New domain, and switching to Fastmail

March 2, 2022

4 minute read

Yesterday I changed the domain for this site from luke.work to lkhrs.com, and decided to change my email host while I was at it.

Domain change - no more .work

There’s two reasons for the domain change, and both involve the .work TLD. I wanted this site to be more personal, more about me, and the .work TLD made it not seem that way in my mind. Yes, you could describe it as the “.work[s] of Luke Harris”, but that didn’t jibe with me. And ICANN has yet to release the .play TLD.

The other issue with .work TLDs is that in June 2018, .work domains were #3 on the Spamhaus list for the top 10 abused TLDs. As of this writing, it’s not in the top 10 anymore, but 19.8% of active .work domains are marked as “bad”. This wasn’t the case when I registered the domain in 2014, because .work domains had just come out.

My domain’s TLD being on the top 10 list impacted me in several real ways, including my site being unreachable on corporate networks and my emails going straight to spam or rejected, sometimes even when added to the recipient’s contacts and reported as “not spam”.

I even remember an event in the before-times, where I tried to load up my personal site in a coffee shop and it was blocked.

I’m not planning to use my personal site as my lead funnel for web design projects anymore, so being blocked on corporate networks isn’t a big deal. But I do want my emails to not go straight to spam, so switching to a .com TLD was my best bet.

Another thing - it’s good to make sure your email address is easy to spell out vocally. The old one, [email protected], was confusing most of the time, as people would add .com to the end, or their brain would skip over the duplicate word and they’d write it down as [email protected]. I think the new one, [email protected], is easier to spell out vocally.

Switching to Fastmail was fast

While I was switching domains, I decided to switch email providers and use Fastmail. I originally used Google Workspace when it was known as GSuite, and later switched to Zoho Mail, which I used until yesterday.

I’ve been really impressed with Fastmail. Setting up the default email clients is super easy on macOS and iOS; all you need to do is download a profile and install it. Fastmail will even create an app password and add it to the profile for you when you have 2FA set up.

If you have other clients you need to add, the web UI has step-by-step interactive instructions, including automatic app password creation. Stark contrast to Zoho Mail, where I had to search for the Exchange server address and go through several complicated steps.

You can add up to 101 domains for no additional cost, so adding my old domain instead of forwarding emails was a no-brainer, and I’ll probably be adding my business domains in the future.

Fastmail also supports plus addressing, which is that cool feature Gmail has where if your email is [email protected], you can do [email protected]. You can then set filters based on this, but Fastmail will automatically put emails sent to that address into a Anything folder if you’ve created one. It also supports subdomain plus addressing, which helps get around forms that don’t like plus addressing. So you can do [email protected] and the folder routing will still work.

Disposable email addresses are a thing too, it’s called Masked Email. You can use Fastmail’s domains or your own, and it integrates with 1Password, which is convenient for me.

Importing all the mail from my Zoho account was easy, and so was adding additional email accounts for Fastmail to pull new emails from, like Gmail and Outlook.

While I won’t be using it often, the web interface for Fastmail is much faster and easier to use than Zoho Mail’s. It also lacks the clutter Gmail has these days.

A cool new CloudFlare email feature

Something I wanted to mention because I noticed it yesterday: CloudFlare has an email anti-spoofing wizard to easily set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC DNS records now. I had already set up my other domains manually, but the wizard did make it easier to set a DMARC policy on my new domain.

Conclusion

Now I just have to update links and logins, the latter of which is a real chore. I plan on keeping the luke.work domain for at least the next decade, because I don’t want to miss any emails from people. I still get the occasional email from the address I used in 2008.


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