The personal website of Chris Coyier

Email Domains and Perception

I have a friend who wants to get away from his @gmail.com email address and on to his brand new domain email. He says it would be “more professional”. I can relate. I have definitely felt the same way in the past. But now I’ve flip flopped my view.

Now I prefer it when someone has an email address that is @gmail.com or @mac.com or @yahoo.com (or another mail service I respect). What that says to me is: “I’d rather use a tried and true email system than re-invent the wheel and run my own mail server.”

When you send someone an email at a weird personally-owned domain, I can’t help but think: where is this mail server? some weird host with reliability problems? what mail client do they use? are they going to actually get it? will I be able to help them find it if it doesn’t show up? is their website speed suffering because it’s so busy running mail processes?

And by the way, I know that you can run GMail off your own domains (I exclusively do this, I don’t run a single mail server of my own), so having your own domain email doesn’t necessarily reveal how you are actually running email. It’s the *perception* I’m concerned with.

And… yes, I’m the first to bitch when GMail goes down. But, I’ll bet you a coke it has better uptime than your own personal mail server.