Should You Host Your Email on the Same Server as Your Web Site?
Many small businesses decide to host their email on their web server. After all, if you have a website you absolutely have to have email, right? When asking yourself where you should host your email the correct answer is: NOT on your website. You might be protesting right now. Every good web hosting service, and even the not so great ones, give this sort of service away for free when you host your site with them.
Free to Fail
Freebies are all well and good, but the truth is if (and when) your website goes down, what is going to happen? Your email is going with it – oops. No notifications via email about issues, no chance to take angry customers’ concerns before they get to a boiling point. Sure, you can hope that there is an alternative way to be notified, like SMS, but that still leaves you at a pretty big loss. Remember the old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket.? Do that, and when your web server goes down you have eggs everywhere and a bunch of angry customers complaining at the same time!
Resource Hogging and How It Will Starve Your Website
Email hosting eats up a LOT of resources. If your hosting service has restrictions or fees that come with going over the use contract, you’re going to be looking at some high costs. What’s worse is that those resources being taken over by email means that you’re going to have a web page both loading and running much more slowly. Users are not going to be impressed. Worse still, Google tracks the loading time of your web pages down to the millisecond. If you site loads too slowly, Google will send visitors to other pages that load more quickly.
Don’t Hit the Panic Button Yet
Starting to see the point? Fortunately, it isn’t all a horror show of limited options and expensive technology. Your web server should exist solely for the purpose of loading your page quickly and efficiently. It’s bad for business to be slow, and your livelihood shouldn’t be put in jeopardy because of email problems.
We’ve established that you don’t want to ever host email on your web server, but it should also be said that you shouldn’t ever host your own email server either.
Gmail – The Easy Button
The simplest option is actually Gmail. Gmail, which is a Google product, is free and the cheapest option for your domain, which is great if you’re just getting started. Google’s biggest advantage is that it is, well, Google. It has the financial force to throw into getting the best people and technology that can be bought – and you won’t ever need to worry about Gmail going down. In the unlikely scenario of that happening, there would many, many people working on getting it fixed. For technophobes, another advantage is that Gmail is easy to use and configure. You won’t even need a family member who is good with computers to get it running for you.
Nothing to Lose, But Everything to Gain
Using a third party such as Gmail ensures that your email will still be running even if your website goes down. You also won’t have to worry about your website loading at slows speeds and being passed over by Google. Anyone hosting a website knows how important it is that the site doesn’t go down and how important it is also that you have email as an option available. Whether you are hosting a fan page, a portfolio, or running a business, your website represents an important part of you and your goals. One bundle of services might seem easier and more convenient than separate services, but it’s also a possible way to drive off potential traffic and customers.
No matter how you view it, email is necessary in this age of communication. With customer and reader feedback being as important and instantaneous as it typically is, email is necessary both for you and for the people who are interacting with your website. “You get what you pay for” really applies in this situation. An option that combines web hosting with email hosting is useful in some cases. When it comes to the operation of your web site, however, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.