What we will cover
Setting up an email address (or addresses) for your new online business can be handled by your friendly web design agency but what if you already have an email account attached to your old website?
Moving an email account is not necessarily straightforward so the sooner you tell your web agency about it, the better.
The challenge is knowing, so firstly an understanding of how these services are handled.
Domains & Services
Your domain name is your web address, in our case vuonline.co.uk. That domain could have nothing attached to it, or it could have a number of services, they are not necessarily hosted with the domain, it is just a reference of records, so the domain tells the user where to look through an IP address.
Similar to the post office routing letters from one place to another, the domain must be paid to do its job, a nominal fee just sit there and route traffic.
If you have a website, it will point the traffic looking for www.vuonline.co.uk to our server, where our website lives. There’s a cost to keep the website on the server paid to your eco friendly web hosting company (that’s us :)).
Then there’s all manner of other services, emails could be hosted by an IT team across the country with their own IP, the domain send the “someone”@vuonline.co.uk over there.
Or you could have apps or any other services all given a separate subdomain like “bookme.vuonline.co.uk” for an imaginary booking system that runs separately to the website.
So if you want to know, look at anything you access with your domain name in it, be transparent with your agency or anyone who has done for you and ask where it is hosted.
Be sure to explain to your new agency all the things you have so they can understand if they can migrate it and how long it will take and cost.
If you have had the same setup for a long time, you may need to accept your new host may not work that way, it may need to be configured differently and that may cost additionally, on the plus side you may have access to a much better service or security than you have had in the past.
The Migration Process
The techy term for moving files (including emails) from one server (specially configured computer) to another is migration, in this case email migration.
If your current emails are hosted with the same company that hosts your website, the moment you close your account with them, your email service will end too and all stored emails will be lost. If you need access to these stored emails, they will need to be physically downloaded first and then uploaded to your new email host’s system.
If you switch something off before you have copied it and moved it there’s a good chance its gone, so don’t leave anything to chance.
If your emails are hosted elsewhere, that company will need to configure their servers to send your emails to your new web-host (this is called ‘pointing’).
Your web agency should be able to help you with all of this but they will need to know your current email process so they can handle the migration correctly without losing your emails.
If you haven’t already got a business email service (or you’re happy to start afresh), you have several options:
Free or Paid Email: What’s Best for Business?
Just like a website, an email account is hosted on a server. There is no law that says that server has to be owned by your web-host and many people choose to separate the two.
There are all sorts of organisations that will be happy to host your emails for you, including web-hosts, domain name providers, standalone paid and free email services and office suites. Prices will vary and so will security, quality, speed and support, so be careful when buying cheap.
If Vu Online are building a new website for you, we can set up private email addresses on your behalf and advise you of the hosting costs. This is the convenient option but if you prefer to set up email hosting elsewhere, we recommend going for a paid option (or maybe one where your email addresses are added for free as part of a paid service).
Completely free email services usually have flaws which will harm your service and brand, including:
- Being tied in to using the provider’s domain name (e.g. ). Yuck. This is never a good look.
- Advertising, including the possibility of malware.
- Poor security.
- No support.
Under paid options, we include the free email hosting you get with business suites such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 360. Business bundles start off from under £10 and there are also basic packages for less than £5 that may be OK for smaller businesses.
These cloud-based services have the advantage of being attached to you rather than your website so migration is much easier. So, hopefully we have helped with what is email migration and also how to engage with your supplier.
If you want to see the benefits of our green hosting platform then have a read, and if you have any questions then just get in touch, we’re a jargon free, local bunch.
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