Why Small Businesses Should Not Host Their Own Email

For a business, it is crucial that they use email address entailing their domain name.

A business email looks more professional and conveys your authority as the authoritative representative of the company.

If you want your clients to trust your business, there is no better way than a business email hosting.

This might sound as alluring, but setting up business email isn’t as easy as it seems at first.

So, to help people realize how troublesome setting up of email accounts can get, I have combined a list of arguments why small businesses must avoid it at all costs.

Email Accounts Can Be Very Time-Consuming

Your web development company isn’t going to help you to set up an email host. They do so, sometimes, but most web development companies aren’t proficient enough to help you with email.

Web design companies mostly comprise of designers and web developers and they aren’t the right people to approach for getting an email server hosted.

Even if your web design partner happens to set up the mail server, they may fail to do so properly. This means –

  • Your email account might not be configured properly
  • You can get exposed to vulnerabilities
  • The mails you send might end up as spams

If your emails really get moved to the spam folder, your business will be drastically impacted in the long run.

First, your clients would treat you as a scam. This, in turn, will affect the business-client relationship as customers won’t think of you as a legit business.

Second, the more and more your emails end up as spams, the less likely it is that the customers would read your emails. This, again, will affect your revenue as clients might miss out on service renewal reminders.

1. Emails Take Up Lots Of Space

You do not have unlimited storage on your web server.

Emails can eat a lot of storage space on your host. Since most of us don’t delete older emails, the server is twice more likely to run out of space than without business email hosting.

Moreover, a single attachment on a mail can easily occupy 8-10 Mb of disk space. If you send 5 such mails a single day, your organization would run out of space in less than a month at that pace.

So, the odds are that you would end up paying more than with separate email and web host.

2. Security Concerns

Email is your business’s only point of contact with the outside world. Every single thing that you send over a mail is an official statement, per se.

So, let’s face it, can you afford to have your email accounts hacked? What if someone is able to read everything in your mailbox? Imagine how catastrophic it would be if someone sends mail canceling all your appointments the next day.

Small businesses do not usually have enough workforce to configure a security system. The hosting provider isn’t going to configure updates and security patches either.

This means you are at an increased risk of exposing your email accounts to vulnerabilities that may jeopardize the integrity of your organization. 

3. Do Not Overload Your Server

Okay, your server is powerful and can easily run hundreds of applications at once, but that does not mean you will overload it. You cannot load 2 sacks on a horse that can only carry one.

Moreover, downtime will happen from time to time on your server. Loading the entire IT infra at one place will cause the entire services – email, website, and network – to go out of service simultaneously.

That is to say, your business will undergo a complete outage.

4. Migration Is Painful

If you have migrated your data to a new host, you might have an idea of how weary migration strategies can get.

More the data on a server, the more complex the migration gets.

Imagine if you were to migrate all your files and emails, you would end up investing a lot of time and effort.

And despite the efforts, your migration might not be completely successful. That way you are probably investing more time and money in recovering lost files on your server.

Having worked in the hosting industry for 5+ years, I now know that webmasters don’t migrate to a new host readily and I know why.

5. Dedicated Servers Can Fail Too

Even if you have dedicated servers at the place, you cannot be sure that things would work just fine.

The number of resources you are going to deploy is directly proportional to the number of users active in your organization.

The amount of data generated each day burgeons exponentially. At this rate, your server will pretty soon reach its threshold and fail without giving a sign.

It is said that a server is only as good as the security measures implemented. So without robust security, you’d have the same level of experience you would have on shared servers.

6. Needs Additional Workforce

If the security systems aren’t effective, you are sitting duck for cyber attackers.

Email encryption is quite sophisticated and shouldn’t be taken casually. Companies that offer email services – Google & Microsoft – spend a huge amount in protecting data, and yet they get hacked sometimes.

Given the level of expertise that these organizations have, your security systems cannot come even close to those of Google and Microsoft.

This means you would need to hire additional workforce. Eventually, it will come at the cost of added expenditure. However, if you already have enough people to care about your email host, go on, self-configured email is your thing.


We cannot outright reject that hosting your own business email comes packed with a lot of advantages. If you have all the essential resources, you can choose to self-configure an email host.

As with every other thing, the advantages are almost always accompanied by some disadvantages. My argument in this article is not that business email hosting is disadvantageous but that self-hosting email could be taxing if done without adequate resources.

This means small businesses are the ones that will have the most trouble. The larger enterprises have and will continue to host their own email servers unabated.


Originally posted 2020-09-02 00:03:57.

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