Changing email address
Posted by ark, ,
I just changed my email address. The start of a new year seemed as good a time as any to do it. My new address is on a whole new domain which I'll only use for email and chat and calendar. There will be no web presence associated with it. I'm pretty happy with the new setup so thought I would blog about it here.

I've been a happy Gmail user since 2004 and was delighted when they allowed me to send mail as another account. I'd log into Gmail and be able to send @wtwf.com email which was cool. BUT it still had my Gmail address tied into the email headers and outlook would display all this "on behalf of" bullshit which was just plain crappy. I'd still get people replying just to my Gmail address and not to the wtwf.com address too which was a pain and my flaky net connection and power problems where my server was located meant that sometimes mail couldn't get through to me. Also it was annoying that when people wanted to chat with me they should use the Gmail address, but all anyone knew me as was the wtwf.com. Likewise for calendar invites etc... it was all too confusing.

The new mail is on a domain I own, that's privacy protected by a proxy registrar (gotta love that) and it's all handled by Google still. So I get the slick Google Gmail and calendar and talk all for free and if in the future I don't like it I can just move everything elsewhere since I own the domain. I got this all through Google's apps for your domain (GAFYD) anyone can sign up at http://google.com/a/ and if you don't have a domain they'll let you buy one right there and then (using Google checkout).
That part was easy, it's the moving everything over that was a little though. Here's the steps I took. I found it much easier to have Firefox loaded with my new account and then have safari (or any other browser) loaded up with my old account, then I didn't have to keep logging in and out.
  • Gmail contacts - easy - just export to Gmail csv and then import in the new account
  • Google talk buddies - hard - I just re-requested to talk to all my friends again (very annoying)
  • Gmail filters - I just entered them all in again. I did notice that if I copied and pasted from the show filters page in my old account lots of weird zero width characters were added.
  • old Gmail mail - I've downloaded all my Gmail from my old account via pop into Mozilla Thunderbird. I'm not sure how/if I'm going to upload it all into my new account it's likely I'll lose the dates of my mails. If only Google allowed POP-IN on GAFYD but they only just rolled it out for regular Gmail users. Hopefully that will get turned on soon and I can just do that. Alternatively I could use something like fetchmail to bounce it all.
  • new Gmail mail - It's easy to set up mail forwarding from your old Gmail account to your new GAFYD one. You can even set up a vacation message to alert people to the address change, I opted to just have a small message in my signature for my new account.
  • calendars - medium - I just added my new account as an admin on all my existing calendars. The only one I need to work on was *my* calendar which has very little in it, so I just rebuilt it.
I also wanted to make sure that I only had one identity with Google. So that meant creating a 'Google Account' for my new spangly email address and moving all my Google services over to using this new login. I never wanted to log in using my Gmail user name again. Here's the success I had with various Google services..
  • blogger - I just added my new account as admin on all my blogs
  • search history - I just can't work out how to move my stuff over
  • bookmarks - I can't seem to move this over either
  • checkout - I just entered everything again and left all my purchase history behind.
  • docs & spreadsheets - like blogger, I just added my new account as a collaborator on my docs
  • notebook - see blogger and docs & spreadsheets
  • reader - this was easy, export all subscriptions as OPML and then import them in the new account. Painless, worked great! I unsubscribed from everything in my old account so that I wouldn't accidentally start reading stuff there.
  • webmaster tools - I just added all my sites again
So it's not exactly been painless and they could have made it a whole lot easier but I think it's going to be worth it in the long run. I'll have one address that everyone can use for email, invites and the like. It'll be run by Google so should have much better up time than before and I still forward all mail back to my server so I have a copy on my servers (just in case).

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Posted Monday 25 December 2006 Share