AKA Mail logo

A webmail application built for business

AKA Mail was a webmail application that was designed and developed for small and medium-sized businesses. I built AKA Mail with my co-founder when we were both at AKA Link Communications, a web hosting company that we founded in the year 2000.

When we built AKA Mail, there wasn't a hosted webmail application designed for business customers. The major hosted webmail applications at the time were Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail.

Both Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail were great, but were designed for personal use and were missing features and functionality that business customers wanted.

We listened to business customers

When designing AKA Mail, we listened to business customers to understand what features and functionality they felt were important.

In 2003, we launched the 1.0 version of AKA Mail with almost everything they asked for, such as sending and receiving e-mail from their domain (i.e., @yourbusiness.com), invisible read receipts, sending and receiving signed and encrypted e-mails with S/MIME certificates, and user interface white labeling.

Before there was Gmail, there was AKA Mail

In hindsight, AKA Mail seems basic but was innovative for its time. To put the innovation into perspective, we launched AKA Mail in July of 2003, which was almost 1-year before Google launched Gmail in April of 2004.

AKA Mail also gave business customers the ability to send and receive e-mail from their domain nearly 3-years before Gmail did. According to this CNET article, Google didn't introduce "Gmail for Your domain" until the year 2006.

Here is a snapshot of AKA Mail taken in July of 2003 by Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, and below are some old screenshots.

Login page to the AKA Mail webmail application

Inbox containing emails that were signed with an SMIME certificate

Reading an encrypted email with an attachment that was scanned for a virus by McAfee

Composing a new email

Invisible read receipts feature showing the date and time of when an email was opened

Address book showing contacts sorted by first name

Email account settings

Add an email account with a custom domain name

General preferences for AKA Mail webmail

Signing an e-mail with a plain text signature

A screenshot showing an e-mail being signed in AKA Mail webmail with an html signature

A white-labeled version of the AKA Mail webmail application