Domain Based Email and Website Hosting

Why your email hosting should be kept separate from web hosting

ZGUS Email Hosting can be viewed as a guide to setting up email hosting apart from web hosting. It is intended to complement FNQ WebDev Community Support Project.

ZGUS is able to provide email hosting services at a reseller level.

Currently ZGUS offers such services for free to community based initiatives who can regard themselves as having their own organisational level customers who they support themselves.

Each organisational customer of the community initiative can have their own domain based email with separate sets of logins for each organisational email domain.

For example, someone with IT skills, community initiative person A, might be a member with IT responsibilities for two different local community clubs, Club B and Club C, and also have their own informal separate community project, Project D. Person A could be managing four separate domain names for A, B, C and D. They could be managing four separate email domains and four separate web sites. That person would still be regarded as the sole point of contact with ZGUS. Anyone else associated with B, C or D would need to go through person A as person A is the free customer of ZGUS. B, C and D are customers of A, not ZGUS.

Domain name and web site management for A, B, C and D is completely the responsibility of A. ZGUS provides email hosting services for A, B, C and D, as solely decided by A. It is the responsibility of A to ensure the total storage space used by A, B, C and D is within agreed limits and it is the responsibility of A, that A, B ,C and D stick to agreed rules. A decides how much storage space A, B, C and D are allocated from combined storage allowance.

Only A decides who their customers are. Other than storage limits, there are no limits on number of email domains of A for their customers and there are no limits on number of email accounts for each email domain. There are limits on number of emails that can be sent and received in any given clock hour. But these are in the regions of hundreds.

Servers for static web hosting, such as above on firebase, cannot support email hosting. Servers for non static web hosting, such as WordPress, can support email hosting. However it is not sound to combine web and email hosting on the same server. Although firebase makes use of cloud functions and NOSSQL databses, they are not on the same servers as where web sites are hosted.

Typically, combined hosting of non static web (such as WordPress) and email, on shared servers, can be included in a single package. The cheapest I have seen to date is from € 1.76 per month from a European provider.

Virtually no serious operation will combine web and email hosting in a single hosting package to run on the same hosting server. Email hosting, due to spam abuse, is difficult and should only be managed by experienced operators. You have the problem of managing incoming spam and the problem of having your and your customers email banned because the shared IP address on your shared server can get abused by spammers. Something that has nothing to do with you or your own users.

There is no problem with just using non static web hosting on a server (shared or not) for just web hosting.

In addition, moving to a new web server can be done transparently to users. Not so moving to a new email server. Despite the best intentions, you are likely to tell your users something like they will need to logon to a new email server and will have one week or so to copy their IMAP folders across, which will be slow. Far from ideal, very confusing, requiring a lot of support time and dealing with likely angry users. Better to get you email server right from the beginning.

The email server used by ZGUS for itself is the same as for free reselling. It is in Europe. While, as a consequence, an initial synchronisation of IMAP folders is sluggish, as expected, we are happy to put with it because the email server is cheap, well managed and avoids us from having to do one of the worst IT jobs in the world: manage an email server ourselves.

Unless you are known to ZGUS personally please do not apply for free email host reselling.

Further information at ZGUS Email Hosting and FNQ WebDev Community Support Project.