Blooming Cacti

Bring life to a barren, technological wasteland

I'm Looking For a New Email Host

I’ve been increasingly thinking of ditching my GMail account. I have a couple of reasons for wanting to do that but they mainly boil down to one thing: I don’t like how comfortable Google is with delivering products that don’t pay attention to details.

For instance:

  • You can’t rename a domain in Google Apps. You have to delete the domain and start over with the new name.
  • You can’t rename an admin user in Google Apps. You have to create a new user account and start over. (If the user was the initial user in the domain, it won’t even work to demote the admin user and then rename him.)
  • GMail likes to add a “Sender” header anytime you send a message from an alternate email address. You can prevent this (setup instructions) but it’s a bit clunky and requires you to have an external SMTP server.
  • GMail IMAP is wonky, making me reluctant to use my GMail account with a desktop email client.
  • You can’t use a Google Apps account with Google Plus.
  • On a more general note, Google Plus is overly dramatic in its requirement that people to use real names and not pseudonyms.

All of these things add up to give me a general feeling of using a half-baked product from a company that doesn’t sweat the details. And I don’t like it.

There are a lot of things that I do like about GMail.

  1. I can host multiple personal domains.
  2. I can have e-mail addresses setup at my domain (for family members) that either deliver mail to a GMail account or else deliver mail to an outside account (so that I can provide a “forwarding address”).
  3. I get generous email quotas.
  4. The service is free.
  5. I get mobile push email.
  6. Google provides a very good, nearly instantaneous, email search.
  7. There is a great conversation view, in the web interface.
  8. I really like the entire Inbox / everything else paradigm that Gmail created and I like being able to one-click Archive my messages.
  9. I can create unlimited message filters to automatically file messages and mark them as read or starred, even when my computer isn’t running.
  10. Robust spam filtering.

But, given that I no longer trust Google to provide a high quality product, I’m looking to move to a new email provider. I’m willing to pay for my service. Here’s the baseline feature set I’m looking for.

  1. Let me host email for multiple domains.
  2. Let me create multiple aliases either for a mailbox at the host or to forward to an outside mailbox.
  3. Robust spam filtering.
  4. Generous email quotas.
  5. Server side message filters, to sort and file my email.

Here’s the features that I’d like to see.

  1. A good, web-based, email search.
  2. A web-based conversation view.
  3. Push email, for mobile clients.

I'll be looking around to see who can sell me that, at a price that's reasonable for just 2-3 mailboxes.