If you are using a Gmail or Hotmail email account as your main business email address, you are more than likely to be losing a lot of potential customers before they even contact you.
We understand that some people have evolved into this situation, from starting as a smaller company and then growing into a larger business; but one of the main things you need to do once you have expanded and are looking to be taken seriously as a business is to make sure you are receiving emails through your domain name.
The problems with free email hosting
When people see that you are using a Hotmail address (and many of the other free email providers) to receive emails from prospective clients, the first impressions that they will have are:
- The business must not be that established as they can’t afford a real business email address
- They must not be serious enough about it to setup an email address under their own domain
- Or the business has grown, but key infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded to meet that growth, or, you don’t know how to get someone to do that for you
These are questions that you don’t want going through your clients minds, especially before you’ve even had a chance to show them why you’re worth dealing with!
It’s also worth knowing that the anti-spam and anti-virus services offered by some free providers end up offering little real protection. So not only are you presenting a less than optimal look, but you are making yourself vulnerable to viruses/infections and phishing attacks! Gmail, by the way, is the exception to this as they provide outstanding protection.
By the way – we’d particularly recommend you avoid using a Hotmail address; Gmail is much better though probably a notch below using your own domain name.
It’s for these reasons and others that it really makes sense for most businesses to host their emails on their domain name.
Why hosting email under your domain name is better
Having your emails hosted under your own domain name shows that:
- You’re serious about your public image and want to make a good first impression
- You have invested time and money into your businesses infrastructure
- You understand good internet business practice
- You’ve actively taken steps to ensure you’re protected from malicious emails
In general with paid email hosting solutions the spam and virus filtering will be light-years ahead of what a free solution will give you. That means that you will be less likely to receive phishing emails trying to steal bank details, emails with malicious files attached looking to infect your computers, or even targeted by email-based social engineering attacks. This is particularly important in this day and age where crypto attacks (which encode all your computers and ask for a password) are common and frequent.
What sort of professional email hosting should I choose?
For a long term email hosting solution that will scale with your business needs, we recommend using either Microsoft Exchange® or Google’s G Suite® email hosting.
Both of these email solutions work with your website’s domain name and have a wide range of benefits, including:
- G Suite and Microsoft Exchange will store large quantities of email
- They’ll allow you to have your emails synchronised between any device connected to them
- They take advantage of the latest in spam prevention technology
- You’re able to add and remove email accounts as necessary, making this an easy choice for any business that needs the flexibility to expand
- They provide business-grade sharing abilities, for instance, in calendar sharing and other areas
One of the biggest deals with nearly all forms of paid email hosting is that they backup your email for you. That means that in the event of a loss of a laptop or an attack by the frightening crypto-ransom hackers, you will still have all your email and usually it’s also available over a web interface as well. Don’t underestimate how critical this can be!
While cPanel email is good enough to use in the very early days of a startup, it has various problems in the long term – in particular it doesn’t cope well with multiple clients (email readers) for the same address and backup isn’t handled well. cPanel provide a reasonable and basic content filter to stop spam and anti-virus (depends on the host a little). It’s great for when you first get started as it doesn’t cost extra, but long term it may end up costing you more in inconvenience and wasted time.
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