Email Hosting Providers Benchmark: Web Hosting Provider’s Email Accounts

Niccolo Matteoni
email mgmt - web hosting provider

After reviewing the pros and cons of creating, managing and maintaining a dedicated mail server, today we will evaluate, along the same lines, the email accounts offered by hosting providers in conjunction with the registration of a domain and web space. 

Each publication in this series contains relevant information that can be used independently. However, it is recommended that you read the entire series in order to grasp all the useful information and use it to your advantage!
If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you take a look at the previous chapters in the series:

  1. Why you should manage your customers’ emails
  2. 7 Best Practices in Selling and Managing Professional Emails
  3. Email hosting providers benchmark: Dedicated Mail Server

In order to make a neutral comparison that is actually useful for choosing the most suitable service for your needs, we will compare 5 categories of alternates on the market, analysing for each of them the 7 most important characteristics that an email hosting service should have.

The seven aspects on which the comparative analysis will be based are:

  1. Reseller mode of use. What features are available? Is it user-friendly? What possibilities / opportunities / threats are there for the reseller?
  2. Security and Deliverability. These are the fundamental requirements for an email service. If they are not at an adequate level, all other features lose their meaning.
  3. Help Desk. How can you handle the support requests from your customers that you will inevitably receive?
  4. Migration Tools. When you acquire a new customer, you will probably have to carry out a migration, which if not handled properly can become an annoying niggle.
  5. Backup services. Nowadays, backup services are essential and must be taken into account when evaluating an email hosting service.
  6. Email account size. Your customers certainly have different needs when it comes to mailbox capacity. How much flexibility do the various providers offer you?
  7. Price and costs. It is no coincidence that this is the last point, you should not even consider it. But since I am sure it is of interest to you anyway, let’s talk about it.

The five alternatives we will compare are:

  1. Dedicated Mail Server
  2. Web Hosting Providers’ Email Accounts
  3. Microsoft 365
  4. Google Workspace 
  5. Qboxmail 

Web Hosting Provider’s Email Accounts

This category embraces all those offerings that include a hosting package of domain registration, web hosting space and mailbox management.
Although the offerings may vary widely from one provider to another, the basic features are essentially the same. 
For illustrative purposes only, a few providers will be named.

Reseller mode of use

Having website hosting and email accounts from the same provider may seem an easier solution than having two different providers, as long as one does not have to deal with the control panels offered by these types of services. 
The core business of hosting providers is not email accounts, so it is quite natural that functionality with regard to domain and mailbox management is limited. 
Services such as OVH and Aruba Business are making strides with regard to the email segment. But they are still a long way from offering a solution that allows for simple management with many useful features for the reseller. 

Security and Deliverability

Here we touch a nerve. If you are managing your clients’ email boxes in any way, surely you know that security has, rightfully so, a not insignificant cost. 
And now I ask you, what do you think is the level of security of a service that is offered free of charge (even with unlimited email accounts) with the purchase of the web space hosting service?

Help desk

None of the web hosting providers analysed offer tools to manage your customers’ help desk independently. So, in case of issues of any kind, you need to open a ticket and hope that someone will respond in an acceptable time frame.
Researching information regarding customer service on industry blogs and forums is always a good idea. 

Migration tools

Are you familiar with imapsync? Because if you choose to manage your clients’ emails with the services offered by web hosting providers, you’ll need it all right! As mentioned above, since email management is not the core business of web hosting providers, related services are very basic and you often find yourself forced to rely on third-party services. 
Kudos to OVH in that it provides a dedicated tool for migrating email accounts, which although cumbersome, is definitely a plus point over its competitors

Backup services

All web hosting provider services give the ability to make backups for free. And by that I mean that you can manually download mail messages from the client and save them to your devices ( 🙂 ). 
If by backup, you thought of a service that automatically saves the contents of email boxes in the Cloud, which you can restore in case of unintentional deletion, well I’m sorry, but once again you will have to turn to external paid services. Backups nowadays are indispensable, I strongly advise you not to leave your clients at the mercy of their mistakes. 

Email account size

The email service offerings of web hosting providers very often are based on a shared space (between web space and email) within which you can create as many boxes as you want. 
This results in a high degree of flexibility since the only limitation is the space available. 

Price and costs

Email accounts are included free of charge in the web hosting offering. 
Some web hosting providers such as, for example, Rackspace and OVH have launched an “Email Pro” service that can also be purchased separately and has improved functionality and security. 
These enhancements rightly entail a not inconsiderable increase in price and a change in business model with single-email account billing.

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