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Choosing the ideal email host

Choosing the ideal email host Consider these three things

Email began as one of the earliest tools of communication on the Internet and it has since been evolving everyday. While we do have many other ways to communicate with each other on the web, be it social networks or instant messengers, email still stands tall as a leading method for getting in touch. Whether you’re engaging in formal conversations or general document sharing, email is a person’s first address on the internet even to this day.

When it comes to professional presence in particular, a generic @gmail or @yahoo email address doesn’t always work. You may want to have your own email, hosted with a reliable and reputed provider, simply for the sake of additional features and the sense of professionalism that it brings along.

So when you’re looking for an email host, here are some of the key features that should be on your mind.

1. Reliability

In terms of email hosting, reliability is the biggest factor that you should take into consideration. You can’t afford a downtime of even a few minutes when it comes to email. As such, a reliable hardware with terrific uptime record, as well as minimum bounce rates, is a mandatory requirement that every decent email host should meet.

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Email is a necessity, not a luxury. As a result, reliable uptime and delivery measures must be kept in place.

2. Support

The second thing that you should look for when selecting an email hosting provider is the quality of technical support that is offered.

For email hosting, technical support needs to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. Yes, this includes holidays too, simply because if your email goes down on a holiday, you wouldn’t want to wait until the next Monday to get it fixed.

Another aspect of technical support that is worth noting is the time factor. Basically, you can divide the time factor into two parts: response time and resolution time. The support response time refers to the time between creation of a support ticket or query, and the first response that you receive from the support staff. On the other hand, resolution time refers to the time taken for the actual solution of the problem.

Now, most email hosts tend to take pride in response times, wherein you get a prompt reply as soon as you create the support ticket. However, the average resolution time is what really matters. A generic “Hey! We got your query; please wait!” will suffice as a good response time measure, but what if you are required to wait two days for the resolution of your problem? Thus, when looking at the support factor, be sure to keep in mind both response and resolution times.

Photo credit to Viktor Hanacek. Photo credit to Viktor Hanacek.

3. Your Own Needs

When choosing an email host, you also need to keep an eye on your own needs and requirements. For instance, if all you need is an email solution for your newsletters or other mass mailing needs, services such as Mandrill or Aweber might be better solutions for you than a mainstream email hosting server. However, if you need professional grade email solutions for your own firm, say an enterprise email solution for your company, an email hosting provider should be your pick.

You will also need to keep track of factors such as the amount of storage required, the total number of email accounts or users that you might need to create, and so on. Nowadays, virtually every email hosting provider offers support for SMTP, IMAP and POP3. However, you will still need to check about details such as the anti-spam measures in place.

Many email hosts also offer collaboration and productivity tools in addition to email hosting. Such tools might be something as basic as notepads or common calendars to help you manage your workflow, or even larger office solutions such as spreadsheets or word processors. In some cases, it might be a good idea to keep your collaboration tools separate from your email server so there’s no single point of failure — it all boils down to how you intend to manage your workflow.

Selecting the ideal email hosting solution can be a tricky business. Luckily, searching for reviews of existing providers and sending pre-sales tickets can help you assess the performance of a given firm. Plus, many providers, such as Namecheap for example, offer a one-month or two-month trial service, that will help you better comprehend whether a given email hosting platform is suitable for your needs or not.

Which email hosting solution would you recommend? Share your thoughts with us using the comments below!

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