is strong or weak. Once it's set, just click "Create Account" and you're done! You now have an e-mail ID with the specified username linked to your domain.
Accessing your E-mails via an E-mail Client
There are two principal ways of accessing your inbox. The first is through an "e-mail client", and the second is via webmail. The "e-mail" client is a software application that typically resides on your computer and downloads the e-mails from your inbox periodically. The benefit is that since it's a local application, it can be a lot more powerful and have plenty more features than a web-based version.
For PCs, Microsoft's Outlook is the stereotypical webmail client that most people use. On Macs, it's "Mail.app", and of course, we also have the iOS and Android applications that work with your inbox. The disadvantage of these e-mail clients is that they require proper configuration to work, along with all the correct protocols etc, and it's here that a lot of people get stuck.
To configure your e-mail client with your Bluehost enabled inbox, scroll down the "E-mail" tab screen and you'll see a list of the user IDs that you've created. Here, click "Set Up Mail Client".
This will bring you to a screen where you can download a number of scripts that will automatically configure your e-mail client. The recent versions of Outlook are "Auto Discovery", which means that you just need to enter your email ID and password and the software will automatically detect the proper configurations and you can start checking your mail instantly!
The others require you to download and run a small script that will do the heavy lifting for you. If you don't want to follow this route, you can also set up your account manually using the settings further down as shown here:
On the other hand, you can skip e-mail clients altogether and just rely on webmail instead. It's easier to use, and doesn't require any set up. The downside is that it's less powerful and can be a bit slower. Also, it's less convenient to use on mobile devices.
Accessing your E-mail via Webmail
For webmail, the process is much easier. In your "E-mail" screen where all the accounts are listed, there's a dropdown box on the right hand side called "More". Clicking this will give you the option to access your inbox via webmail as shown here:
There's supposed to be another URL that Bluehost recommends at bluehost.com/webmail . But I wasn't able to access my inbox through this ID, and got a "408 Request Timeout" when I tried to log in. So for now, the above method in the screenshot is the preferred way to access webmail. You can copy the link it gives you for easy access later on and bookmark it.
Once inside, you can choose your preferred webmail client.
This will take you to your inbox. Here's a screenshot of an e-mail I sent myself from gmail.
As you can see, it's much easier than an e-mail client, but it has a pretty basic interface, and actions also won't be instantaneous since we have to wait for the page to reload each time. It's a trade off between power and simplicity.
Overall, the entire e-mail process for Bluehost is pretty painless and they've done a great job in ensuring that everyone can set up e-mail IDs with their domain names with a minimum of hassle and fuss!