I recently went back to using Google Apps for Business as my email hosting solution. And I’ll never go back to self-hosted services.
First, I’ll explain the difference between hosted and self-hosted mail services. Then I’ll explain why Google should be your only choice.
The difference between self-hosted and hosted email services
When you have a website, your hosting service gives you the option to create emails @yourdomain.com. In this case, you are “self-hosting” your email on your hosting provider’s servers.
The alternative is using Google Apps for Business to host your email. This is a “hosted email service” since it is hosted as a service by a third party company. There are also many other mail service companies on the market.
Below are the reasons I will never go back to self-hosting email.
1) Better email privacy
There are many privacy risks involved with email hosting. If you’re self-hosting your own email, you open yourself up to various vulnerabilities. This includes someone hacking your account, intercepting your emails, and the chance that someone from the hosting service reads your emails.
It’s arguable that Google email service is susceptible to the same privacy concerns, but I would rather trust my email accounts with one of the world’s largest internet service companies than a company with no public scrutiny.
2) Better long-term relaiability
Your email conversations are one of, if not the most, important digital assets of your business.
It’s not advisable to have your email hosted on the same servers as your website. Too many things can happen.
What if your host goes out of business, or your web person decides to no longer offer email as a service? It’s hard to migrate 10,000 emails to a new server. You could end up loosing every email you have, which would be bad for a number of reasons (getting audited, legal issues, compliance laws etc.).
Google is simply a more reliable host then either your GoDaddy/Host Gator/Blue Host provider. Google isn’t going anywhere, therefore neither are your emails.
3) Less sent emails marked as spam
When you host your email on the same server as your website, chances are, you are going to be subject to the reliability of your IP. Your IP is the identifier number of your server. When you use inexpensive (shared) hosting, you typically share the same IP as 10, 20, even 50+ other websites and companies.
If any of them are sending spam emails, whether intentionally or not, the IP will get blocked or marked as spam by major email providers (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook etc.).
Don’t lump yourself in the same basket as dozens of other websites. Emails sent from Google Apps for Business don’t get marked a spam nearly as often as shared email providers.
4) More incoming spam is filtered
Google has one of the world’s best spam filters. It uses the data of millions of users who mark things a spam. It is sophisticated and is great at filtering out the garbage sent by robots and people around the world.
Most self-hosted emails have a basic spam filtering, and they are frequently wrong in marking/not marking emails.
Why not use the multi-billion dollar company as your email providor?
5) Branded emails @yourdomain.com
The best part about Google Apps for Business is that your emails are branded. You don’t have a @gmail.com address, or other free services, which could make you look less credible.
For roughly $50/year, you get your email at your domain. It’s all set up through your registrar, and they can usually help you do it. Simply fill out a support ticket or ask your web person. It’s done within 24 hours.
6) Free and useful add-ons
There are more add-ons and browser extensions on the market today for Google Mail than for any other service provider.
Tools like Rapportive, Boomerang, Gmail Offline and more make your email experience far superior to the average service. Check out this article for a list of add-ons that you can use in conjunction with Google Mail (and Gmail).
7) Additional built-in tools to improve your business workflow.
Having a Google Apps for Business account gives you a variety of great tools.
Some of the Google Apps for Business tools included with every account are:
- Google Calendar, which you can sync on all your computer and devices
- Google Docs, which is a suite of word processing tools accessible and editable from any browser (to compare with Microsoft Excel, Word, etc.)
- 30+GB of space on the Google Drive (similar to Dropbox)
- Google Hangouts and various other features
Overall, the service provides a great deal of add-ons and will only run you about $50/year. The email service alone is worth it, not to mention the protection of your data and the privacy of your email.
For this reason, I have switched back to this service and will continue to use it for the foreseeable future.
KVNW provides setup service for clients requiring this option.