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Freemium Email Site Hosting?
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Freemium Email Site Hosting?

ElliotJElliotJ Member
edited September 2011 in General

Hello everyone,

I'm in the process of forming a small freemium email service (similar to gmail and the likes, however on a much, much smaller scale)
Security measures will be implemented to stop any spam artists, however I'm wondering if any resident VPS Hosts could give me a heads up in regard to acceptability of this service.

My personal guess, is that hosts would be terrified because the primary use of the server would, indeed, be to send emails. Although, as long as I can prove it's for a legitimate use, I'm guessing it would be fine?

Anyhow, some clarification from a host's point of view, or more experienced web master would be greatly appreciated.



  • Honest answer: I host a couple for my clients. They're more trouble than they're worth. Actually amazed the child porn folks haven't hit them yet like they did our wpmu installs.

    What software are you going to use for this?

  • I agree with @drmike - more trouble than they're worth.

    My company co-locate our servers and while we don't do hosting per say, we do programming and hosts our clients sites with all the works - email, dns, database, etc.

    And when things break, connection issues, software issues, firewall issues, raid issues, ANYTHING - especially during work hours - customers go wild. Websites going down (for a bit) can be ignored but email is a no-no. I'm not saying this is common for our company, but after 4+ years of no downtime, we ran into some issues this year and boy, do the clients forget the 4 years and focus on the 30 minutes.

    That, and it's hard to find a good software with really good web interfaces.

    We finally moved outsourced our email stuff to Rackspace this summer just so that they are now hosted off-site. We got really good pricing and life is back to the calm, rainbow days again.

    All I can say is that you'll need to consider ways to keep the service running smoothly, backup MX, provide secure connections (SSL/TLS) for those who prefer that, spam protection, etc.

    Thanked by 2Xeoncross pepaya
  • @tortuaI'm fully aware of the potential angry-customer syndrome, which is partially why I'm looking at low-end VPS's. Since I'll be bootstrapping this project, I'm predicting I won't need masses of capacity in the short term.

    The idea is I'll purchase a series of similar servers in geographically diverse areas to provide some sort of redundancy for all services, whilst all being periodically backed up to a secure backup facility. Hopefully this will keep everything running smoothly, but I'm sure I'll have some hiccups along the way.

    @drmike I'm entirely unsure about potential email software.
    I've considered HiveMail to an extent, however I'm not too convinced with the UI. I'd have to spend a while re-skinning the entire system.
    Of course, I'm open to any suggestions regarding this issue.

    Thanks for your input though guys, definitely reinforced my fear of downtime. Planning ahead should mitigate this issue though.


  • XeoncrossXeoncross Member
    edited September 2011

    Is this just for outgoing mail? If you plan on offering a web based client like gmail you can look here.

    I personally was thinking about adding a PHP daemon to one of my servers so I could allow users to submit content by email for some of my sites.

  • Roundcube is rather nice for webmail, take a look at it :)

  • Roundcube is rather nice for webmail, take a look at it :)

    Thats true. But its still missing filters etc.

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Host Rep

    Not sure if it helps or not but I use Anti-Spam SMTP Proxy for my shared hosting servers and it works wonders for incoming and outgoing spam. I purchased the ASSP Deluxe script for WHM which comes with a find_abusers.php script for finding spammers.

  • XeoncrossXeoncross Member
    edited September 2011

    I'm looking into building an incoming SMTP daemon in node.js that I can use to quickly receive and store email for processing later by my application. This would allow me to give users email addresses they can submit content to like replies to comments or whatnot. I only need a basic memcached IP cache to make sure some domains don't try to spam my system too much. Still, node should be able to handle several thousand emails a second.

    This should work fine since I have postfix setup to only send mail and it can handle trying multiple times, DKIM, and all that other stuff.

    If anyone is interested in helping I'd love to work on this with someone. Node.js is perfect for I/O stuff like this but I'm still learning how to build node.js apps.

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