Starting a new business requires passion and courage. It shouldn’t also require an advance knowledge of computer science or coding expertise to get your website and email set up. With today’s email hosting services, you can get your business email up and running in no time and without any experience. Let’s look at what you need to know about getting the best email hosting provider for your business.
What is Email Hosting And Why Do You Need It?
In the simplest terms, email hosting is a service that stores email on servers so you can read and manage them. Email hosting is similar to web hosting, servers that store your website. Often, web hosting providers also offer free email hosting which means your website and email are stored on the same servers. Traditionally, small businesses and startups have opted for shared servers while larger companies with larger storage needs, would opt for separate web and email hosting. But as small businesses have begun competing with their larger competitors, they are requiring more sophisticated IT infrastructure, so many opt for separate email hosting.
Is Free Email Hosting Worth It?
Web hosting providers offering email hosting seems like an easy, hassle-free way to set up your business’s basic IT infrastructure. However, emails hosted on web servers are usually limited in how much you can store and run, which may require you to delete emails. Or, you might experience a slower website as space gets used. In addition, email hosted on web servers often provide just the minimum spam/virus protection. And some free email hosting providers are ad-supported, which lacks the professionalism your budding business needs.
Dedicated Email Hosting
With the downsides of combining web and email hosting, many companies of all sizes choose a dedicated email hosting provider. Doing so usually means you have more storage space and freedom to access your email via web browsers and mobile devices. This is particularly important as business today is often done on the road.
Having dedicated email hosting separate from your web hosting also alleviates pressure on your website, ensuring your website runs fast and secure, without getting bogged down by your stored emails. For these reasons, most businesses today, small and large, choose dedicated email hosting.
Getting the Best Email Hosting
Now that we’ve level set on what email hosting is, and the difference between free vs. dedicated servers, we can look at what you need to know in order to get the best email hosting for your business.
Like any decision, the first step to making a decision is first understanding your needs, starting with how much you need. Consider how much data do you have stored or expect to store on the email servers. This might be estimated by the number of people on your team using the email servers since more people means more space is required to support your business.
How long do you need the email hosting service? If you’re working on a temporary project, you won’t need as much storage as you would if you expect to be operating into the foreseeable future. Consider also your needs to grow and expand in the future when assessing your email hosting options.
After you understand your data needs, you’ll want to understand what features you and your team need from your email hosting provider. Do you need to access your emails through a web browser or on an application on your laptop (IMAP or POP3), or both? Do you need mobile access? Do you want your calendars and emails synced across your devices (email exchange)? How important is it to have your emails automatically archived? Flexibility and convenience are often of utmost important to a business, but having it comes at a cost.
Which brings us to one of the most important criteria for an email hosting provider; cost. While we went through the differences between free and dedicated email hosting above, many email hosting providers have various tiers where you pay more for extra services. Consider carefully your needs and if you’re not sure, prioritize the provider with the flexibility to easily change your plan as your needs evolve.