Email hosting is an online hosting service that rents out and operates email servers. Signing up for an email hosting service isn’t the same as signing up for a free email account like Gmail or Yahoo. While similar, email hosting provides a more premium product.
Further, signing up for email hosting is also not the same as signing up for web hosting–although you often can get both services from one provider.
Confused yet? We know, it can be tricky.
That’s why we put together this simple little guide that will walk you through email hosting, how it differs from web hosting, and why it’s essential for your business.
Let’s get going!
What is Email Hosting?
As a website owner, you likely already know what web hosting is–after all, if you have a website, you have web hosting. You may not know how web hosting differs from email hosting, though, or you may have assumed that they are the same exact thing.
Here’s how they differ:
- Website hosting is a service that provides the physical computer space (a server) necessary for your website to ‘live’ on the internet. It involves website files being stored on one or more servers and making those files available to web browsers. Content that will be stored on the server includes everything from software and apps to text and images. There are four main types of hosting: shared, dedicated, VPS and cloud. Each has its own pros and cons and the one you choose should be based on your business and its requirements.
- Email hosting is also a service in which a hosting provider rents out server space–only these servers are used exclusively for email data. Email hosting can be:
- On the same server that hosts your website data
- With the same company that hosts your website, but on a different server
- With a completely different company that exclusively handles email hosting
Why is Using Email Hosting Important for your Business?
A business email is the address from which you send any communications that are business-related. Ideally, it should be a professional email that uses your domain name–for example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using a professional email address is vital, for several reasons:
- A professional email address lets your audience know that you are a legitimate business and adds credibility
- An email address using your domain name is unique and memorable
- A domain name-based email allows you to arrange email aliases, or email forwarders, such as “email@example.com”
- People are more likely to open your email when it comes from a professional address
What Should You Look For in an Email Host?
Email host providers all vary in what they include with their services, but there are a few features you should never skimp on. Here’s what you should look for before signing up:
- Unlimited email addresses: Many businesses have dozens, or even hundreds, of employees that they need to allocate email addresses to. It’s important that your hosting provider provides unlimited addresses so you can scale as your business grows.
- Spam protection: Any email hosting service you sign up for should offer email spam protection. That means that you should be able to set up filters and any email marked as “spam” should not make it through to your email inbox. In addition, the software should be able to automatically filter out emails that are sent from illegitimate sources so you never see them at all.
- Email forwarders: Email forwarders make it possible to forward an email from one of your email addresses to another. For example, if you have several different emails listed on your website, you can have them all channel to one general inbox that you check on a daily basis.
- Auto-responders: An auto-responder is an automatic message you can set to go out when certain triggers are met. For example, you can set an autoresponder to say something like “Thank you for your message. We will respond to you within 24 business hours” whenever a new message arrives.
Professional email hosting is essential for your business. It helps you appear more credible, honest, and legitimate. And setting it up is easy–especially when you combine it with your web hosting services.
All of InMotion Hosting’s business hosting plans come with free unlimited email accounts. In addition, our shared hosting is great for static websites, database-driven content management systems, and custom applications . . . and we can install WordPress, Joomla, or PrestaShop during your checkout.
If you’re interested in learning about our shared hosting plans with unlimited email accounts, reach out today to speak to one of our helpful customer service representatives.