Many WordPress hosting providers moving away from hosting email accounts or generally discouraging it. WP Engine, for example, is one of the leading WordPress web hosts and they do not provide email hosting. On the other hand, you will find much cheaper shared hosting solutions which do provide email hosting facilities, although you will have to set things up yourself, typically through cPanel. My recommendation is to host your email separately from your website. There are many reasons for doing so.
On the other hand, you will find much cheaper shared hosting solutions which do provide email hosting facilities, although you will have to set things up yourself, typically through cPanel. My recommendation is to host your email separately from your website. There are many reasons for doing so.
My recommendation is to host your email separately from your website. There are many reasons for doing so. For example, the UI and UX provided by email providers like Gmail or Zoho are infinitely superior to the ones provided with your cPanel. I also feel way more secure having my email managed by a well-known dedicated email provider as they rarely if ever go down and you don’t need to worry about backups or your site being hacked as they have very good infrastructures to take care of that.
Gmail used to have the Gmail for Business offering for free until a few years ago when they made it a premium service. Luckily I had managed to register all my business accounts with Gmail while it was still free, and also got all the google apps to boot. I recently had to set up some email accounts for new projects I am working on and thus did some research on free or cheap Gmail alternatives. I also asked around within the WordPress community to see what others are using. Here’s what I found.
The Best Gmail Alternatives
Gmail (including the whole Google Apps bundle) costs $5/user/month which is a pretty decent price, but for a small business it might not be justifiable to pay this when there are alternatives that do the job just fine. So what are some good alternatives. From my research two services stood out.
I’ve been using Zoho for a few years now and while the overall experience is not as good as Gmail’s, they are a very decent alternative, and best of all the price is nada until you reach 25 users. You will then need to move to their Premium plan and pay $10/user/month. So it’s actually more expensive than Gmail but you get 25 users for free which is more than enough for most WordPress websites and small businesses in general.
Many of my friends in the WordPress space recommended FastMail. It is a very good and affordable email provider.
Gmail remains an affordable and solid option, keeping in mind the apps that you get when you sign up (Docs, Calendar etc). If I know beforehand that I would need more than 25 inboxes I would go for Gmail without any hesitation. Unfortunately, it is no longer free as it was a few years ago.
If you are looking for a free option and will need less than 25 inboxes, Zoho is an excellent bet and what you get is very similar to Gmail’s offer, but of course for free up to 25 email accounts.
What’s your experience been with email providers? Which one is your favourite?