I maintain a few small web projects (2-3 people) where the scenario is usually the same:
- The project has its own domain (example.com)
- There is a need to setup one or two personal e-mail addreses (email@example.com)
- One common group e-mail address is also needed (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Every person with a personal e-mail address from bullet 2 needs to be able to receive e-mails from email@example.com.
- Also needs to be able to reply to those messages as firstname.lastname@example.org and also as email@example.com
- Every person has their OWN personal e-mail address at Gmail/other domain running on Google Apps which he regularly checks and he would like to be able to easily read e-mails related to the @example.com at their own e-mail address, because it won't be effective to check more e-mail accounts separately = ONE INBOX, but the e-mails needs to be categorized (Gmail labels or so)
- The project are on a shared hosting and are not as big to invest any money into running Google Apps on each of those.
I came with two possible solutions to this:
1. POP3 fetching
- Setup each e-mail address separately on a mail server related to domain hosting
- Instruct every person to use their Gmail POP3 fetching ability to fetch those e-mails to their personal account and to automatically label fetched messages with the project name.
- Setup SMTP send as Gmail feature at every person OWN e-mail address so they will be able to send e-mails from @example.com domain
+ if a person no longer works on the project, I can just set up fetching on someone elses account and all PAST messages from domain-hosting-mail-server will be fetched to his account
- Every e-mail takes double space - at domain hosting and also at the persons OWN e-mail address - Person's OWN mail provider has to be able to fetch e-mails (but the major one like Gmail is)
- I need to check for mail storage quotas every once in a while, so the e-mail accounts at domain-hosting are not full and the e-mail are not coming anymore
- Google POP3 fetcher checks the other e-mail accounts just once an hour which can mean a difference dealing with some crisis.
EDIT: I just found that when sending e-mails from OWN gmail address even through @example.com SMTP server the e-mails are not saved at the corresponding domain outbox (they are just in the gmail outbox). Is it possible to set this one somehow? It would be a big advantage for this method.
2. Mail forwarding
- There won't be any real e-mail account on the domain, just set of rules where to redirect incoming messages (to person's OWN mail addresses)
- Create one real e-mail account on each domain for SMTP authentication
+ Easy to setup
+ Won't take any space on domain-hosting
- The e-mails are only at person's OWN e-mail accounts so if they walk away from the project, it can be hard to get important e-mails back - also hard to transfer to someone else
Is there any other drawback on of each of those? Which one is a more common way to do? What am I missing there in the long run?