One of the ways the sites like Yahoo and Google maintain a dominant presence on the Internet is by offering free email service. This not only has users returning to their website multiple times per day, but also distributes a large amount of ad inventory, thus earning revenue. This same technique can be applied to most any website. It is certainly possible to add an email service to your existing website, or to create a special site that focuses exclusively on the email service.
Choose a domain to use for your email website. If you will be adding this service as an additional function to your existing website, then you will already have a domain and can skip this step. Otherwise, think of several dot-com names that you would be interested in using. Ideally, try to use a name that consists of no more than three words. You may need to try several domains before you find one that is not already owned by someone.
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Set up a dedicated server account with your web host. A basic shared server may work OK for a simple website, but if you are allowing the public to send, receive and store email messages on your server, then you will need to upgrade to a dedicated server. If your site becomes widely popular you will need to expand your infrastructure to include a network of cloud servers, but a single dedicated server is more than ample to initially launch your email website. Any web hosting company can set up and manage a dedicated server for your email business.
Choose an email server software solution. The solution that you select will depend on what services you will offer and how extensive you want them to be. If you just want to start a basic email website, you may wish to go with a hosted solution, such as MailEnable. These solutions host the email traffic on their own server and carry a smaller upfront cost, but you will loses some control over your operation. If you wish to maintain complete control over your mail service, consider using hMailServer, which is a free email server software package that works on Microsoft Windows servers. If you require more extensive services, look over IceWarp Mail Server, which will allow you to offer email, instant messaging and even VOIP telephone service. There are a large number of software options on the market. Consider them carefully and choose the one that works best for you.
Complete your web development. Think of your website as the front end of your business. Once the software has been installed on the server, or back end, you can develop a website that connects your visitors to that software. The software itself will provide you with API code that can be copied and pasted into your web template to provide users with the access they need for signing up, logging in and managing their email account.