Email hosting may not seem like a big deal to you, considering
all of things to think about when launching a new internet
business, but trust me when I tell you that problems with email
is one of the most frustrating things you’ll ever deal with in an
In an internet-based business, the majority (if not all) of your
communications with customers are conducted via email.
Sure, some internet-based businesses have phone service and offer
their phone numbers to customers and potential customers for the
purpose of asking questions, calling in orders or obtaining
But, the online customer is more apt to contact an internet-based
business via email or through the use of contact forms provided
on the business’s website.
Notification of communications submitted through online contact
forms or order forms are also generally presented to the business
in the form of email.
As you can see, the very nature of an internet-based business
makes it highly dependent on email, not only as a medium for
communications, but also for operations.
Email difficulties or downtime can literally shut an internet-
based business down causing lost sales and poor customer service.
Lost revenues and customer dissatisfaction are the results, not
to mention the aggravation and resulting frustration.
Looking at things from that realistic angle, you can see that
email hosting is a business function that not only deserves, but
demands your attention.
So, you’re probably asking, “What are the aspects of email
hosting that need my attention?”
In most cases, you won’t choose an email host independent of your
web host because most businesses do (and should) use email
addresses that contain their domain name.
You can have an email host that is separate from your web host,
but there is really no reason for it since the hosting of email
is generally a feature of web hosting packages.
I definitely do not recommend using free email services for your
business communications. YourCompanyName@hotmail.com – seriously,
how professional is that?
When you use the email options that are part of your web hosting
plan, your domain name will be part of your email address which
will present a much more professional image.
Other advantages of using professional versus free email hosting
services are enhanced options and fewer limitations.
When choosing a web host, you should be concerned with the
hosting company’s secure server capabilities, the speed of their
servers, the space you are allowed on the server, and the access
alternatives they provide.
Access to server logs and reports is important as is the
availability of certain scripts and software. You also want to
make sure that your web host has been in business for awhile, is
well established and is reliable.
A good web host or email host should be able to guaranty at least
99% uptime since downtime can be a serious hindrance to your
The web host’s backup procedures are also of importance as is
their technical support services.
In regard to email features that accompany your website hosting
package, full email services should be provided.
Email services should include unlimited email aliases, the
ability to set up auto-responders, and web-based access and
If you exchange files via email, it is important that there are
no restrictions on the size or type of files that you can
exchange. And of course, reliability is crucial as is immediate
access to technical support when you need it.
Email hosting that uses IMAP technology is a fairly new and
highly desirable solution for your business’s email needs.
Historically, POP (Post Office Protocol) has been common for
receiving email with SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) being
used for sending email.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a nice alternative to
POP for receiving email.
With POP mailboxes, when you retrieve your email from your server
through an email program such as Outlook or Outlook Express, the
messages are generally removed from the server when they are
transferred to your personal computer.
This can be a problem if you use more than one computer, a
desktop and a laptop for instance. With IMAP mail receiving
capabilities, your message are archived on the IMAP server and
you can access and view your messages using a client program
without removing the messages from the server.