For the next article in our series on best practices for email management (see last week’s post on why your site may not be sending emails), we are taking a slight step away from WordPress and discussing a topic that is applicable to all sites, regardless of the platform they are built on.
What is external email hosting?
External email hosting is when your email account is not hosted through the same server that hosts your website. There are a lot of great external email hosting platforms available these days with G Suite and Office 365 being the most popular. These services usually cost a small monthly fee and are often an expense that frugal business owners look to cut early in their business’s life. However, it is very really important that you make the small investment to externally host your emails for these three reasons:
1. Server is hacked
We pride ourselves on the fact that in our many years of doing business, a site has only become infected a handful of times. We think we’re the best at it in our industry, and even we can’t guarantee that a site will never be hacked.
The problem is that when a site is hacked, they aren’t just getting access to it. They are also getting access to the entire server. We segment all of our sites into self-contained instances that prevent the entire server from being hacked but there is no way to separate email accounts from where the site is hosted when external email hosting is not used.
Not only will they be able to comb through all of your emails, but they will be send emails directly from your account. This could extremely harmful to your business, and it could cause your domain to be blacklisted and unable to send emails (more on that in next week’s blog post).
2. Better email deliverability
Last week we touched on the hang-ups that can occur when using external email hosting, but this is something that can be easily remedied by either subscribing to our services or through an SMTP gateway, such as MailGun or SendGrid.
Once configured to your site, emails from externally hosted email services are always going to have better deliverability to the intended recipient’s inbox and avoid spam filters. Nearly all modern email clients, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, have the ability to discern when an email is being generated from a web hosting server – as opposed to a server that was designed for mail. They look at these emails as being potentially unsafe and are much more likely to block their delivery.
3. Server downtime is inevitable
Even the best web hosting companies in the world can only ensure 99.9% uptime. Amazon’s web hosting servers went down for an extended period of time during the week of Thanksgiving. If a company with the resources and technical expertise of Amazon can have downtime that lasts for hours when literally millions of dollars are at stake, we have to accept downtime as an inevitably.
We specialize in making sure we are aware the second your site goes down so we can work on fixing the issue, but for businesses that choose to host their email from their web server, it’s not just their website that goes down. Emails will go undelivered and they will be unable to receive any new messages. Even worse, their clients will get a notification saying that the email address they are trying to reach them at is no longer available.
It may same like a superfluous expense to spend $8 or even $12 a month for external email hosting, but it’s one of the most cost-effective expenses your business can make. We’ve just covered the biggest reasons why you should use a service like G Suite or Office 365, but these are hardly the only reasons to do so.
And if you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to look at the monthly benefits we provide to all subscribers. For only $49 month, we can ensure the security, optimization, and uptime of your website. We also take care of the foundational SEO components that Google expects of your site, so you can finally move up in search rankings and bring more traffic to your site.