Email hosting is a service that businesses can use to host their own domain email address. With all the different communication methods we use nowadays, email is still the main pillar when it comes to sharing information, and making enquiries to small businesses. It would seem odd, unprofessional, and perhaps illegitimate, if a small business did not have an available email address that you could contact. If this important pillar were to cease working, who knows how many leads and customers you may lose because of it!
Some email hosting providers can be expensive, but if you are only using one or two licenses it is usually pretty reasonable. You may wonder why it’s worth paying for an email provider when you can just sign up for a Gmail account for free. The answer to that is reliability, professionalism, and features.
The major email providers are rock steady. Their servers barely go down, they are experts in the space, and they support businesses of all sizes. Their jam is hosting emails, and they can offer customers a specialised product, as opposed to a website host “offering” email hosting. Their user experience is tried and tested, and intuitive to navigate.
Most customers would much prefer to see a business email address such as [email protected] rather than [email protected]. The domain email address shows that the business is authentic, credible, and a serious contender, and is your simplest marketing technique for brand visibility. A Gmail/Yahoo address may seem like a very early startup or a “side-hustle” and lacks that professional quality your valued customers and clients deserve.
When you sign up for a paid email hosting provider, you are likely to get more than just a domain email address. Such features as off-site cloud backups, file storage, extra space, shared calendars, and other business tools are very useful when running a business.
Why you should never host your emails together with your website
The plain and simple answer to this is, if your website server goes down, then so may your emails. Many website hosting providers offer “free” email addresses with your website hosting package. I do not recommend these, especially on shared servers. I can’t tell you the number of horror stories I have heard from clients whose emails are on GoDaddy or BlueHost and have lost access to their emails, or even worse their whole accounts!
It is a risk putting your emails and website together on shared servers, as there could be hundreds of other websites and their email accounts jammed on that one server. When even one of those other sites has a vulnerability and is not properly secured, it opens the gateway onto that server for hackers to enter and spread their nastiness to your website!
The other main reason is space. Emails take up a lot of it. This can clog up your website database and cause a slow site, and security vulnerabilities. It would be way more efficient to spread all that data out on two servers, keeping everything secure and ship shape.
Also as a business scales, the need for more users, and more features becomes apparent. The free email accounts just don’t have the space or functionality to keep up. And if you ever had to change website hosts for some reason, you would need to migrate all your emails as well – a mega pain in the butt! Keep. Them. Separate.
The Best Email Hosting Providers
This leads me to my top picks for a secure and drama-free email hosting solutions for small businesses: Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Rackspace and Zoho mail. These are all low-cost options that offer many features that allow small companies to grow without worrying about the cost of their accounts. Let’s take a closer look at these options.
Formerly G Suite, Google Workspace is my number one choice and is who Lucky Cat Studio use to host our own email. It is super easy to set up, and has never let me down when changing website hosts and DNS records multiple times.
You can use email ‘aliases’ to create extra email addresses which go to the one core account: such as [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]. This could save you from having to buy extra user licenses, but still streamline operations.
Along with a seamless user experience, Google Workspace offers a host of apps which I use daily to run my business such as Google Drive, Calendar, Docs, Forms, and Hangouts. From only US$6 per user per month, this is a STEAL.
Very similar to Google, Microsoft’s 365 solution is a good one for those seasoned MS users. It is often used on a corporate level, but also has a strong following as an email provider for small businesses. Like Google, it is cloud-based and includes a plethora of apps, great functionality, and scalability. The base business package starts from US$5 per user per month.
Rackspace provide a great email hosting solution and team up with my website host, Cloudways, to offer customers a simple, low cost add on when building your website. Their service and features are up there with the big guns, and the interface is user friendly. It can be run through the webmail or outlook apps on your devices. Lucky Cat Studio are a reseller and offer Rackspace email accounts from US$4 per user per month.
Zoho Mail is an up and coming email host that offers email hosting at a low price. Perfect for startups and small businesses on a budget, you can choose from three different Zoho packages to suit your needs. Go the full hog and get those extra productivity apps and a lot of storage for US$4 per user per month, or go with the cheap bare bones option which offers email hosting and shared calendars for a measly US$1 per user per month.
The winner is…
So even though there are many options for email hosting out there, I would highly recommend you to stick to one of these four options. But without further ado, my top pick, and best email hosting solution for small business award goes to: Google Workspace. This is due to reliability, ease of use, affordability, available apps, and integration possibilities.
Thanks for reading – I hope you found this post helpful. If you’re in the market for a new website and are looking to sign up for a new email provider, please let me know and we can jump on a call and I’ll guide you through the process.
Please note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, and at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you sign up for any of these products. Please know that I only recommend and advise on products that are tried and tested and would be truly helpful to your business.