Web Host Email Accounts

The email associated with your domain name goes through your web host. Your web hosting provider will give you one or more email accounts with your web hosting package, and you can usually customise these yourself through a control panel.

Web hosting companies will sometimes offer a choice between POP3 and IMAP email accounts. The main difference between the two is that a POP3 email account removes email from the server after it has been downloaded by your email client, whereas an IMAP email account keeps the email stored on the web server.

Most website operators will prefer a POP3 email account because it’s faster to read email from your own computer than from online, and if you connect to the internet with a modem or other dialup connection, you would not be able to access your email unless you were connected.

IMAP offers the advantage of being quicker to skim through email and delete spam, and is more portable because all emails can be accessed from any computer. With POP3, to give another computer access to the same emails once they have been downloaded, advanced synchronisation of files between the computers would be necessary.

It is important to distinguish between an email account and an email address or alias. An email account has a default alias (that is, the username before the @ sign) and a username and password with which to access that account. An email address may or may not have an associated email account; it may simply be a forwarding address or an alias to another email account.

A web host will often provide a set number of email accounts, and unlimited email addresses attached to those accounts. Ensure your web hosting company provides at least as many email accounts as you have staff.