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I wanted to get peoples thoughts on integrated email hosting solutions. As a webmaster/web developer, I own many domains and would ideally like to incorporate all those emails into 1 interface, like I can with Outlook on my desktop.

However, because I have a day job, I do not want to load all my email accounts into my work Outlook, yet want to check it periodically. I am also tired of having all these emails forwarded to my personal email, since my responses are then going to be from the personal email. This pushes me in the direction of Outlook's web access feature. Outlook is just fine for me, as I can create sub-folders within folders for my emails, and archive mail I dont readily need.

However, when reviewing prices online, it looks like to have this ability, I'd have to pay $5/$10 per email account per month. If I want to make 15 accounts, that's $150/mo just to use the web access feature. I may as well buy my own email server for that much.

Are there low-cost alternatives to what I'm looking for? Perhaps there is a company that does it for much less than those I've found so far?

What do you guys do to effectively manage multiple-domain email accounts as a webmaster?

Thanks!

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3 Answers 3

Free: authorize e-mail addresses to send and receive mail from a Gmail account

I use Gmail to send and receive mail for a variety of POP3 accounts at a variety of domains - it's worth the 2-3 minutes' setup time per account for the superior spam filtering alone.

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thanks for the input. thats a great idea, but being able to create sub-folders and archiving folders/emails that I do not immediately need are 2 things that I need to function my business. –  arion279 Nov 23 '10 at 3:35
    
does gmail provide one or both of these features? –  arion279 Nov 23 '10 at 3:36
    
Gmail allows you to send and receive e-mail from a POP account at a different domain (you could just forward your e-mail to one Gmail account, but it's much better to be able to reply from whichever address you received mail at). Gmail's tagging and filtering features may take some getting used to, however, they work just as well as Outlook's organization in my opinion. –  danlefree Nov 23 '10 at 5:14

Just an update to the already good answer here:

Microsoft's online email sites (e.g., Hotmail) have recently been converted to Outlook.com, which closely resembles the desktop version in form and function.

Gmail's labels are slightly different than Outlook's folder concept: You first Create a Label and then have to Filter Messages with the "Skip Inbox" and "Apply Label" options selected...which is a little less intuitive than just creating a folder and filtering messages into it.

Gmail does a really superb job of filtering SPAM against a system-wide database, which for a webmaster is ideal.

As indicated in the other answer, you can use Gmail as your email for both your POP and SMTP servers for free. To speed up review for different domains, you can either forward emails (under the Forward tab), or add a POP3 account and alias (under the Account tab). Outlook.com has similar options too.

So Outlook.com is a good option for familiarity between your desktop application and webmail access, and Gmail is a good option for complete email integration and fighting SPAM.

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There are also hosts out that that have reasonable prices. I have been using dreamhost.com shared hosting for my email for years. They have a $8.95/month price advertised on their home page right now. For that price you can set up many domains, create many mailboxes, and create tons of forwarding addresses.

At that price you aren't going to get great service. I'd rate DreamHost as "palatable". I put up with them because I can do what I want so cheaply, but I'd appreciate faster servers and better up time.

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