Many people don’t think much about email hosting. When it comes to addresses, @gmail and @yahoo are so ubiquitous that people often forget that there are a variety of platforms better able to serve personal and business needs. Choosing the right email hosting site can make a world of difference when it comes to ease of use, storage, effective spam filters, compatibility with both PCs and Macs and so much more. Whether you’re someone using your account for personal matters, a freelancer seeking a freestanding professional address, or a business owner in need of addresses for your employees, where you host your mail matters.
One of the most important aspects to consider is the longevity and continuity of your address. Think about all the important information you have floating around in your inbox and outbox. Now, imagine what would happen if your service stopped working. It happens all the time. You’ve probably had more than one online address. Companies like AOL cease to be major players and addresses created through their technology have fallen out of use. Even Hotmail, which had 360 million users per month in 2011 is now Outlook. Technology is fluid and companies change. The best way to preserve your information is with a personal hosting service. Beyond the security of your personal information, take a moment to think about the difficulty of changing your account. It can be as annoying as having to change your phone number. However, if you switch phone services, you can keep your phone number. If you have a @gmail address and you decide to leave gmail, you cannot keep that address. If you have a personal address, that address can migrate from one host to another.
Email hosting is particularly important for small businesses. Any message sent from an @businessname seems more professional and more authoritative than one sent from a personal address. There are a variety of options for businesses. Many small, not so tech savvy businesses rely on Google and Outlook’s business hosts. These email hosting services offer @businessname addresses, but they don’t offer the support you need. Anyone who has tried to trouble shoot through Google’s impersonal forums knows that when it comes to customer service, you’re going to be left out in the cold. The best hosting services have live, around-the-clock administrative support to help you address any technical difficulties.
Look for an email hosting service that is integrated into a website hosting service that you like. This will make support easier and means you only have one bill to pay at the end of the month. These are called POP (Post Office Protocol) accounts. Make sure that your host offers email forwarding. Many employees will want to streamline their accounts by having business accounts forward to their personal inbox or a desktop host like Apple Mail. This is industry standard and it will make your life, and the life of your employees, easier and more productive.