Why Keep hosting and email Separate?
These days it is quite common for hosting companies to include free mail boxes when you sign up for website hosting.
While this may seem to be a win, it may not be the best option to use for website email. Read on to find out why you should keep hosting and email separate.
There are more than a few reasons why.
- Website hosting is for websites, not email. support provided for email is secondary. Hosts throw in email because it’s a cheap enticement.
- Hosting your email on your website host, uses up space in your hosting database.
- Hosting email software is lacking. If you’re used to something like Gmail or even yahoo mail, you will be very sadly disappointed.
- Website hosting is not 100% reliable. Fairly reliable, but not 100%. Email is critical to stay in contact with followers and customers. If your website goes down, you still need to be able to contact everyone to let them know you will be up and running again soon. This is something to keep in mind. Don’t lose your followers through losing contact.
- Integration with other services is often lacking and you need to custom design it.
- Website hosting for email locks you in. If you find a better deal for hosting. Migrating a website is simple. Migrating email can be tricky. Better if your email was stand alone. (this is also true for buying your Domain name)
How do we keep hosting and email separate in real life?
So firstly understand that your WordPress installation can is perfectly capable to handle this with the necessary plugins.
It is not reliant on having mailboxes provided on the same server by your hosting company.
You have only very basic control over the mail system on your chosen hosting provider
You can bypass those, send your mail to an external mail provider i.e Google, Yahoo etc.
Even if your website goes down, you can send and receive mail in your external providers interface. You can tell people the site is experiencing problems but will be back up soon. If your site is used for e-commerce, clients can still talk to you about their orders, payments etc and you can reassure them you are still there and not a fly-by-night operation. Maintaining trust with your followers and customers is critical to your business.
If you move your website to a new hosting company, you have uninterrupted mail once you do the setup on the new server. Your mailbox is not left behind and locked with the old hosting company.
One option is to route your email though a reliable external provider. Moving it to keep hosting and email separate. There are many custom providers out there. There are the mainstays like Google and Yahoo to name just a couple. Doing this ensures that even if you change your website hosting company, little needs to change in your email setup.
The major email providers offer a wide suite of functionality and flexibility. Integration is rarely an issue as they make it as easy as possible for you.
One of your main concerns in setting any email up for your website is mail authentication and scalability.
People like Google and Yahoo aggressively interrogate all email they receive in an ongoing fight against spam.
And they do a pretty good job on the whole. And this is why we need something called SMTP.
WHAT IS SMTP?
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is an industry standard for sending emails.
SMTP helps increase email deliverability by using proper authentication.
Popular email clients like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc are constantly improving their services to reduce email spam.
One of the things their spam tools look for is whether an email is originating from the location it claims to be originating from.
You can’t entrust this solely to your hosting to take care of . They don’t do it well. Deliverability can suffer when your hosting and email are together on the same server.
It is much better to take control yourself by setting it up independently.
Without the proper authentication, emails either go in your SPAM folder or worst yet, not get delivered at all.
WordPress uses the raw PHP mail function to send emails generated by WordPress or any contact form plugin.
The issue is that many hosting companies often don’t have their servers properly configured to deal with this correctly.
Together these two issues may cause your WordPress emails to not get delivered.
WP Mail SMTP plugin is a free plugin. It allows you to easily reconfigure the wp_mail() function to use a trusted SMTP provider.
This helps you fix all WordPress not sending email issues.
WP Mail SMTP plugin includes four different SMTP options during setup:
- Mailgun SMTP
- SendGrid SMTP
- Gmail SMTP
- All Other SMTP
For all options, you can specify the “from name” and “email address” for outgoing emails.
These options cover all providers
While trying to keep hosting and email separate often bloggers and small business owners don’t want to use and pay third-party commercial SMTP services.
Providors like Sendgrid, AWeber while very good can come at a premium price.
If your site and your email are authenticated through Google, that is a win-win situation.
Take a moment to read G-suite A Tool worth considering .
The Gmail SMTP option uses OAuth to authenticate your Google account, keeping your login information 100% secure.
Read the Gmail documentation for more details on OAuth
First Download and activate WP Mail SMTP. Once installed you go to Setting>WP Mail SMTP. It will be at the bottom of the settings tab.
Once in the setting for this plugin, fill out the fields as they apply to you.
First fill out the Email address and Domain name fields if they are not already auto filled with info from your WordPress settings.
Next choose your email provider by clicking the radio button next to it. If undecided, I would recommend Google.
Obviously if the email address you filled in above is other than Google you will need to change it or select another provider from the options.
Dont worry, if you need to change later, you just do the setup again. Remember this is WordPress on your own host. You have full control.
Once you have selected one of the four options, a new set of fields relevant to setup with that provider will appear.
At this point, you will see Read our # documentation# to learn how to configure #selected provider#.
This takes you to the WP Forms setup page. WP Forms is another product from the same vendor, but this section deals with installing the SMTP plugin.
It shows you each step with directions and graphics. Just perform each step before moving on to the next and you won’t get lost or confused.
Once the setup is complete you can use the send test email tab to check it is functioning.
Check you email inbox to ensure it arrives.
It should arrive quite quickly if you used Gmail but the speed can vary so give it a few minutes and refresh your mail box.
That’s all there is to keeping your hosting and email separate.