email – Web hosting, Domain names, Dedicated servers Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:05:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 email – 32 32 How to Use Email Forwarding Tue, 20 Jul 2010 19:03:03 +0000

For example, you can forward all messages sent to billing@yourdomain, sales, and marketing all to the same address: tom@yourdomain. That way, Tom will handle those email messages accordingly without having to check each of those accounts separately.

Most web-based control panels have support for mail forwarding built into them. If, for some reason, you do not have that option, you can create forwards manually. To forward email from one address to another, use email aliases. To create aliases, edit the /etc/aliases file and add lines like the following:

billing: tom

That will forward all mail sent to “billing” to “tom”. Once you have created your alises, save the aliases file and run: “newaliases” from the command line.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

PHP Mail Vs. SMTP Mailing Lists Tue, 01 Jun 2010 22:01:35 +0000 Joomla mail settings
Whether your goal is marketing or simply communicating with your website’s online community, there comes a time when you need to send out a mass email. I am not suggesting you spam your customers or users. What I do suggest, however, is that you have some way of contacting people who were interested enough to join your site or sign up for updates.

Many content management systems, such as Joomla, have mass email features built-in that allow you to easily send mail to your users. Usually, they will present you with two options: PHP Mail or SMTP. PHP Mail essentially calls a particular PHP function that will contact your mail server (such as Sendmail or Postfix) to send the email. SMTP functions just like a regular email client and will login to an email account.

From personal observation and the advice of people who have tried it, unless you have some pressing reason to avoid SMTP, you should prefer it over PHP Mail. Although you may not notice the difference for small mailing lists, something larger can bog down your server when using PHP Mail. It works fine for occasional contact forms, but for mass emailing, you should just go directly to the source: your mail server.

The Importance of Web Hosting Support Tue, 25 May 2010 20:11:21 +0000 support receptionist
When shopping around for a good web hosting provider, you want to make sure the host you choose puts a substantial emphasis on support. Although your website might be perfectly fine most of the time, it only takes one incident of trouble to realize your web host is nowhere to be found. Lack of quality support can be detrimental to your website and expensive, if you run a business.

It is crucial to your website’s success to have a host that offers support, and having a wide variety of support options to choose from is certainly a plus. Some useful support options are:

Email – Check for low response time. You don’t want a host that takes a week to answer emails.

Support tickets – Similar to email, response time is critical.

Chat – Some hosts offer online chat directly from their websites. Test it out to see how often they are online and how quickly they offer support.

Telephone – Although phone communication is less common these days, it is still needed. When you call, do you get a recording, a call center, or an actual technician?

Knowledge base and/or FAQ – Whether it takes the form of a wiki or some other publication, a web host can save itself and you a lot of time by publishing answers to frequently asked questions.

Forums and Community – Big hosts have the advantage of having a large body of users. Some provide forums so that those users can communicate and support each other. Sometimes, this is even faster than traditional support methods.

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Mailing List Etiquette for Site Owners Tue, 18 May 2010 15:49:18 +0000 email announcement
Most users are familiar with email, texting, and even Twitter etiquette. Some might even refer to it as Netiquette, but there should also be a code of ethics for the owners of mailing lists. If you have ever done any shopping online, you will inevitably receive promotional emails from the places where you have shopped. Even large sites like do this, but there are certain guidelines you should follow.

1. If you are going to automatically add users after a sale transaction, make it clear on the order form, and give customers the option to opt out.

2. Provide an opt-out link at the bottom of each email.

3. Send as few message as possible. Once a month is reasonable. Once a week may be overkill. Once a day will land you in spam folders.

4. Make sure your opt out script actually works. I cannot tell you how many times I have unsubscribed from some lists only to be added again.

5. Just because someone is involved in an organization does not give you the right to add them. As someone who works in publishing, I have been added to numerous lists, because they assume I am interested in what they have to say.

Finally, always make sure your message are relevant. People who actually do sign up for your gardening mailing list do not want messages about iPhones. Stay on topic and be respectful.

E-mail Address vs Contact Form Tue, 18 May 2010 15:31:16 +0000 contact form
You want to make sure your website visitors can contact you, and you have made every effort to make sure they can find the “Contact Us” page, but what do you want to include on the page? Should you list your email addresses, have only a contact form, or provide both?

Both can potentially present security issues. An email address presented in text can be harvested by spam bots. A contact form can be hacked and used to send spam or gain access to the server. But both can be prevented with extra security measures. Furthermore, both can be setup to point to the same email account on your server.

The real advantage for contact forms is that you can customize them and lead users to provide certain information. This could help them formulate ideas and come up with better questions. You can also gain certain useful data from them that might help determine how best to assist them. Finally, a contact form script that collects statistical data can help you when it’s time to evaluate your website. Ideally, it is probably best to provide both options, just in case a user prefers one over the other.

Catchall Email Addresses Mon, 10 May 2010 19:16:03 +0000 Spam in Gmail
In the world of web hosting, email addresses can either be real or aliases. A real email address is connected to a mailbox on the mail server. That mailbox will hold any messages sent to the address in queue, awaiting the user to either download it or access it from the Web. An alias is an email address that only holds the appearance of a real account. In reality, any messages sent to it will actually be forwarded elsewhere.

Some websites, particularly those owned by organizations or companies, may use a catchall feature on their mail server. Rather than create an email address for several departments, they may create five and have all other inquiries forwarded to a single address. For example, billing@domain.tld, finance@domain.tld, and stocks@domain.tld may all be handled by the same department. Rather than have an alias for each, the catchall for that domain could point to billing. This can also be useful for catching typos.

There are drawbacks to catchall email settings. Since any email address that does not have a valid mailbox will be accepted and forwarded to the specified account, your account might receive more spam. Some spam bots will seek out keywords like “admin” and “support” and automatically send spam to accounts on your domain with those prefixes. Individual website owners and small organizations will probably not see the benefits of catching extra spam.

Photo Source: Flickr

MailScanner: Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam Filter Tue, 04 May 2010 21:27:39 +0000 Email iconAs the name implies, MailScanner scans incoming mail sent to users on a server and flags them, and handles them according to the server administrators configurations. It is one of the most popular virus/spam filters It is written in Perl and links with other packages in order to accomplish its specified goals

For mail transport, MailScanner requires a mail server such as Sendmail or Postfix. For Anti-Virus, it relies on ClamAV or one of the many other supported solutions, and for Spam, it uses SpamAssassin. It creates a centralized control mechanism for all of these applications and acts as a mail sorter, filtering out the junk.

MailScanner is available for most major Linux distributions and several Unix-like operating systems, such as Solaris and BSD. The website provides binaries for Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, Debian, and SuSE, and nearly all distributions provide packages in their repositories. MailScanner is free and open source software, released under the GPL.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Managing Reseller Payments Mon, 03 May 2010 18:39:06 +0000 Roll of money
One common mistake that web hosting resellers make is jumping into the hosting business without any solid plan for customer management. In an ideal world, customers always pay on time and upgrades always go according to plan. The fact is, however, both you and your customers will make mistakes. The important thing to do is to have systems in place to remedy any problematic situations.

There are many customer management tools on the market, but not all of them are catered to web hosting. In particular, the best way to make sure payments are received on time is to have some type of recurring billing setup. Hosting is usually relatively inexpensive, and most customers will not mind having a small amount deducted from their credit cards or PayPal accounts each month.

The other important aspect of customer management is communication. Keep in regular contact with your customers. Many conflicts that happen when dealing with people online are the result of misunderstandings. With email, social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook, and your website’s blog, you can stay in contact with your customers without being overly invasive. Welcome to the world of web hosting, and good luck.

Photo Source: Flickr

How to create backups with cPanel Wed, 14 Apr 2010 17:08:23 +0000 cPanel backup
Many VPS and dedicated server users have cPanel installed as their control panel. Therefore, it is very useful to know how to create backups of your website or entire server using cPanel. Follow these instructions to make your backups.

1. Login to cPanel on your website (usually something like

2. Under the “Files” section, click “Backups”

There are several backups to choose, all of which will download the files to your computer. If you want automated scheduled backups and/or remote backups, choose another option.

3. To generate a full backup of your website, click the first button.

Optionally, you can choose to backup only a portion of your site, such as home directory, MySQL database, email forwards, or email filters.

4. Click the button of the component you want to download. Your browser’s save dialog should appear offering you a file in tar.gz format, which is a commonly used Linux form of file compression.

Backups are very important, and if you are unable to schedule routine automated backups, this convenient manual backup is a good option.

Offering web-based email on your web server Fri, 02 Apr 2010 20:37:11 +0000 Hula mail screenshot
These days, many email users rely on free services such as GMail or Yahoo! Mail for their messaging needs, but these services lack the customization that some business customers may want (i.e. For that, they have two options: setup cloud services with Google or another service provider, or use the email accounts offered by their web hosting providers.

If your web hosting customers opt for the latter, you have some things to consider. POP3 and IMAP offerings are a given, but if your customers want a web-based option, you will need to provide one. Some hosting control panels come with web-based email solutions. If you have that option, use it.

If you do decide to install your own web-based email, make sure you choose secure, well-tested software that is easy to upgrade and maintain. The last thing you want is to have to manage poorly written software and spend your time fighting off hackers who exploit its security holes. Finally, make sure that things like quota control limits are easily enforceable and that the server load is not too high. You and your clients will hopefully be happy with the results.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons