One of the factors that many people forget about when they are looking for a web host is email. The types of accounts offered along with sizes and limitations are as varied as the web hosting companies are themselves. Every web host should provide you with the ability to have several email accounts, most will offer up to 10 with a basic low end account. Another feature to look for is a company that offers an account that will accept and hold any email sent to your domain that does not match an email address. This is due to the fact that many people misspell names and such and therefore emails get lost.
You basically have three different email services available to you. The first is probably the one that most are familiar with, the POP or post office protocol works like a normal inbox such as your Outlook Express. You will be given a certain amount of storage space you are allowed but generally can only access from one computer. The second choice called IMAP or internet message access protocol will allow you to use your email account on many different computers so that you can access it at work and home. The third choice you have is a web based email which is of course the most flexible, allowing you to access your email from anywhere on the planet with a computer and an internet connection though a web browser. I like having all the options.
The next consideration that you have is on the size limit of storage you have. Nearly every web hosting company will have some sort of restriction on the size of account you can have as well as on the size of messages that can be sent. This is especially crucial if you are using your email to send pictures or documents. One key thing you want to do if you are using outlook or outlook express is to select the notify option for when your email is opened so that you know it was received. Many times if a file is too large you will have no other way of knowing.
If you don't get the notification then you know they didn't receive your message. Now, back to actual storage space, you should pick a web host company that offers a reasonable balance between the bandwidth limits and the size of the mailbox storage. For example if you have an account that offers 500MB of bandwidth but only a 3 MB data storage for email accounts.
Another important issue to look for is outgoing email limits. If you are using your account for business you may need to send emails out to a large number of people several times a day, if the system automatically flags that as spam you will not be able to send them. Check the limitations on outgoing mail and be sure it suits your needs.
Gregg Hall is an author and internet marketing consultant living in Navarre Florida. Find more information on low cost web hosting at http://www.lowcostwebhostingpackages.com