We often hear about web hosting as a way to get your business online and out into the world. Granted, this is an essential step, but it leaves an important question unanswered: how will you manage your business communications?
There are many free options out there, and they’re great for private use. But when it comes to business email, there’s only one solution: email hosting.
Email hosting is easy to set up. It’s usually an optional service that comes with your website, and you can activate it when you create your site or later. Alternatively, you can use separate providers for web and email hosting, which is also common.
Many of our trusted, free email hosting providers have their own premium plans giving you a custom domain name and professional features. But it’s worth noting that many third-party and trusted email hosting services are in the wild.
In this article, we’ll look at how email hosting works and explore what it can do for your business.
- How Does Email Hosting Work?
- What’s the Difference Between Web Hosting and Email Hosting?
- Who Hosts Email?
- Do I Need Web Hosting for Email?
- Email Hosting Options
- Why Does Your Business Need Email Hosting?
How Does Email Hosting Work?
Everyone uses email. Most individuals use free email hosting providers from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, but these don’t help your professionalism. While these are great for personal use, a free email hosting service comes with security limitations, and that’s a no go even for small businesses.
Every free email hosting service works the same way. However, business email hosting gives you some personalization elements, like a custom domain name. This is done to give you a professional email address similar to your company’s name.
An email hosting service provider gives you server space to store your emails and grants you access to a domain name of your choice. What’s best is you can use your own domain name for the email hosting account.
You get access to your emails through an email client on your system. A basic setup is needed to receive and send emails, and your email hosting service should have easy-to-follow documentation on setting up your account.
On web-based solutions, like the free email services provided by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, you can access your email from all web browsers on your computer.
Once configured, your email hosting works like any other free email account from Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo. Suppose you don’t want to fiddle with setting up your email client. You can access the webmail online application from your email hosting provider, using only your username and password.
With this straightforward process, you’ll have an active email account in a few minutes, and then you can start creating custom folders and rules for your emails.
What’s the Difference Between Web Hosting and Email Hosting?
All these plans and hosting types might sound confusing, especially when you’re trying to focus on your small business growth, but luckily we have the time to explain it all. The two most popular hosting types are web hosting and email hosting.
- Web Hosting: Think of web hosting as what enables your website to exist and be discoverable on the internet. This service stores your website and is responsible for maintaining its connection to the internet. Your web hosting service might also include an option to activate email hosting, but you need to tell your provider that you want to do that.
- Email Hosting: While it’s usually included with a web hosting plan, email hosting is a separate service that allows you to set up a custom email address and use it to send and receive emails. The email account name will match your website, for instance, email@example.com. Separate email hosting is what some might refer to as “professional email” because of the extra features it provides. Apart from the personalized domain name, you may get additional storage space, faster email servers, advanced spam filters, and mail rules, to name a few.
Who Hosts Email?
Dedicated email solutions have been around for many years, covering all your email needs while boasting practical additions that free email services don’t have. Apart from the companies that give their services for free, many web hosting companies offer email hosting plans for small businesses and freelancers.
Generally, emails are stored at the same servers where web hosting is stored, meaning it’s nothing that web hosts can’t deal with because they’re already using their servers for storage. Both can exist and be managed by the same hosting company.
Do I Need Web Hosting for Email?
Although people usually get web hosting to build their websites, they also get free email hosting. It’s not mandatory to buy a website hosting plan to obtain a professionally-looking email account.
You can have an email hosting plan with no website, which means you can get each of your services from your preferred provider.
Providers like Google and Microsoft offer business email hosting for a fee, giving you extra features like using your domain name and personalising your business with your logo in your mailbox.
So if you own a small business with 10 to 20 people, then email hosting is recommended, as it will also have benefits in other areas. Email hosting can be more secure than free email services. Large providers like Google and Yahoo, while offering relatively secure services, are a more attractive target to hackers simply because of their client base.
Professionals will significantly benefit from a business email hosting service as it can help them maintain a successful online presence. Starting from your custom domain, premium email hosting services will give you peace of mind and collaboration tools that are highly needed in a business environment.
Email Hosting Options
If your email hosting provider offers any of the following options, you should consider taking advantage of them.
Online archiving: Access to online email archives gives you a historical record of all your business communications. Some services offer five to ten years of backups that you can access directly via a login portal.
Multiple mailboxes: If you have a growing business, you’ll need the ability to create mailboxes on the fly. Ensure your email host gives you all the mailboxes you need to support your operations. HostPapa provides 100 email accounts even on its cheapest web hosting plans.
People commonly use separate mailboxes to categorize emails based on business functions. You can have an admin mailbox for website and service queries, a billing mailbox for payments and accounts, an info mailbox for general communications, and a bulk mailer address for advertising and campaigns.
Bundle deals: If you find a service provider offering web, domain, and email hosting in one package, you can sometimes get better pricing than if you purchased each service separately.
Mailbox storage: Find out what your mailbox size limits are. A mailbox for a typical business needs to be able to store large files and huge quantities of mail, so make sure your mailbox storage is appropriate for your needs.
Room to grow: You never know exactly how much email storage or how many mailboxes you’ll need with an online business. Multiple email addresses can streamline your business operations and improve its image, but the email accounts will add up quickly.
Large email attachments will fill up your allotted storage space faster than you may anticipate. It’s essential to choose an email hosting provider that will be able to meet your needs as your business grows.
Before you choose options that may increase the cost of your email hosting service, you must understand any technical terms involved. Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for. Contact the provider for clarification if you’re unsure about something.
Why Does Your Business Need Email Hosting?
Email hosting plans usually cover many angles that a free email service won’t. Most importantly, having a paid email hosting plan ensures that your business conveys a professional image to the outside.
A customized domain name based on your business name showcases your company to your colleagues and customers, who don’t have to search for it. It’s right on the email address!
Another critical factor to consider is scalability. As your business grows, you should reserve the first part of your email address for a specific person or department, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
And as we said earlier, many web hosting companies include basic email hosting in their packages which you can access through a free webmail interface or your favourite email client. All you need is to look for the fine print of each web hosting company and make your choice.
Whether you want to get all your online services bundled from a single provider or have a favourite email hosting provider separate from your web host, there’s a business email solution just for you. Email hosting is usually straightforward to sign up for, and you should never need to settle for a service that doesn’t offer the options and flexibility you need.