Shared Hosting Email: Why You Shouldn't Trust Email From Hosting Accounts

You can't avoid email in today's business world. It's one of the primary methods of communication that people use to get business done.

With that in mind, ask yourself this question: what would happen if your email suddenly stopped working?

This is a major disaster in most situations. You don't know if you're still getting emails, if your emails are being sent to your associates, or if you're missing any critical information for your business.

That's why it's essential to use a reliable email provider to handle vital communication. Many people see free email service from their hosting provider and think, isn't that convenient?

Unfortunately, that's far from the truth. Shared hosting should be avoided at all costs, and this post will help you understand why.

What Is Shared Hosting Email?

If you have a website, you're probably already aware of the various type of hosting packages. You have VPS, dedicated, reseller, and shared hosting. For people just getting their sites online, shared hosting is a popular choice to get up and running.

A shared hosting email service sounds excellent when you first hear about it. After all, it's mostly set up for you when you log into your hosting control panel. The only thing you have to do is create your email accounts.

One of those features is shared email. A shared email hosting account is one hosted on the same server as your website.

Why Avoid Shared Email?

Being convenient isn't a reason to use an add-on service from a shared hosting account. There are numerous drawbacks to shared hosting email accounts you should know before making use of them. Keep reading to learn why you should avoid convenience and invest in a professional email host.

One Point of Failure

As mentioned above, your email and web hosting share the same web server. While this might be convenient and save money, it also greatly increases your risk.

If something happens to your website that causes it to go down, your email will go down right along with it. What's worse, you won't be able to email your tech team to tell them something's wrong.

It's the classic don't put all your eggs in one basket scenario. Separating your email from your hosting reduces your risk and ensures you can still communicate if your website goes down in the future.

Migration Headaches

If you plan to grow your website, the chances are good that you won't stick with your current hosting plan. You'll need to upgrade to a better web server. This can cause headaches when you have to move your email too.

If your new hosting provider doesn't offer the same email service, you'll need to jump through hoops to migrate your email. It's easy to make a mistake when you have thousands of email files and a ton of email accounts to copy.

If your email is separate from your hosting, this is a non-issue. As long as your domain name points to your email provider, you don't have to worry about losing your email during the move.

Performance Issues

Working with a shared hosting server is great to save money initially, but that benefit does come with a cost. Your shared server isn't going to have great performance.

This isn't an issue if your website doesn't require many resources. However, it can cause problems with your email.

You don't want to wait forever for your emails to send and receive. Without a dedicated email server, you'll never know for sure when to tell your associates to check their mail.

Less Storage Ability

One big selling point shared hosting providers promote is unlimited storage. They have the fantastic ability to provide all the storage you could ever want.

Unfortunately, that's not quite what happens in reality.

Most shared hosting providers impose an inode limit on your server. You can think of an inode as an individual file or folder. Since email software on these servers stores email as individual files, this can use up your inode limit.

You won't be able to add any new files to your server if you exceed this limit. When this happens, your ability to receive emails will go away. You won't receive emails again until you delete any emails and files you no longer need.

Poor Security

Shared servers are cheap for a reason. Hosting providers cram as many customers as they can onto the same server. That means that you don't know what other websites you share a space with.

Even if you have adequate security measures, that doesn't mean your neighbors will. Their websites can become infected with malware and have it spread to the rest of the server.

The big problem here is your email isn't encrypted. Anybody with access to the server can browse your server file system to get your email. If you run a business with sensitive information, this is a deal-breaker.

Bad Reputation Management

Just like you don't have control over malware getting on your neighbors' websites, you also don't have control over the email they send. You can't tell them not to send spam mail from their website.

This is a problem because you share the same IP address as the other sites on your server. You can think of your IP address as your location on the internet. It's similar to how you use a physical address to tell someone where you live.

Other mail providers use blacklist services to tell them whether or not an IP address is reputable. If someone on your shared server is sending spam, your IP will end up on these blacklists.

When this happens, much of your email will end up going into spam folders. If you rely on your email to do business, this is a scenario you don't want to happen.

You'll need to get in touch with the reputation management companies to get your IP address removed. Unfortunately, unless the other sites on your server clean up their acts, you'll end up on a blacklist again.

Bad Spam Filters

Spam filtering isn't great on shared hosting accounts. These filters don't have the data that professional email services have. They can't provide the same level of filtering other providers give their users.

Once your email gets out into the world, you can be sure that you'll become inundated with spam. If you're logging into your email account to try and find an important message, the last thing you want to do is filter through a ton of junk messages.

Inferior spam filters are also a security risk. Phishing emails will likely make their way to your inboxes. You'll have to be on the lookout for compromising emails and make sure each team member you have does as well.

What Email Service Should You Use

Now that you know more about the drawbacks of shared hosting email, you need to find a reliable email service to handle your email. Luckily, there are some great options available.

Google Workspace

Google's business services provide a lot more functionality than just online document collaboration. When you sign up for Google's services, you can take advantage of their email.

Google Workspace costs $6 per month for each user on the platform. This gives you a reliable email with spam filtering and a ton of space to store your essential business documents.

Microsoft 365

Google isn't alone in providing online document services. While Microsoft Office used to be desktop software, you can now access all those features from the web. That includes all their Office software.

A professional Outlook account is included in these services. You can expect to pay $5 per month for their essential services.

Don't Risk Your Email on Shared Hosting Services

You can't afford to take risks with your email service when you rely on it to handle your business. Invest in a professional email provider so you aren't out of luck when something happens to your shared hosting.

If you're currently stuck on shared hosting email and want to move away, get in touch. I can make sure your service is set up correctly and all your email transfers over.