Email hosting is a service in which a hosting provider rents out email servers to its users. While there are free versions available with many hosting companies, many businesses take advantage of the flexibility and power of professional email services. Professional email hosting takes place when both incoming and outgoing emails are managed by a shared or dedicated mail server. These services are considered premium and are significantly different from free webmail services.
How do you use email? For many email users, paid email hosting might seem unnecessary, but what about when you have important documents like bills, invoices, client addresses, or any other pieces of sensitive information stored on your email account? Additionally, can you afford to lose customers or subscribers by using a generic email like email@example.com — which can look suspicious and unprofessional? Having your own domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org immediately looks better to clients.
Free providers often make you pay in other ways. After all, maintaining servers, networks, employing support staff, and fixing bugs all costs money. There’s a saying: if a product is free, you are the product. In the case of email, more often than not, that means your data. These providers have to make money somehow, and often that’s by scanning your emails and selling data to ads companies. This can put the safety of your data (and that of any clients you communicate with) at risk. So, while an upfront cost can seem like a disadvantage at first, it actually leads to greater protection of your data.
If you are considering having a dedicated server, please note that consistently maintaining and supporting email yourself will not only add to your expenses but will also increase the likelihood of viruses, as well as hardware and software issues because you’d need to keep up with all the updates and new policies on your own. Such problems could cause email not to function for indefinite periods of time, which is why more businesses are opting for modern hosted business email.
Paid email hosting isn’t just advantageous for when something bad happens. It’s an easy way to get more reliable and efficient service.
Even though all business professionals and organizations should have a domain-based email service, most people are unsure about email hosting, confusing the term with website hosting. Even if they understand the difference, they aren’t clear on how professional email can benefit them.
This article will provide the most important information that you need to know about email hosting, different options for your consideration regarding this topic, and some basic technical details.
What is Hosted Email?
A hosted business email runs email servers on behalf of an organization that allows you to rent space for yourself (or your business) for a fee. If you own a domain and want an email service for it, you’ll need to find an email hosting provider.
Most hosting companies will provide you with an email address included in a web hosting plan. However, in these cases, you will get the most basic solution that will be hosted along with your website. Also, you won’t get sufficient disk space for storage or proper spam filtration. The limit for sending emails will also be quite low.
Unlike popular advertisement-endorsed free webmail, premium email hosting is free of ads, and has advanced email management and creation features. When done correctly, email hosting can revolutionize a business by offering a system to manage your emails well.
Since there’s a lot of confusion around the topic of domains, web hosting, and email hosting, we’ll quickly review these three types of online hosting.
Domain Hosting and Registration
Domain hosts store domain names and facilitate their registration. First, you register a domain like yourcompany.com with a domain registrar or we can do it for you, and just like a street address, the URL directs people to your website’s location. The company that you chose for your domain registration is called domain host. For example, if your domain is registered with Papaki.com, it will be your domain host.
For your website to appear online, you need to upload your website’s files to a hosting plan. A hosting package can be purchased separately, or you can get a deal that combines domain and web hosting into a single package.
Web Hosting is a service that provides datacenter resources — such as server space, memory, and bandwidth — needed for your website’s files to be accessible on the Internet. With a hosting plan, you create and store website content on a web host’s servers so it can be viewed online via a web browser.
If you imagine a website (plus all its content) as a store, a web host simply provides the physical space to display the store’s products — in this case, the website content including the text, images, videos, and anything else that makes up the site’s content.
There are different styles of hosting available to reflect the needs of different websites. Web hosting plans range from shared hosting, where multiple sites share a single server, to dedicated hosting, in which one customer uses a shared device or an entire server’s space and bandwidth.
Email hosting is an online hosting service that has servers dedicated to your email messages and associated files. When you receive an email to your website’s domain address, the email is routed across the Internet and stored on the recipient server. At this point, the server administrators will determine which action to take (receive or ignore) bearing in mind any spam filters, re-routing requests and if the sender is on any blacklists.
The server hosting email can be the same server that’s hosting your website content, a server managed by another host, or two different servers managed by the same hosting company. Email hosting providers might specialize in offering only email hosting services, but it’s more typical for companies to offer bundled emails and web hosting packages these days.
There are certain advantages of having a professional business email: you will have more disk space, the email will be working even if your website is under a DDoS attack, and provide a wider amount of features for your communication.
Email hosting and web hosting are similar in the sense that neither has to be hosted by your registrar or web host providers. Emails can be routed to different servers and the routing is handled by entries in the DNS (Domain Name System) records.
By updating DNS records, it’s possible to direct different types of traffic to different servers. Making entries to CNAME records for example will create sub-domains to route traffic to different servers and/or services such as calendar, email, and shared documents.
If you choose to host your own email, you’re going to need… a server. The fun doesn’t stop there. Your server needs someone who knows how to manage it, so you’ll want extra staff. Probably someone with an IT degree. And that’s not all. You also need to consider:
- The expense of hardware
- Limited network capacity
- Storage limits
- Software licenses
- The responsibility of backing up your email data
And these are in addition to the labor costs involved. And these are just a few of the reasons that most businesses opt for the services of a professional email host, as opposed to running their own in-house server.
There are many challenges linked to in-house servers, including insufficient security, failed backups, and difficulty syncing messages across multiple devices (desktop computers, tablets, and cell phones). These are things that can spell disaster for a business.
With a hosted email service, you don’t need to purchase any hardware, and it’s unlikely that you will have any software to set up. Setting up email hosting with a hosting provider is easy, you just need basic computer skills.