Why you should keep your website and email hosting separate

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Let me set the scene. You have a fantastic idea for a website about your new pomeranian. A website dedicated to dress-up selfies of your “cutest ever” Pomeranian.

One of the first things you do is start shopping around for a web host. You see the words “unlimited email accounts” and feel a tingle of excitement.

I get it, I’ve been there. You keep telling yourself things like…

  • Think of all the savings and
  • Everything will be in one place – how convenient!

Well I’m here to say…

Won’t somebody pleeeease think of the children your poor future self/web designer/IT person?!

Simpsons meme about email hosting

When most people start out with a new website, email hosting isn’t exactly top of mind, but web hosting is. And when they see that they can host their emails on their new shiny shared web hosting plan it makes sense to go with that option because it’s easy.

And while it may be the easiest and cheapest option initially, dealing with the stress it creates later down the track will make your beautiful Pomeranian look like a hairless mole rat – and that’s bad for business.

How do I know? I was stuck in that trap just a few years ago! Fortunately,  I managed to get myself free – but NEVER AGAIN. And now I want to help you avoid making the same mistake. But first, let me tell you a bit more about the mess it can cause.

Here’s four very good reasons why you shouldn’t do it

  1. Reliability – if one goes down, they all go down

I’m not saying shared hosting isn’t reliable. After all, it’s improved tremendously over the years. Now there are plenty of reputable companies out there doing a fantastic job of managing their resources and making it as safe and secure as possible.

But the reality is that there will be down-time at some point, whether it’s for a few minutes, hours, or days. And when that happens, if your website and emails are hosted on the same server, your business is effectively offline. If your emails are even slightly important to your business, you probably don’t want this to happen.

  1. Limited space – website hosting is for website files

As your business grows, so does your email inbox. And when people keep sending you pictures of their Pomeranians, begging you to feature them on the Number 1 Pomeranian Selfie Website in the world, your inbox grows fast. Save that space for your growing website (and your own Pomeranian selfies).

On a personal note, I also just don’t like the thought of all those emails clogging up my server space. *shudder*. It’s like storing mars bars in your undie drawer. Or worse… undies in the mars bar stash. It just doesn’t make sense.

  1. You’ll be locked in – moving email hosting is a nightmare

When I was a child,  I had a recurring nightmare where I was getting chased by a clown with a chainsaw. I would always run up to the front door of my house, open the door, but my feet would get stuck and I couldn’t move. All I could do was watch as the clown was got closer and closer. I was helpless! My wife thinks it’s because I watched too much Krusty the Clown on the Simpsons.

But anyway, migrating your emails to another host is a lot like that dream.

Here are some reasons why you’ll probably want to change your web hosting more than your email hosting:

  • Your current web host will turn to poop – service and quality will go down the drain and you’ll need to jump ship.
  • You might try a new web host for a month and realise they are not suitable for your needs
  • Your website might grow beyond the resources that your current host can supply
  • You might want to move to a server in a different geographical area
  • You might want to move to a host that specialises in your type of website (managed WordPress hosting, managed eCommerce hosting, managed Pomeranian selfie blog hosting, etc.)

And the list goes on, depending on your circumstances…

If you need to migrate your emails each time you migrate your website, you’ll probably go crazy. This would involve exporting your emails, folders, contacts, calendars, and anything else you might have set up. And then importing them, ensuring the correct mailboxes and forwarders are set up, and praying that no data was lost during the migration. I wouldn’t want to do this more than 0 times.

  1. Support – you wouldn’t get your plumber to paint your bathroom

If I was getting a burst pipe in my bathroom repaired by a plumber, I wouldn’t then ask them to repaint the bathroom walls. Web hosting companies typically specialise in hosting websites, and email hosting companies typically specialise in hosting emails. In the case of something terribly awful happening, you want to make sure the person on the other end of the instant chat box knows what they’re doing.

So, here’s what you should do when setting up your email and website hosting

There are a few different ways to you can set things up. But for most people, I’d recommend the following:

  • Use a standalone provider for your domain name and DNS hosting
  • Use a standalone provider for your website hosting
  • Use a standalone provider for your email hosting

Email and Website Hosting Separate

If you wanted to, you could take it a step further and use a fourth standalone provider for your DNS hosting, but I don’t think that’s necessary. At least, not for most small to medium sized businesses and websites.

You might be thinking that it seems impractical having all of these services through separate providers. Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep them all in the same place? Well… no.

The two biggest reasons that I like keeping all of these services separate come from my own personal (and frankly rather painful) experiences.

  1.   It’s easier to move your services around if you need to
  2.   If your web hosting goes down, your emails are still up and running

So please, for the sake of your own sanity, or the sanity of whomever you’ll hire as your web designer, developer, or IT person… PLEASE don’t host your emails on your web hosting server. If you’re looking for a rock-solid email hosting solution, check out G Suite. It’s fully featured, reliable, affordable, and I use it myself.

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below!

Cheers,

Stew

P.S. I used an affiliate link in this post – but even if you don’t use my link, please go and get your email hosting sorted – pronto!

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