By Donal Whooley
I have two domains, one private and one for work. I currently host both with a cheap US based ISP: 3ix.org
They provide email and web hosting for both domains together @ 30USD/year. They are pretty unreliable. Doing large ftp uploads to update the site is enough to crash the site/server. However you can IM them when you site goes down and they are very responsive. I don't care so much about about the site, but it really bugs me when email is not available and my customers and wife heap on the grief when email is not available. The first reaction of customers when they can't email me is --- "Are you still in business ???"
So instead of opting for a more expensive ISP which can run up to 150-200USD/year I decided to do some fishing and found that Google is offering Gmail services so that you can point your domain at the Gmail servers as follows:
The only additional thing is you need to add a CNAME record to your DNS settings in order for google to verify you are the domain owner.
Now for both domains I have IMAP from Mac mail pointing them and have the full glory of Google reliability and gmail web interface if required. And it's all FREE for the first 50 users/domain and you get a full 7.5GB/user email storage.
There is paid premier edition which costs 50USD/year/email address, but I don't think that is required for most home/small businesses.
See the comparison and sign up: Choose a Plan
Hopefully email woes are a thing of the past. If Google were to offer web hosting and didn't tie users into their web page creation tools then I'd see a lot of folks abandoning their current ISPs.
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