Most business people understand the importance of having a “professional email”, one that is on a company URL over one that is on a free email platform (like Hotmail, Google, AOL, etc).
What many “non-techies” are unaware of is the difference in where and how to host their email. This can actually make as much of a difference for your business as having a company domain on your email. Here are a few options you are faced with:
- Free hosting with your website host.
- Hosting with Google Apps.
- Add-on email hosting with your website host.
- Third Party email hosting (e.g., Microsoft 365)
If email is critical for your company, one of the best decisions and investments you can make is to host your email through a different provider than your website hosting. Let’s explore why.
Don’t Eat Where You Poop
Ok, so that may be a little gross, but so is hosting your email with your website. While some companies may have expertise in both areas, this is extremely rare. Generally, Website hosting providers are focused on exactly that, the website side of things. While they may know how to setup, administer and maintain email servers, it is not their primary focus. This means your email may not perform as well as it could if that was your provider’s primary purpose.
Keep It Locked Up
When an email server gets hacked, and your domain starts getting used for spamming people, you’re in for a major headache. Many email providers are very aware of this, and will very quickly blacklist server IP’s and domains when they suspect suspicious activity. This can be very time consuming and costly to get reversed.
When you host your email on a shared server environment, this is exactly what happens very frequently. Even if your domain wasn’t used for spamming, if any domain on your server was, you can be blacklisted as well. The best way to prevent this from happening is to separate your email hosting from your website hosting.
Keep The Information Flowing
The world we find ourselves in today is vastly different than 20 years ago. Cyber-attacks are now a common occurrence, hardware is beginning to age, and Internet traffic is at an all-time high. All of these combine to have sometimes significant impacts on the ability to use the Internet for business.
Here’s a quick story:
June 23, 2013: GoDaddy experienced trouble that took down all of the sites they host, and made email inaccessible for all GoDaddy hosted email accounts for several hours. With an estimated 50% market share in the United States, that is a lot of businesses without email and their website.
The point of this story is not to bash GoDaddy. Rather, it’s to point out the flaw of hosting your email at the same place as your website. It just doesn’t make sense.
It Doesn’t Cost A Fortune
Hosting your email with a third party doesn’t have to cost a fortune, though do remember you get what you pay for.
For instance, one option is Goggle’s Apps for Business. While this is great in concept, it does come with its own set of risks. Earlier his year, Google experienced its own problems with their email, and all email accounts hosted by Google (both Gmail and business app accounts) were offline for nearly an entire day.
There are also plenty of tech providers who specialize in company infrastructure, such as email, document sharing and the like. At DirectiveGroup, we recommend exploring Microsoft 365. While there are plenty of reviews, both positive and negative, we have found this to be one of the best solutions to ensure your email is always up and running, that you are secure, and have top-notch performance.
Get ready for 2014, it’s going to be an awesome year! Be sure your technology infrastructure is ready to meet the demand and not leave you flatfooted.