As a web designer, I’ve been hosting websites for my clients for about 10 years now. I like being able to provide a service to my customer where I have a bit of control over the server configuration and I am not reliant on someone’s poor customer service or lack of features and specifications.
It seems as though that in the past 2 or 3 years, hosting a company’s website and email together has become quite a challenge. As the company grows, employees are added, vendors are contracted, email becomes ever more important and ever increasing.
It’s not that the structure of email has changed or the amount of email has increased, it’s that the technology that surrounds it has changed. We are seeing email being used more and more often especially business . As the demand for and use of business-grade email increases, user expectations are also on the rise.
Our reliance on email is not changing, at least in the near future. Did you know?
- As of 2013, there are 3.6 billion email accounts, Radicati
- 91% of consumers check their email daily, ExactTarget
- 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices, Litmus
Here are the top 6 reasons why you should separate your email and website:
- It’s the ‘All Eggs In One Basket’ syndrome. As you wouldn’t do with your financial investments, it’s best not to do this with your email. As you grow, your email will be part of your daily routine; if it’s not already. If something happens with your web server, your email could also be affected. Splitting your email onto its own server can spare the pain of having no email for hours.
- Today’s mobile technology. It used to be okay to use a POP3 email account that comes with your web hosting. POP3 is a one-way technology. We were used to having a single computer and all of our email was sent to that one computer. Now, with mobile technology like cell phones and notebooks and iPads, we access our email from many different platforms. Having your email synced using systems like Exchange or Gmail Apps can help your workflow as you can sync your emails across different technologies.
- 24/7 Reliability. For email, it is so crucial that your email work 24/7. If your email goes down for more than a 3 or 4 hours, it can cost money. When you host your email with a company that is focused on your email, support can be more specific and helpful. They work solely to keep your email server working instead of making sure your website and email are working.
- Web Hosts for Websites. Sometimes a web host is a great host for a website offering reliability and speed for websites but their email service leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes email service can be delayed. Since most folks are using a shared web hosting plan where you share your server and IP address with sometimes hundreds of others, you risk your IP getting blocked and flagged as spam because another person on your server might have gotten hacked and is sending spam mail unwittingly. That is tough to fix.
- Transitioning. If you need to change web hosts, having your email separate can help that transition. If you find that your website is constantly down, or is slow or simply needs upgrading, moving your website isn’t as hard. The hardest part about switching web hosting companies is switching your emails. You have to make sure there is either nothing on the servers and you’ve downloaded them all or a way to backup the accounts. Then consider the pain of possibly having to import the emails.
- More Features. Hosting your email outside your web hosting account typically gives you a lot of extra space (sometimes up to 50GB), automated backups, shared calendars, and file storage. It depends on your email server company.
Email Hosting Recommendations
Google Apps: http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/