1 What is hosting exactly?
2 Don’t pay more than about R120 per month
3 Safety first
4 Don’t pay a monthly fee for your email addresses
5 Manage your email boxes yourself
6 What are email aliases?
8 Are you being looked after?
Hosting is a service provided by a vendor which offers a physical location for the storage of web pages and files. Think of a Web Hosting Company as a type of landlord, they rent physical space on their servers allowing webpages to be viewed on the Internet.
For a typical website, with a content management system that requires a database, you should only need to pay around R120 per month. If you are paying more, check what else might be included in the package aside from hosting. I may be that you are paying for services that you do not use.
A good hosting provider will run regular security checks and can often pick up on issues before they become serious. Not all crimes or technical glitches are always preventable, so it’s critical that they have a solid backup system in place in order to be able to restore your site should there be any malicious or accidental data loss.
Your email addresses, unless you need an insane amount, should be included in your monthly hosting fee. Aside from a setup fee there is no reason to pay extra per mailbox per month!
Most hosting providers allow you access to your own admin control panel, where you can set up new email addresses, delete them and create forwarders and automated messages. A great way to organise your business!
Aliases are ‘dummy’ email addresses that exist only to direct mail to one or more addresses without storing the mail in a mailbox.
This is excellent for managing your internal email communication, for instance create email@example.com and put all your staff addresses as recipients on this alias.
Perfect for general announcements or communicating with specific parts of your organisation/team; eg create an address firstname.lastname@example.org and add your whole sales team as recipients under this alias. This eliminates the need for individual groups/lists on your PC as you manage it from one central place and all team members can use it.
Also useful when team members leave the company and you want to ensure their communication is looked after by another member.
As a business owner you have access to all your staff’s email accounts, however, you must remember that you may only access their accounts if they have been informed beforehand that you may gain access to their mails from time to time.
Does your hosting company make the grade? it might be an idea to ask them about some of the above to be sure.