So far in our series of Affordable Website Design - in Part 1 we talked about getting a 'domain name' and then in Part 2 we discussed how this domain is 'pointed' to the machine that is 'hosting' the website. Now lets discuss the next important but often overlooked part of your website - the email accounts.
Yes, the simple email account we take for granted everyday is a 'brand ambassador' of sorts.
First lets look at some common mistakes as they relate to the contact us page on a business website.
Have you visited a website say for example - superwidget.com, and then when you go to the contact us page you see something like widget123 @yahoo.com or widget123 @gmail.com. Sure we have all seen this and what is the first impression you get of this business? yep, lame - they don't have an email setup for their own domain? come on this is how serious they take their own business, let alone mine?
When you purchase a hosting account, most hosting companies provide a WebMail service to go with it so its just a simple matter of setting up the number of accounts needed. For instance info @superwidget.com, sales @superwidget.com etc.
So, you are asking yea cool, so why a whole blog as part of Affordable Website Design Series to tell me about a simple email account creation?
Well, my suggestion is a little bit more than just using your webhosting account email server.
I recommend Google Apps Email service rather than your webhosting email service.
- Most if not all the people are familiar with Google mail and we know how to use it. Its simple, its efficient at keeping spam out and most of all it rarely goes down.
- With Google Apps you continue to use your domain based email like sales @superwidget.com even though you are hosting your website with some other host.
- Email stay in ONE place. This is the biggest reason why Google Apps email should be implemented. You are free to switch hosting accounts without having to worry about backing up emails if you do decide to change your website hosting company.
- Email delivery - Again this becomes VERY VERY important when you consider how many legit emails get lost as SPAM when they come from shared servers hosting hundreds of domain that might have a bad apples that ruin it for the rest of the hosts on that machine. Your email getting delivered from Google Servers will deliver faster, especially if going to Gmail accounts.
- $50 bucks/employee for a whole year of service for the Google Apps Premier Edition it makes good business sense.
So there you have it, we have covered the basics of an Affordable Website Design (Domain Name, Hosting, Email) without actually talking about the website itself. In the next piece I will talk about the the various 'engines' that can run a website and how choosing one over the other effect your wallet.