Setting Up a Dedicated Mail Server
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In this article we will go through the general process of setting up a remote dedicated mail server to send your emails to your customer list, and we will also look at the reason you would bother doing it considering the cost. We will look briefly at some of the commonly used alternatives to send and receive email and why they end up being inadequate as a business' and web site's customer database grows.
Why to do it
Hosting packages are very convenient; you can easily start with the minimum requirements and upgrade when necessary. Many times, non-technical staff know little or nothing about the details or why an upgrade is needed, or take the default service for granted, which is inconvenient. Apart from that, there are certain precautions which need to be taken when using a dedicated server or some ISPs will consider that you are spamming.
First Things First: Reasons
I have a colleague who runs a non profit ezine. She currently sends 5000 emails every week to her customer base. In the true nature of start-ups she started off by sending emails from her Yahoo address to her subscribers, who numbered less than 30. Her database rapidly grew and she finally cobbled together a mini site on a shared hosting package which we put together for her.
Her database grew exponentially (via referrals only) and suddenly 5000 emails is standard (with the database growing yearly). The first problem occurred when the hosting server's IP address was flagged due to an open relay. The problem was quickly fixed, but a rash of other problems ranging from spambots to problems with our ISP's services and charges started, which stretched the support capabilities of our small staff. With irate customers breathing down our necks, we promptly shipped all our web sites to Go Daddy and later Hostgator.
When we hosted the sites we had on our own hosting servers, we had control over the Send mail transfer protocol settings and the rate at which we sent mail. Once we transferred to another companies data center, we got stuck with default settings, and were restricted to sending 200 emails per hour. Being clueless as to how things worked I sent emails to the help and support desk, and they told me that for bandwidth and spamming reasons it would be impossible to raise the cap unless I set up a dedicated mail server.
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