Once I’ve met with a prospective client and we’ve agreed to move forward on their website project, there’s one question that inevitably comes up.
It doesn’t matter whether the client never had a website or is having a website redesign. The question is:
We need several email accounts with our domain name. Can we get email accounts with our hosting?
My answer is: yes, you can.
But that’s not what I recommend. Here’s why.
Keep Your Email Accounts Separate From Your Web Hosting
I always recommend my clients keep their email accounts and web hosting with separate vendors.
And the reason is:
When your web host goes down (and hosting does go down), you still have an active email address to continue to stay in touch with your clients (and explain why your site is down).
If you have email and web hosting at the same vendor and hosting goes down, you’re out of luck.
You won’t be able to use email to communicate with your clients.
The second reason I keep email and web hosting separate: email hosting often has more email features , as well as apps, available to you. You’ll also get more storage.
Getting email from a web host can mean less features and less storage, with a web-based email interface.
Email Host Recommendations
Now that I’ve convinced you (have I convinced you?) to keep email and web hosting separate, where can you get email hosting?
Currently, I have three email hosts, both free and paid, that I recommend to clients.
Yes, there are more hosts out there. But these are the ones that I’ve used and my fellow web designer colleagues have recommended to me.)
First recommendation is Zoho email hosting service, which offers up to 25 ad-free email accounts for free. Note: there are limits on storage.
Paid Zoho accounts (with more storage, custom logo) begin at $2.50 USD/month per user (as of January 2017). Learn more about Zoho plans and pricing.
I’ve used Zoho with several of my clients. It’s straightforward to set up and offers web, mobile, and desktop access.
My second recommendation is G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps), which offers not only email, but a calendar, document creation, and storage.
Two G Suite plans are available, you can try out either plan for free for 14 days.
The basic G Suite costs $5 USD/user per month, which includes 30GB of cloud storage. Business plans, with additional features are available for $10/user per month.
I used to recommend G Suite to all my clients, but some clients preferred to not use Google. So I looked for another alternative. I found Zoho easier to set up and that’s my preferred email host at this time.
Another option is Microsoft Office 365, which one of my design colleagues recommended.
Unfortunately, I haven’t used it with my clients. If you have, share your experience in the comments.
Small business plans for Office 365 start at $5.00 USD/user per month. The plan comes with 50GB mailbox and 1TB of file storage and sharing.
As I’ve written previously about domain names and web hosting, you want to protect yourself. Keep control of your site and your email by keeping email hosting and web hosting separage.
For ease of use, and one billing, I recognize some people may prefer to keep both email and web hosting at the same vendor. Recognize that it could cause issues when web hosting goes down.