Website hosting has many different pieces to it that all work together to store your website’s data safely. From firewalls and security certificates to storage space and bandwidth, the pieces cover a large range of actions.
One piece that is often overlooked is email. While most, if not all, businesses have their own email, many don’t think much about the behind the scenes portion of their email. A major player supporting your email is the SMTP services.
What are SMTP Services?
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, or SMTP, is a very important part of your email. It is a set of rules used to aid in sending and receiving emails. Using a process called “store and forward” the SMTP works with the MTA (mail transfer agent) to send your email to the right person.
However, SMTP is a push protocol, meaning that it can only send and not receive. In order to receive, two other protocols are used called POP3 or IMAP. These work with your MTA as well but instead of pushing out information, they pull, gathering any email sent to your MTA.
SMTP is a simple process which can cause some issues. The protocol is text-based, meaning that it can only transfer text. However, we know that not every email is going to just be text. Thankfully, images, fonts, colors, etc. are converted to text so they can still be sent and received.
Another common issue that can arise is spamming. Again, due to the simplicity of SMTP, spamming can be done rather easily. Thankfully, hosting companies know about this issue as well and implement different measures to help prevent spam from reaching your email.
What else should you look for in regards to SMTP when it comes to website hosting?
How Hosting Affects SMTP
As SMTP is a protocol, there are certain settings you can change to alter how the protocol works. Being able to access these settings, however, is not something that all hosts will offer.
Changing these settings can be very beneficial. For example, changing the port to a more secure port will add another layer of security to your email. More and more ISPs are banning the default port for SMTP because of the excessive amount of spam being sent. Receiving less span is another reason you will want to change your port and why having a host that allows this is key.
Choosing a Host
When choosing a host, see if they are offering you email as part of their plans. If they are, chances are that you can access the protocol’s settings and change them as needed. Offering email is also a good sign that the host has put in measures to stop spamming and other malicious emails from reaching your email.
In addition to email security, make sure that the website security being offered is up to par as well. Preventing outside sources access to your email and website should be at the top of your list.
Before deciding on a website hosting plan, reach out to their customer support and ask some key questions. Ask if you can change the settings if needed, what security measures are in place to stop spamming and outside attacks, and how many email addresses you can have.
While we didn’t discuss this in detail, being able to have an adequate number of email addresses for your website is a great thing to have. Eventually, you will want to grow your website and business, and having a proper number of email addresses is one less thing to worry about. InMotion Hosting offers unlimited addresses just for this reason, and also has a large database of FAQs dealing with SMTP settings and setting it up. For more information head over to our site and look through the different hosting plans we offer.