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Email deliverability update – Feb 24

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Email is a complex system, with millions of spam messages sent every day that interfere with our genuine messages. Large email providers like Google and Microsoft do fairly well at keeping on top of this, and smaller hosting providers also do their best in this constant battle between spammers and providers. There are some upcoming changes that may have a huge impact for those of us using smaller hosting services, including our green hosting plans.

Email delivery issues

We’ve been seeing issues with some emails sent to Gmail, BT, Office365 and other large providers quietly going missing. They don’t bounce back with an error message, so you’ll never know if it’s been received or not unless you get a reply from whoever you sent it to. This is becoming a problem for website contact forms as well as email accounts. Our automated invoices and the proposals I send to potential new clients sometimes don’t arrive.

This is usually due to settings on the recipient’s mail platform. While there are some tweaks we can do to improve things, we’re still at the mercy of the big email platforms.

https://www.mailerlite.com/blog/new-requirements-from-google-and-yahoo is a good plain-English rundown of what we need to do to keep our emails arriving in people’s inboxes.

Yahoo’s upcoming changes – https://blog.postmaster.yahooinc.com/post/730172167494483968/more-secure-less-spam

Google’s upcoming changes – https://support.google.com/a/answer/81126

Your options

We can add settings to your hosting account to help emails arrive in people’s inboxes (for the technically knowledgeable; the SPF, DKIM and DMARC settings on your hosting package can help). This is not guaranteed however and you might not know if your emails are not making it, as they get silently discarded with no bounce-back message.

Privacy focused email providers

For the more technical or privacy minded folks, there are services like Protonmail and Tuta that offer cost-effective email packages. I am likely going to migrate to Protonmail as I prefer to support privacy respecting companies rather than the Big Tech players.

Migrate email to a mainstream email provider

I’m recommending that some people move to Google Apps, Office 365 or another mainstream provider for business critical email accounts to ensure their emails get through. They also offer larger mailboxes than we can provide (up to 50gb per mailbox for some providers). I’ll of course be happy to keep hosting your website on our fast, UK based green hosting.

Charities

For registered charities, larger providers may offer charity discounts making their services an attractive option, especially if your charity doesn’t have any IT support provision.

IT support for your business

This is also a good time to review your IT support provision to ensure your software is all up to date, your business critical data is backed up, your antivirus is kept up to date and you’re protected against things like ransomware attacks.

Having someone monitor and replace your IT hardware is also beneficial so you don’t lose precious time when devices fail. We all rely on our computers to run our businesses so I strongly recommend you have someone technical looking after your IT! A small monthly retainer gives you peace of mind and you can get on with your business activities without getting frustrated with tech.

Summary

Large email providers are making it more difficult for emails from small providers to reach people’s inboxes. This is apparently being done to reduce spam, and it’s causing problems for people who rely on email for business communications.

To help this we can add some settings to your hosting account to help deliverability. If you want to migrate your email to another provider for added peace of mind, I can put you in touch with an IT specialist who can migrate your emails and set up your devices. We are more than happy to continue hosting your website on our fast, UK based green hosting.

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