A few years back when I was working at a firm. The company had a co-located server that would get hacked all of the time. At least once year we would be brought to our knees trying to recover from an outage. You would think we would need to beef up our server but it would always turn out that whatever would cause our downtime would be causing other servers in the area downtime as well meaning that the problems were coming from within the data-center. The last time that server went down it became toast and we ended up having to have them ship it back to us.
It’s a little bit funny when servers go down. Web services go down. Web sites go down. Email goes down. Everything related to our clients online business which we had created was lost. I quickly came to learn something though. Clients don’t mind as much when the site goes down or if a service goes down, but when their only connection to their clients goes down, then I have a problem. For weeks during recovery, the major complaint of all of our clients was that we had to do something to get email back online.
It doesn’t take a hacker or an outage to bring your online business to its knees. Sometimes it could be not paying your bill. This morning I received a call from a client with a complaint that their websites were showing up with the words “Account Suspended” at the top. I’m assuming this is a billing issue and I can’t control it because I didn’t handle their hosting. But once again, they are left without any communication through their websites because their email was through their hosting service.
So, what’s my point? After recovering from the last server issues at the firm, we had somehow come to realize that we could set up Google Apps for our domain name and run all of our email in the cloud. From that point forward I have always run my email through Google Apps, because no matter what happens to my site or server, or whatever, my email is sitting securely on Google’s servers. I will have communication with my clients in the event of an emergency.
When I set up new clients I try to explain to them that I will be setting up their email through Gmail and they get confused. They don’t realize that you can set up your domain through Google apps. You not only get Gmail with Google apps, but you also get Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Sites and you are using all of these Google services in the name of your domain name. Its easy to set up and its free for the basic service if you have less than 50 users.
Now, it can be difficult to make this switch if you are already established on a hosting server, but if you just starting out or are making changes to your policy, I highly recommend that you move your email to Google Apps.