Email is one tool most business owners say they absolutely couldn’t live without, and that isn’t going to change. What is changing, though, is how businesses host, store, and send emails. Over the past decade, there’s been a dramatic shift away from onsite email servers to cloud-based email. Even companies with on-site IT employees see the benefits of using cloud-hosted email. Businesses of all sizes prefer the cost-effectiveness and scalability of a hosted email service, but there are so many to choose from.
What’s the best cloud-based email client for business, clients often ask. The answer depends on your staff size, security needs, budget, and other factors. Contact us to visit with an expert about your options. Here’s what we recommend.
Evaluating Cloud-Based Email Cost
People bog down when they’re looking for the best cloud-hosted email solution for their business because it can be tough to compare the cost per user. Hosted email often includes extra services like website hosting or infrastructure as a service. When different clients come with different features, you’re not really comparing apples to apples.
Cloud-hosted email is almost always cheaper per user than on-site hosting. When you calculate servers, maintenance, security products, and IT personnel, traditional hosting no longer makes sense. You’ll also have the cost of software licensing, storage limits and the need for regular backups. Still, paying for optional extras with cloud-hosted email drives up costs if you have a larger team. That’s just one reason it pays to work with an IT expert if you’re switching to a hosted email or considering other cloud services.
Questions For Your Team
As you research email hosting providers, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- How many users need an email account?
- How much data do you currently store, and what portion of that data will need to be migrated?
- What features do you need? Do all users need the same features?
- What is your budget?
- How do you want individuals to be able to access email? Will they log in through a website, access it through their computer, or check email using a mobile app?
- What are your archiving needs?
- Do you need compatibility with third-party clients?
- What are your security and data encryption concerns?
- What level of anti-phishing and anti-malware protection will you get from the options you’re considering?
Once you’re armed with that information, you can start to evaluate some of these top choices for email hosting.
When it comes to picking a favorite, our IT experts go back and forth between G Suite and Office 365. They’re both strong options with something for almost everyone. G Suite gives you a Gmail account with your domain name, plus Google Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet, and more.
People especially like it if they’re already familiar with Gmail for personal use. You get they same comfortable layout, but instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, you can switch to something more professional like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pricing is easy to understand — you’ll pay $6, $12, or $25 per user per month. Here’s the breakdown posted on their website:
All levels come with 24/7 support by chat, ticket or phone, although at the enterprise level you get one hour targeted response time for critical issues.
Microsoft Office 365
On your home computer you probably already have Office 365. The version for business recently became Microsoft 365. Pricing is a little less straightforward than what G Suite offers, because some services are listed as included while others are only partially included.
For most small business, Microsoft 365 Business Standard gives you everything you need. You’ll get Microsoft Teams, calendaring, Outlook email, and all your other favorite tools that you can use from any device, everywhere there’s an Internet connection. This option also comes with 24/7 support via chat, ticket, or phone.
Rackspace has been around since the beginning of cloud email hosting, and they remain a popular email hosting provider for small business. Plans start at $2.99 per user per month and provide:
- Outlook, email and mobile access
- 25 GB storage per mailbox
- Unlimited aliases
- Free, easy migration from other providers
- 24/7 support
- Spam and virus protection
- Archiving and storage available for an additional fee
You may already be familiar with GoDaddy for web hosting, but they offer professional email as well. Plans start at $1.99 per user, per month. The least expensive plans just come with 10 GB of storage for email, contacts, and calendars, but even the most expensive option is fairly affordable. GoDaddy offers free tech support, but sometimes getting someone to solve advanced issues comes with fees.
Choosing the Best Cloud Hosted Email
While the answer is different for every business, there is a best cloud-hosted email solution for yours. When you find the right one, you get maximum efficiency from your team at the right price. But if you choose the wrong one, it could mean lost productivity, frustrated workers, wasted money, or even data security breaches. It’s not worth the risk.
At Progressive IT Services, we offer cloud consulting to help you find the best solutions for your business needs. Schedule a free consultation to talk with an expert today.