One of the advantages of having your own website is that you can also have your own email at the domain name of your website. For businesses, organizations and many individuals that personalized email is so valuable that they may go ahead and have someone build and maintain a site just to get the email advantages. Did you know that there is such a thing as email hosting without a website? There is, and it’s a lot less expensive.
Personalized email has important advantages. It’s hard for businesses to get taken seriously with a Hotmail or other free webmail address. Gmail has a more professional cache than most, but it does nothing to identify your business or other organization. All of these are online services. If you want what’s called POP email that you open and save on your computer, you need a different type of email service. Your Internet Service Provider will generally give you POP email, but it’s at their domain name. Once again, no personal identification and not a business image.
For a personalized email address, the thing to do is buy yourself a domain name. This will cost you somewhere around a dollar a month. This is all you really have to spend as a minimum. What you do is use the email forwarding feature of your domain name to send incoming mail to the email account you have now. In other words, mail that comes in to YourName@YourDomain.com will be forwarded automatically to YourName@Gmail.com or YourName@YourISPsDomain.com, as examples.
The next step up is actual email hosting. What email hosting does is provide the email servers but not the web servers for your domain name. Why do that? Not everyone wants or needs a website. If everything you do is offline and nobody is going to look for you or your business through a search engine, then a website is just money down the drain. Perhaps you are well established with lots of visitors on a Blog, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account. Website? Why get into building your own website? But you may well want a personalized email account.
There are two types of email servers you’ll be using. POP or POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) servers are the ones that deliver the email to your computer. These are for incoming messages. When people talk about a having a POP account, this is what they are referring to. You set the preference on your email program to the address of the POP3 server. You’ll also need to set up a username and password so that you and only you can get your mail. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) mail servers are for outgoing mail. You tell your email program what SMTP server to use so you can send, reply or redirect email messages. Another type of server is called IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). This is a competitor to POP3. If you need it, make sure your hosting provider offers this service. Most do.
The most basic email hosting will run you another dollar a month. That’s two bucks a month to have both a domain name and email hosting. For that, you get 1 GB of disk storage on the server, up to 10 separate email accounts, virus protection and Webmail access. Yes, you can have web mail at your domain name so you can access your mail online from a different computer than the one that has your email program.
Want more email accounts or more disk space? A deluxe email hosting service runs $1.99 a month for 5 GB of storage and 25 user-defined email accounts.
A business email hosting account is more sophisticated. The one offered by Domain.com offers cloud collaboration and secure sharing, similar to Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint. Employees can share inboxes, contacts, calendars, tasks, and files to improve teamwork and productivity. You get push email, push contacts and push calendar with immediate sync that is Exchange ActiveSync compatible. You can access your account anywhere, including web, desktop or smartphone. Anti-virus and anti-spam is built-in. Document storage is centralized and document sharing is encrypted for security. This service is both Microsoft Windows and Outlook friendly. All this runs you $4.99 per user per month.
If you don’t need the collaboration features, you may be interested in mobile email hosting for $1.99 per user / mo. That gives you the ability to keep your mobile phone in sync with your email, calendar and contacts. You email is secured with encryption, plus anti-virus and anti-spam to keep trouble out of your inbox.
Do you like the low cost and personalization benefits that you can get from email hosting? If so, check out domain names and email hosting plans from Domain.com. You get a lot of benefit for a small amount of money.