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Evaluating Webmail Options: Horde vs. RoundCube vs. Squirrelmail

When you’re setting up your website, you’ll likely want to set up email functionality to go along with it.

At CanSpace Solutions, we make it easy to set up the email functionality of your website. Your hosting control panel, cPanel, has three different Webmail options that you have access to: Horde, RoundCube, and SquirrelMail. These choices make it easy for you to access your email accounts via a web-based interface.

When you first log in to webmail you are presented with the three options above, and you may not know which to choose. The truth is that the differences between the webmail clients are mostly aesthetic.

All of them have the basics we’ve come to expect from email clients, including:

  • Attachments
  • Threaded conversation view
  • Search mail
  • Address book
  • Message flags
  • Folder manipulation

There are a few minor differences to note, and this post will go over them.

Horde

Horde is easily the most popular option (it’s the one that’s selected by default), and also the one with the most features. It has a three pane format with a view pane. You can compose messages in HTML, and there are a slew of standard features all email users have grown to expect.

Notably, this is the only option of the three that has a fully designed mobile interface available, so if you expect to be reading or writing a lot of emails on the go, you might want to choose this option.

Other Horde features include:

  • Spell check
  • Calendar
  • Task list
  • Event reminders
  • News feed
  • Notes
  • Mail filters

SquirrelMail

SquirrelMail has a simple, two-pane list format with a straightforward interface. What more could you ask for? This is the right choice for those who want an email client but don’t want to mess around with too many options. Note that SquirrelMail has text-only composition as compared to the other two options.

However, choose this option at your own risk, as there is word that SquirrelMail may no longer be supported by its creators after 2018. If this indeed turns out to be the case, we will eventually remove this SquirrelMail and funnel customers into more sustainable webmail options.

RoundCube

Probably the slickest of the three, RoundCube has a three-pane format with view pane and includes HTML composition just like Horde. It also has some additional features like drag-and-drop organization and the ability to use plugins to add custom features based on your needs.

Generally, in terms of features, this options falls somewhere between the fully-featured Horde and the bare-bones SquirrelMail.

RoundCube also includes:

    • Spell check
    • Address book
    • Folder manipulation

Which webmail application should you choose? Our thinking is that Horde is the default for a reason. It has a ton of features that come in handy, like spell check and the mobile interface, but doesn’t have so many options as to become overly complicated. Unless you have a specific reason to go with one of the others, Horde is usually the best choice.

Need some help choosing which webmail application is best for you? Get in touch with us and we can help you decide based on your needs. We also have documentation that will easily walk you through the installation process once you’ve made your choice.

The CanSpace Team

CanSpace is Canada's leading domain name registrar and hosting provider. Keep an eye on our blog for expert information around websites and running a business online.

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