As a vital communications tool and trading platform, setting up email accounts ought to be a top priority for any new company. And while this process used to strike fear into the hearts of non-computing personnel, setting up email nowadays is no more complicated than registering for online banking.
Modern email accounts use a method called Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP stores copies of individual emails online in a mail server, allowing anyone with correct login credentials to access their account via any internet-enabled device. Historically, a method of email distribution called Post Office Protocol was used, where a single copy of a message was downloaded onto a nominated computer. IMAP ensures emails opened on one device automatically display as read on other platforms. Unlike POP, it relies on internet connectivity to synchronize folders and load their contents.
At WestHost, we recognize how important email provision is to new businesses. That’s why our Starter WordPress hosting package includes five advertising-free email accounts, while our most affordable email hosting service provides 2GB of mailbox storage and a generous 10MB attachment cap. These accounts match domain names purchased at the same time, but each email address prefix may be customized to suit. An entrepreneur registering the domain name yourbrandhere.com may select email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and so forth.
Deciding which prefixes to adopt is a matter of personal preference, though a few general rules apply:
- Messages from a named individual (John Smith in the example above) will inspire greater emotional connection with consumers, and also increase open rates.
- Conversely, a departmental account (promotions@, orderconfirmations@) identifies a topic more clearly.
- Shorter names have a greater recall, reducing any likelihood of emails getting lost in cyberspace.
- People suffering from dyslexia or rapid naming deficit tend to prefer addresses without character duplication. Salessideinquiries is undeniably tricky to read.
Once you’ve chosen your domain name and email prefixes, setting up email accounts is simplicity itself. WestHost will create your accounts, inviting you to choose a password for each one. We’ll share a link to a webmail client login page, where entering your chosen username and password reveals freshly-updated folders including Inbox and Drafts. This login portal is accessible from any internet-enabled device, though it generally works best on desktop computers. An email app or program might be preferable on smartphones, especially as WestHost also offers support for Android and iOS clients.
Flagship software packages like Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird have their own step-by-step wizards for adding new email accounts. Similar wizards are also found in mobile apps, such as Android’s myMail or SolMail. Each utility guides rookie users through the process of setting up a mail account. Some packages request additional information (commonly IMAP settings or port numbers), which we’re happy to provide. Once the relevant data has been entered, the software should distribute a test message and load the inbox. Existing mailbox contents will be imported; certain programs permit the import of archived emails through a file like Outlook’s PST extensions.
Whether you’re reliant on webmail or prefer to use an app or program, we recommend a few further stages before concluding the process of setting up emails:
1. Use an email signature.
This is the footer displayed on outgoing messages or replies. As well as essential contact details, it represents a great opportunity to add corporate logos, links to social media accounts and accreditations/memberships.
2. Send mail to friends and family before attempting to contact customers.
New email accounts are viewed with suspicion by recipient mail servers, and it takes time to prove authenticity. Ask friends to reply to sent emails, and reply to those in turn.
3. Ensure that folders are displaying to your liking.
Some people prefer email threads to be nested as one item in the Inbox and Sent folders, whereas others want every missive to be visible separately. A degree of personalization is usually offered.
4. Check sent and draft messages are saving properly.
Microsoft Outlook is notorious for not saving copies of outgoing messages to be viewed later. That becomes a problem if past conversations need to be quoted or referred to.
Finally, it’s worth noting that every email account supplied by WestHost is protected against inbound viruses and spam – two of the most pernicious threats in cyberspace. We bundle address book and calendar tools for Outlook and Thunderbird users, while technical issues can be resolved with our 24/7 tech support. And if your business proves to be successful, it’s possible to upgrade to a more generous email service like our Professional package. After all, few companies reaching their fifth birthday have the same technical requirements as they did on day one…