Advanced Email Service

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Summary

Our advanced email service uses specialist email provider Simply Mail Solutions (SMS). We recommend this for clients with advanced or very specific email requirements only.

Introduction

Most WebHealer clients requiring an email address to accompany their website address will use our Basic Email Forwarding or Certified Sender Email service. Where a client has advanced requirements to comply with internal IT standards or wishes to use very specific email software we recommend the mail services of Simply Mail Solutions (SMS). Our internal systems have prebuilt settings to support the services of Simply Mail Solutions however please note that WebHealer has no formal relationship with this company. 

We have been evaluating Simply Mail Solutions over many years and after many good reports from clients who have used their services, we have decided to recommend them for the following reasons.

  1. They are UK based with a UK support team
  2. They respond well by phone and email
  3. They keep their technologies up to date
  4. They are stable and have been in business for 10 years

Apart from our in house managed Basic Email Forwarding or Certified Sender Email service the only external mail services supplier that WebHealer supports is Simply Mail Solutions. The reason we can't support different suppliers is that setting up the relevant systems (nameservers) is automatically managed, quality controlled and monitored by our internal customer management systems and so only predefined options supported by our systems are available. Specifically we support the Microsoft Hosted Exchange services provided by SMS (we can't support their Office 365 option).

If you do choose Simply Mail Solutions to run your email, the role of WebHealer is only to apply the necessary settings to give control to SMS in order to administer your email accounts. We do not have any visibility over your email activities and our support team are unable to provide support for any email queries or problems.

Purpose of this guide

The purpose of this guide is to help clients switching over to using the services of SMS. The process varies according to whether you are a new WebHealer client switching from using a mailbox with another supplier or an existing WebHealer client and there is a section for each scenario.

Note that this service is specifically for emails associated with your website address. For example your website address might be www.counsellingoxford.co.uk and you already have or would like an address like info@counsellingoxford.co.uk. If you are already using and are content to use an email that is not linked to your website address (e.g. janesmith@gmail.com or counselling.oxford@hotmail.com) then it is not necessary to use this or any other WebHealer email solution. See our Email Solutions guide for more explanation.

In the following sections we will continue with this example that your website address is www.counsellingoxford.co.uk and you are interested in the email address info@counsellingoxford.co.uk

Existing WebHealer clients switching to SMS

This section of the guide applies to you if you are a client of WebHealer and have been using Basic Email Forwarding or Certified Sender Email service (or no email service at all) and our support team advise that an SMS solution is needed to meet your needs. If you are new to WebHealer and have already had a mailbox linked to your website address skip to the next section.

We recommend you follow these steps in this specific order. 

Steps

  1. Contact Simply Mail Solutions directly so they can help you choose a suitable service. We support any of the Hosted Microsoft Exchange packages. Please note we can't support Office 365. Typically our clients choose Exchange Basic or Exchange Essentials so we recommend asking for that first and then discussing your requirements with their sales team. Contact them via www.simplymailsolutions.com or phone on 01925 818448
  2. Sign up to their service and test that you can send emails from info@counsellingoxford.co.uk
  3. Now you can advise the WebHealer support team that your SMS service is in place and the package you have chosen
  4. If you have an existing WebHealer Basic Email Forwarding or Certified Sender Email service in place we will send you a downgrade form to remove that and switch to Advanced Email instead
  5. We will apply the necessary settings to hand full control of your emails to SMS
  6. SMS will provide all support (if they have not already) and advice on how you can send and receive using info@counsellingoxford.co.uk on whatever devices you use

New clients moving to WebHealer requiring SMS to take over an active mailbox

Continuing with our example, let us say you are moving a website www.counsellingoxford.co.uk to WebHealer and already have an active mailbox info@counsellingoxford.co.uk. You will also need to move that mailbox to one of our email solutions as we will not be able to work with your existing email supplier for the reason explained in the introduction.

This applies when you have an active mailbox linked to your website address e.g. info@counsellingoxford.co.uk. If your email is forwarded to another email address (like a hotmail, gmail or talktalk account) or if you have never used your website linked email address then the best solution for you is most likely Basic Email Forwarding or Certified Sender Email Service as explained in our Email Solutions guide.

The most important aspect of this process is to ensure that all your old emails sitting in your info@counsellingoxford.co.uk mailbox are transferred across to SMS and that no newly arriving emails are lost during the switch over. 

Safe Transfer Method

To avoid any loss of emails we recommend that you do not sign up for the WebHealer service until you have switched to using SMS as your email provider. It is always more complex to change two systems at once, so if you can contact SMS and move your email over to them, and make sure everything is working to your satisfaction then when you switch your website service to WebHealer the email will carry on without a hitch.

These are the steps we recommend before you sign up with WebHealer:

  1. Contact SMS to discuss a suitable mail service to meet your needs. We support any of their Hosted Microsoft Exchange packages. Please note we can't support Office 365. Typically our clients choose Exchange Basic or Exchange Essentials so we recommend asking for that first and then discussing your requirements with their sales team. Contact them direct via www.simplymailsolutions.com or phone on 01925 818448.
  2. Choose the service that is best for you and sign up for it
  3. Ask SMS to help with migrating your old emails to the new mailbox and get their advice on how to ensure no emails go astray during the switchover. If you find the advice too technical we recommend you ask them to do it for you. Our current understanding is that they will do it for just £10 which we feel is good value and very good peace of mind
  4. SMS should then help you "change the MX records" (the key step which is effectively the "switch") after which all email is routed through their systems and you can check that everything is working fine, both sending and receiving
  5. Once SMS are running your email we'd recommend a final call to them, after about 24 hours, to get some reassurance that any emails which arrived during the switch have been picked up

Now tell us at WebHealer which service you chose (e.g. Hosted Exchange Basic with/without Future Spam) and you can sign up using the online subscription form.

Warning: Although these steps usually proceed smoothly in a matter of a few hours, every now and then there will be glitches that need technical investigation.  For this reason we strongly advise you not to begin this process on a Friday or there is a risk of work being unfinished before the working day is over and your email service being compromised in some way throughout the weekend. We really don't want things going wrong for you so to be really safe we would recommend Thursday lunchtime as a cut off for starting this process.

Safe Transfer Method v. Hot Swap Method

The safe transfer method described above works in the vast majority of situations. Very occasionally, even with the help of the technical team at SMS, clients encounter the problem that they are not able to get access to the domain name settings to make the necessary changes. This can occur if you have lost contact with the person who set up your website and domain name for example. If this is the case, we can, after exhausting all options and with careful review of the situation use a "hot swap" method, whereby the new email service only becomes live at the same time as your website moves to us, in other words when your domain name e.g. counsellingoxford.co.uk transfers to us. As there is usually unpredictability in the timing of this transfer process it creates a risk of losing some emails that could be sent to you mid way through the transfer.