What Level of Email Service Do I Need For My Belize Business??
Recently one thing has become clear – there really is a difference in the level of email service that different businesses need and understanding your email requirements can help ensure that you get the proper email service for your business. Many people probably do not ask questions when picking an email service probably because the assumption is that all email services are about the same…which is not the case! What we have found is that there are several levels of email services available – at least using the hosting company that we currently use – and matching the level of service with your business needs can ensure that email issues do not become a hindrance to the operation of your organization.
So what are the things you need to consider when picking a service level and what are the different options? In terms of the primary things to consider, there are several questions you need to ask:
- How many messages do you receive in a day?
- How many email accounts do I need?
- Do you need to receive messages immediately or can some time pass before getting messages?
- What size attachments will I likely send or receive?
- Is it absolutely critical that email be up and running all the time? Could downtime, even small periods, lose you significant business?
Once these questions are answered then picking one of three options because much easier.
So what are the options available? In general, based on the hosting options we have available, the options tend to fall into three categories:
Option One: Using a highly shared email service (low cost/moderate level of service)
One way hosting companies deliver email services relatively inexpensively is to place numerous email accounts (and websites) from many domains on one server. This allows one machine to provide service to many people – great from the point of view of reducing cost. However, there is a downside. If one of the other domains start to use up to many resources on the server by sending a lot of emails or having a large number of website visitors then your email service can be affected – delaying the sending and receiving of emails and, in the worse case, stopping your email service from working altogether. Also, since there are so many email accounts on one machine the size of attachments is usually limited – in our case to 13 MB – and the amount of space available for email accounts is limited as well (3 GB for all the email accounts in one domain). So a service like this is best for someone that is a light user of email, has a few email account, does not send large attachments and can afford to have periodic delays in sending/receiving email. This option is usually included in our service plans at no additional charge.
Option Two: Business email (moderate cost/high level of service)
Most hosting companies recognize that some organizations need a higher level of email services and what our hosting company offers is a Business Email service. This service is offered on machines specifically created to host email accounts and it does not share as many accounts as mentioned in the previous example. What this means is that more resources are available to handle your email service resulting in things like few to no email services delays, attachment sizes up to 25 MB, and each email account has 3 GB of space available – a huge difference from the previous example. As you might expect these extra resources come at a cost of about $3 US/month of each email account. There are other advantages as well that are not worth discussing here. So this service is best for an organization that is a moderate user of email, has a small to moderate number of accounts, needs to send large attachments and/or needs a reliable email service that is rarely down or slow.
Option Three: Google Apps email (highest cost/higher level of service)
Although many hosting companies offer solid email hosting services, many organizations want to use a service that is even better then what they can find at most hosting companies. Several years ago Google started offering a service where you could use their email services while still sending and receiving emails using your own domain name. Although initially free for small organizations, the service now cost something for all users – starting at about $5 US/month of each account as of the writing of this blog and moving up to $10 US/month for those interested in a very high level of service. The reason this service has been so successful is because Google does it better than virtually anyone else – great reliability, security, 25 MB attachment size and 25 GB of space for email and data. In addition the email service comes with a range of additional applications that you can use as well. If you organization can afford it and needs top of the line email services – it is hard to beat Google for the price.
So bottom line – if you are a light email user who can afford to periodically have email issues then shared hosting is great. Is you need good reliability and increased service then a Business email service is probably the way to go and if email is absolutely essential and you can afford it then the Google Apps service should work for you.