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Hey Bennjamin,

I can’t help you on the whole package, however there are people here who can help you with individual parts (Think Matt Keath for website design/hosting, Gizmo may be bale to help with 1300 numbers (or at least VoIP)

What I’d like to talk to you about though, is you mention you want email hosting with your website. I’d like to try and disuade you from this notion, for a couple of reasons. These all relate to individual circumstances i’ve experienced for my clients, or myself.

1. My webhosting and email hosting was initially with an Australian based provider. They got their shared server on blacklists a few times, meaning I coulnd’t send email. They had the hide (and clear misunderstanding) to tell me it was my computer, not their server. A close review of the hosting agreement and discussion with the staff made me realise that they provide email, but it’s just an “extra, added bonus” and they don’t really care about it. It’s specifically excluded from any Service Guarantees and backups.

2. My client was with another, large but “cheap and cheerful” style webhost. They were using them for their email as well. Following an outage of the entire platform for almost a week, (meaning, a week with my client having NO email at all. We couldn’t even migrate it because we couldn’t access the platform) they said “oh, yea, it’s just an added extra. No, it’s not part of your contract, no, you get no rebate for lost service”. So, business lost thousands in work, and webhost said “sorry, too bad. what do you expect for $5.00 a month”

3. Another client has just moved to “hosted exchange” with a fairly large provider. They are paying about 1.5x what a similar Office365 plan would cost. For a mailbox that’s less than 10% of the size (4GB vs 50GB). For response times to the server that’s in the 400ms range (outlook and exchange performs abysmally at this level) compared to response times to Office365 (which is based in Australia now) of ~200ms. They are also locked on a 2 year plan, paid up front and have expended several hours just in trying to get it to work acceptably in the past 2 weeks.

Compare this to Office365, or Google Apps, which are custom-built, specific applications that are intended to host email. Sure, you pay a little more than web-host based email, but you get a far, far better quality of service. In #2 above, the cost of a full year (paid monthly) of an Office365 subscription for the whole business, cost less than they lost in revenue for that week of no email.

I’m a big proponent of using the right tool for the right job. And web-host based email is, almost never, ever, the right tool. The exception to this is when you use a random email address like “joe42@yahoo.com” that I can’t even tell is related to your business.

I’m happy to discuss proper hosted email solutions with you if you wish :)