Web Hosting E-mail Services
Hosting services should include e-mail accounts and e-mail services.
Hosting solutions should include e-mail accounts for each person in your company.
E-mail addresses should appear something like this:
POP stands for Post Office Protocol. POP is a standard client/server protocol for sending and receiving e-mail.
The e-mails are received and held on your internet server until you pick it up with a client e-mail program, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.
IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP is another standard protocol for sending and receiving e-mail.
The e-mails are received, and held on your internet server, until you pick it up with a client e-mail program, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.
IMAP represents an improvement over POP because e-mail stored on an IMAP server can be manipulated from several computers (a computer at home, a workstation at the office, etc.), without having to transfer messages back and forth between computers. POP was designed to support e-mail access on one single computer.
Web-based e-mail services enable you to access your e-mail via a web browser. You log into your e-mail account via the Web to send and retrieve e-mail. Being able to access your e-mail from any browser anywhere in the world is a very attractive option. Ask your potential host if they have this option.
Examples of web-based e-mail services are Gmail and Hotmail.
E-mail forwarding allows you to have multiple e-mail personalities.
With e-mail forwarding, you can setup aliases for other e-mail accounts like:
firstname.lastname@example.org should be forwarded to email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org should be forwarded to email@example.com
Some service providers offer mailing list capabilities. This is valuable if you plan to send out e-mails to a large number of users.
Web Hosting Providers
To make your web site visible to the world, you’ll have to store it on a web server.
Hosting your own Web site
Hosting your web site on your own server is always an option. Here are some points to consider:
To run a “real” web site, you will have to buy some powerful server hardware. Don’t expect that a low cost PC will do the job. You will also need a permanent (24 hours a day ) high-speed connection.
Remember that server-licenses often are higher than client-licenses. Also note that server-licenses might have limits on number of users.
Don’t expect low labor expenses. You have to install your own hardware and software. You also have to deal with bugs and viruses, and keep your server constantly running in an environment where “everything could happen”.
Using an Internet Service Provider
Renting a server from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a common option.
Most small companies store their web site on a server provided by an ISP. Here are some advantages:
Most ISPs have very fast connections to the Internet.
ISPs often have powerful web servers that can be shared by several companies. You can also expect them to have an effective load balancing, and necessary backup servers.
Security and Stability
ISPs are specialists on web hosting. Expect their servers to have more than 99% up time, the latest software patches, and the best virus protection.
Things to Consider with an ISP
Make sure your ISP offers 24-hours support. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you cannot fix critical problems without having to wait until the next working day. Toll-free phone could be vital if you don’t want to pay for long distance calls.
Make sure your ISP runs a daily backup routine, otherwise you may lose some valuable data.
Study the ISP’s traffic volume restrictions. Make sure that you don’t have to pay a fortune for unexpected high traffic if your web site becomes popular.
Bandwidth or Content Restrictions
Study the ISP’s bandwidth and content restrictions. If you plan to publish pictures or broadcast video or sound, make sure that you can. Ask these questions and evaluate the response
Make sure your ISP supports the e-mail capabilities you need.
Front Page Extensions
If you use FrontPage to develop your web site, make sure your ISP supports FrontPage server extensions.
If you plan to use data from databases on your web site, make sure your ISP supports the database access you need.
Ensure the ISP allows flexibility to accommodate the growing needs your website without high expense