External email hosting for your own company domain is a simple thing to do these days. Industries largest mail providers are already providing mail hosting support for your custom domains. In this already sinking economy, one should think about reducing costs. I just tried to explore few option for my own business and found them really attractive. I would love to share this information with people around for striving in this economy.
Google: Google Apps Standard Edition
Google is laying out many powerful services for web users. Google Apps allows you with their own domain to move entire mail infrastructure to Google.
Google provides its Google Apps in three editions depending on the number of features you need. The standard and education edition are provided for free (provided you own the domain name you are using) and has pretty much all the features that a small business or an individual needs. But if you want rich features then you can purchase a premium edition for which they charge a nominal $50 per year per account.
The coolest thing i like about external hosting of email is your employees can access the mails from anywhere and you need not worry about have a separate web client for doing that.
If you are concerned about you mail security you should go through the details here http://www.google.com/messagesecurity/index.html
Microsoft: Windows live Admin Center
Windows live Admin Center is another custom domain email hosting. Microsoft still is not good a showing error messages the first time I tried registering my domain it throws me this error
You've reached the daily limit for creating Windows Live IDs. Please wait a day and try to sign up again or contact support for assistance.
Error code: 450 : 0x800482d4 : 2009-02-13T18:25:56 GMT
Well, this is something about Microsft stuff we are living with from decades, so lest not worry much about it.
This can certainly be a good option as you are going to see powerful Spam protection with this, you may still continue to use your same old Outlook client (by paying some extra bucks). I still love to use MS Outlook as a stand-alone tool due to its powerful features for meetings, tasks, calendar and other stuff.
Yahoo: Custom Mailbox
Yahoo is another (one of the oldest) options with its rich web interface and powerful apps combination with it. For pricing details you can look at Compare Yahoo Hosting Packages. Not very costly I would say as compared to dedicated team taking care of your mail exchange server.
AOL: My eAddress
AOL is also offering the same service if you already own a domain. Here are more details on same http://domains.aol.com/byod_landing.jsp.
Using your own domain on AOL : http://domains.aol.com/personaldomain/html/faq.html#6
Web hosting on AOL : http://domains.aol.com/personaldomain/html/faq.html#9
I wouldn't want to look around for more options if all big players are trying to offer you this service either free or really low cost. Reducing business costs is not easy in this economy, and I am sure this is going to save small businesses a lot of cost. If you own a domain and also host a mail server then it will be wise thing to move to any of the above listed services. Web world is growing very fast and you should not keep your organization away from obvious advantages it can get you.
Small business organizations:
If you have a business which has less then 100/1000 employees then hosting your own email server will never be a wise thing to do.
Medium/Large business organizations:
- If you have a business which has more then 1000 employees then I am sure you can bargain a really cheaper deal with any of the web hosting companies as its a tough competition for them.
- If you are worried about uptime then I am not sure at what cost you can guarantee better uptime then any of above hosting. I have seen my mail server going down once in a quarter/month, and rarely observe any downtime on any of the above mentioned hosts.
If you are spending huge money on email hosting then this is the time for you to act.