With going on year number three of being an independent web developer. I still find it rather amazing how many people still have a standard gmail address that are self-employed. I know it’s a minor thing that may not be that big of a deal, but getting an email that’s associated with your domain. Gives your email a bit more of a professional polish and there’s a few ways you can do this.
And before moving on, all of these options require a purchased domain, which typically run ~$13/yr. I typically register all my domains with dreamhost.
If you already have a website up and running. You probably have the option of setting up an email on the hosting plan you currently have. This varies from host provider to host provider. So you’ll need to do some research on your end to figure out if setting up email accounts are an option. And all things considered, this option is my least favorite. It’s my least favorite because it isn’t the best bang for your buck and for a little more per year. There are other options that provide a number of useful features more than going this route.
Your next options would be to go with either GSuites or Microsoft 365. Both have comparable in offerings and cost ~$5/month per user (~$60/yr per user). The biggest decision you’ll make here is, which one you want to commit to. I say that because once you commit to one, you’re pretty much locked in. Yeah, you can change, but if you end up growing your business or find yourself five years down the road. You need to look at how do I transfer all my emails/documents/etc. from one serve to another. For me, I had been using gmail since the mid-2000s so it was easy to decide. If you’ve been on Microsoft products and that’s what you’re comfortable with. Go Microsoft.
And as mentioned above. Going with GSuites or Microsft 365 requires a registered domain name, which runs ~$13/yr.
If you go the route of hosting your own email. A hosting plan typically runs ~$12/month (~$120/yr) and, more times than not, includes a free domain. And if you find cheaper hosting plans, beware. They’re typically cheaper for a reason. So if you are looking for a host provider, I’d suggest dreamhost. I’ve been with them for over a decade and I can count on one hand the number of issues I’ve had. And when I did they were helpful in resolving.
If you go the GSuites/Microsft 365 route. It’ll be ~$5/yr (~$60/yr), for a single user, plus the ~$13/yr for your domain. Now if you’re balking at the price of a single user. Look at how much you charge per hour and I can almost guarantee with no more than two or three hours of work. That cost will be paid for. If you can’t pay for it in two to three hours of work. You’re either just starting out, which there’s nothing wrong with that, or your undercharging for your work.
And if you are just starting out on your own. This post was an extension on my previous post, which you can read here, and it covers the two things you need when going out on your own.