When you start a business, there are a few administrative tasks that need to be taken care of to set up your web address and business email addresses. If you haven’t done this before, it can seem a bit daunting and you may not know where you’re supposed to start. We’re here to guide and help you through the process – and take the stress out of it!
It all starts with a domain
The first step is to think about the ‘domain’ name you’d like to use – this is the address that you’ll register for your website e.g. www.mybusiness.com. These days, lots of domain name ideas are already taken by other people – so you may need to get a bit creative!
Domains can normally be purchased very cheaply, for just a few pounds, and it’s a quick and simple process. There are no complicated forms or steps to complete, and they can then be renewed annually and automatically, usually at roughly the same cost. There are also lots of places you can buy them online – it’s just a case of choosing where to buy from.
As well as using your newly purchased domain for your website, the same domain can (and should) be used for your business email addresses – such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com – this will of course make your business image much more professional than using a personal email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t pay for what you don’t need
The next step is to set up a ‘hosting’ account for your website, which is basically the rented home that all your website’s files and databases live in, so that it can be displayed to the world via an internet browser. These accounts often include an allowance for email address creation, and storage for all your email history.
There’s a huge amount of choice when searching Google for somewhere to purchase web hosting from, with all sorts of package combinations which are usually written using technical terms that you may not be familiar with. It’s hard to know what to choose!
Many of these packages will incorporate limitations on the number of email addresses that you’ll be able to create when you purchase the package, and the amount of email history (i.e. data) that you’ll be able to store. These limitations are often hard to spot, and hosting prices that you see quoted by a provider may end up being significantly higher by the time you get to the checkout stage and have to add-on their hidden extras like email. Or, you may end up choosing a package which includes (and prices in) an allowance for unlimited email addresses, when you only actually need two.
Another potential problem is that the data storage that your hosting account provides, is shared between your website and your email accounts. So if you’ve got a couple of email addresses with lots of history that you’d like to keep, your website may end up getting squeezed out – and you’d need to upgrade your hosting package just to make room for the website to exist!
The simple, cost effective solution
The good news is that there’s an excellent alternative – Google!
Now, the first things that are likely to pop into your head at this stage are…
But I don’t want my business email to be @gmail.com – that looks amateur!
Google email addresses are free… Are you saying I have to pay for them?
Don’t worry, it will all make sense in a moment!
Google offers a business email service called G Suite. It isn’t free, but it’s very cheap – and in our opinion it’s excellent value for money. This is how it works:
- Email addresses will be set up under your own domain – they won’t be @gmail.com
- It costs £4.60 per user, per month – and each user (person) can have up to 30 email addresses. You only pay for the number of users you actually need, and you can add or remove them at any time – the billing gets adjusted on a pro rata basis.
- They include access to their suite of tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides (their equivalent of Microsoft Office) and Google Hangouts (similar to Skype). The key difference here, compared to a free account, is that everything will be tied to your business email address and domain – so if you share files or set up virtual meetings with clients, you won’t look unprofessional.
- You get a very generous 30GB of data storage for your email, which should be more than enough for most people – and this is entirely separate from your website hosting account, so they won’t get in each other’s way.
- Like us, Google care about protecting and being responsible for their impact on the environment – so all their operations, including email hosting, are powered by 100% renewable energy, like us. This can’t be said of most other alternatives. You can read more about their policies here – and about our own values here, if you haven’t already!
What next – how to get started
At erjjio studios, our mission is to help you make sense of the digital world and take the stress off your hands – we can happily take care of the technical legwork on your behalf.
We can purchase (or transfer) and renew your domain name, host your website on our servers which are powered by 100% renewable energy, and take care of the technical set up of Google business email for you. We don’t charge any set up fees for transferring your website to us, or for setting up Google email for you. Your email account will be invoiced to you each month by Google, and we don’t take any commission, incentives or perks from them – we recommend them purely because we feel it’s the best choice, and we use them ourselves for our own business email!
You can find out more about our own web hosting packages and pricing here.