Small Business Email Fundamentals

Email hosting ABC's

  • Which of my email addresses does SuttonNet host?

    We can only host email accounts which are directly associated with your domain name: eg

    We might not host your email, even if we host your website. It depends on what services your business has opted for. Eg if you use Office 365, SuttonNet doesn't look after your email hosting.

  • What is a mail server?

    It's basically a computer connected 24/7 to the Internet, that manages the comings and goings of your email.

    If you host email with SuttonNet, the incoming mail server used by all your '' email accounts is a part of SuttonNet's web servers.

    An incoming mail server holds email accounts, and receives emails that have been sent to any of the email accounts on this server.

    An outgoing mail server sends emails from your computer towards the right mail server to receive them: ie the mail server that hosts your addressee's email account. It doesn't send them directly to that server: the email might go through many connecting computers, before it arrives at the right address.

  • About email accounts & mailboxes...

    An email account is a set of folders on a mail server, in a particular account name: eg on the SuttonNet server. It can hold various files (ie emails).

    An email account can either:

    • have a mailbox, or
    • have no mailbox and forward all emails to another email address, or
    • have its own mailbox AND forward emails.

    A mailbox is rather like a letterbox, but it collects emails instead of paper mail. A mailbox has to always be connected to the Internet, so that the incoming emails always have a landing place.

    You view emails from the mailbox on your own computer or phone, using your own email software, also confusingly known as an email client (Thunderbird, Outlook Express etc).

  • I need a new email address for my business

    Contact SuttonNet whenever you need an extra email account.

    We'll create a new email address quickly. We can help you with setting up the email account on your office computer too.

  • There's a problem with my emails

    Try our quick Find & Fix page for some common problems. If that doesn't help, contact SuttonNet.

Use your business domain name

The public email address on your website and business documents is usually best as an email address which ends with your website name (eg

  1. Your email address is then a constant reminder to customers of your website address.
  2. An @yourdomain email address is owned by your business as long as you remember to renew your domain name. No one can take it away. Many cheap/free email accounts don't actually belong to you. They can be removed by the operator, or disappear if the operator goes out of business.
  3. Your business-in-confidence emails are stored on your own computer, phone etc and are fully under your control. They are not stored on another business's computers in an unknown location (the "cloud" is merely a connected set of computers in several locations!).
  4. If your business is sold, the email address which customers know, remains valid.
Before the @

Unless you 'are' the business, use a general name like info@ for enquiries, not

Joe might leave, or change roles. Don't let customers' enquiries head to a closed or little-used email account.

Personal vs business

Do you use a business email address for personal email? It's not always a good idea.

What if you leave or sell the business? You don't want to have to change your personal email address too. Nor do you want the new owners accessing your private emails.

You can only register an Australian domain name (,, as long as you meet the criteria. For, that means an active business with substantive connection to the name. If you've given up selling moth headwear, don't expect to hold on to your domain name. There'll be other businesses keen to snap it up. They can get the domain cancelled if you hang on to it illegally.

Last updated 16 April 2020