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Articles by Swift Image

Emails: how hard can it be?

1. What is the problem?

Our hosting package is with Heart Internet. From time-to-time, messages sent from these servers may be treated as spam by certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This problem is not limited to Heart Internet, but will occur with any hosting supplier where their service uses shared servers.

The most common problematic ISPs are Yahoo, BT, AOL and the various Microsoft brands (e.g. Hotmail, Live, Outlook.com).

Some ISPs will mark the emails as spam and put them into a ‘junk’ folder. However, some providers will block them altogether while the problem exists (which could be up to a week or so).

Fortunately, it doesn’t happen that often, and the problem is usually quite short-lived. But when it’s happening, it can be annoying and frustrating.

2. Why does it happen?

A large company may have its own dedicated email server, so it is unlikely that someone will be able to use it to send out thousands of spam emails.

Smaller companies use “shared hosting”. The trouble with that is we don’t know who we’re sharing with.

When someone sends out a bulk spam mailing, the whole server IP address may be added to a blacklist, and while the server remains on that blacklist, (which might be a week for example), companies using that blacklist will treat emails sent from the affected IP address as spam.

3. How to solve the problem

There are several possible solutions:

  1. Use a professional email provider, such as Microsoft’s Office 365. The downside of this is that you’ll probably need an IT company to set it up for you, and Microsoft have a monthly charge per email account.
  2. Set up free G mail accounts for each of your email addresses. E.g. yourname@gmail.com

    I can simply forward all mails from your domains corresponding email address like so:

    info@your-domain.co.uk => yourname@gmail.com

    You would simply log into the appropriate Gmail account. This is the safest option and the one I use for Swift Image.

    Downside: when you reply, it will come from the Gmail. There is a way around this, but alas that has its own issues!

  3. Stop using your domain’s email and use your own personal or business email provided by an ISP. E.g. fred.jones@hotmail.com. With this option, I will also need to remove your contact form.
  4. Use the default mailbox on the server (called Outitgoes.com). Although an option, sending email may still be problematic to the ISPs mentioned in point 1. In addition, the free mailbox has a 2GB limit. That’s fine if you delete unnecessary or dealt with emails. Not so good if you want to store lots of information. There is an ability to upgrade the capacity for a small cost.
  5. Using your own hosting might solve the problem, but that would depend on the host and/or the hosting package you select. The problem is shared hosting, so as mentioned earlier, this problem won’t be limited to Heart Internet. I would not discourage you from looking into this, but you need to be sure that you aren’t jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

In summary, if you’re a medium-sized company and willing to spend a few pounds to have email working correctly, go for option 3a. If you’re a small company or individual and you don’t want to spend money on emails, select option 3b or option 3c.

4. SSL warning on Apple devices when connecting to mail server

If you’re trying to connect via iPhone, you may get a security warning. Heart have provided an article on this here »

5. Conclusion

If you’re a Swift Image client and you’re using one of the ISPs in point 1 to collect your emails, or if you’re getting the problem described in point 4, please contact me »


Article by Chris Addams of Swift Image Web Design, written 26 April 2019. Edited 8 May 2019.

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