Email is a commodity service, but critical for many things - so you can get it anywhere, but you better not mess it up.

Your options, in increasing order of complexity, are:


Email sent to [email protected] is simply forwarded to someplace like gmail. It’s free and easy, and you don’t need any infrastructure. Most registrars like GoDaddy, NameCheap, CloudFlare, etc, will handle it.

You can even reply from [email protected] by integrating with SendGrid or a similar provider.


If you want more, Google and Microsoft have full productivity suites. Just edit your DNS records, import your users, and pay them $5 a head per month. You still have to ‘do email’ but it’s a little less work than if you ran the whole stack. In most cases, companies that specialize in email do it better than you can.


If you are considering local email, let me paraphrase Kenji López-Alt. The first step is, don’t. The big guys can do it cheaper and better. But if it’s a philosophical, control, or you just don’t have the funding, press on.

A Note About Cost

Most of the cost is user support. Hosting means someone else gets purchase and patch a server farm, but you still have to talk to users. My (anecdotal) observation is that fully hosting saves 10% in overall costs and it soothes out expenses. The more users you have, the more that 10% starts to matter.

Last modified April 9, 2024: restructure (100ef14)