The cloud certainly makes delivering email to your users easier but, for the vast majority of organizations, there's still going to be some setup required beyond simply activating the service. At a minimum, a domain must be purchased and configured to point to the new email host. The service provider can make this process very simple or they can make quite hard; this is something you should watch for in the provider's customer support forums as well as in our reviews. In most cases, there is a validation phase that will require some technical familiarity, though a few providers go so far as to walk even neophyte users through it step by step. Other solid services bolster excellent support with tutorial articles and videos that also walk you through the process. The worst will leave you to figure it out on your own. 

The target audience is just as varied as the contents of the Domain Guide, as it’s made up of small and medium-sized businesses as well as website operators, domain traders, and inquisitive readers. As is the case for all categories of IONOS’s Digital Guide, the domain guide also caters to both novices and experienced users. Get domain expertise with our guide.
Many online shops have the number 24 in them, to signify 24 hours a day – you may also be able to integrate numbers into your domain in a meaningful way to make them unique. Be careful though, because many cultures attach a lot of significance to certain numbers. Make sure that your number doesn't represent bad luck or other negative things in the country you're operating in.

While all the hosts atop our email hosting reviews tout reliable security features, SiteGround and InMotion lead the market when it comes to secure email hosting. As you’re comparing hosting plans, look for words like IMAP or POP3, SPAM filtering, virus protection, and 24/7 server monitoring. SiteGround and InMotion Hosting offer all of the above, whether you’re shopping for business or pleasure. 

The next section, “Package Information,” shows you the plan you’re committing to purchasing. In this case, we are purchasing a Basic plan for a term of 36 months at $2.95 per month. With this plan, we get free domain registration and an SSL certificate to ensure our site offers a secure experience for website visitors. Continue scrolling down to the next section.
Examples of this include things such as instant messaging (IM) and team chat tools, video conferencing software, online meeting collaboration tools, shared team intranet sites, and more. Some even integrate with third-party tools such as Slack, a highly popular collaboration tool that combines customizable chat "channels" with file sharing and project management. For those who want to integrate with certain apps more deeply or integrate with custom-developed apps they have built in-house, many bigger-name email services will provide robust application programming interfaces (APIs) that will let your in-house developers or consultants deliver on those needs. They will need to be involved in the email service selection process, however, as this is an important consideration during your evaluation period.
Post initial setup, a primary concern will be the log-on issue. If your organization is fine with a separate log-on for your email provider, then this step will be quick. However, that's not typically what businesses want or users expect. In general, users expect to sign onto their desktops and have their email and file sharing sign-ons happen as part of that one-step process. Not surprisingly, this is called Single Sign-On (SSO) and it's enabled in one of three ways: through the use of a back-end directory service like Microsoft Active Directory (AD); an identity management service, like Okta (one of our Editors' Choice winners in that category); or several compatible web services that include SSO along with other apps and email services, like Google G Suite Business and Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium (two of the top providers reviewed here). Which method you choose depends on how your business is configured today and your long-term cloud services strategy. It's definitely a conversation you'll need to have either with your in-house IT staff or your outside IT consultant. 

Think of the name you want to register. The answer is typically your company or website name. It is best to keep your domain name short and easy to understand. Say it out loud, and make sure it sounds great. Next, search to see if it is available. If the name you desire is taken with the .com top-level domain, there are hundreds of others available. Finally, add the top choices to your cart and complete the domain registration.
A dedicated server delivers the reliable and powerful server hardware and connection that your business-critical applications require. Bursting speeds and the full hardware resources are solely dedicated to your server tasks and performances, no shared computing power or memory usage. Minimum one dedicated IP is included in any of our hosting plans. Our enterprise-class hardware is dedicated to you and you only.
Many hosting plans offer a free domain and at least one free email account with a matching email address ([email protected]). Bluehost offers the best deal; its $2.95/month Basic Shared hosting plan offers a free domain and five free matching email accounts or addresses. Other hosting providers that also offer a free email address to match a free domain in their plans include GoDaddy and InMotion, although for a higher monthly fee than Bluehost.
The next section, “Package Information,” shows you the plan you’re committing to purchasing. In this case, we are purchasing a Basic plan for a term of 36 months at $2.95 per month. With this plan, we get free domain registration and an SSL certificate to ensure our site offers a secure experience for website visitors. Continue scrolling down to the next section.
Along with specialized uses for email, you should investigate how your users are emailing on a daily basis. Email has come a long way in 40 years and the way people use it has significantly evolved. That's important because it will impact the tools and features you need to look for in your hosted email provider's client software. Sure, Microsoft Outlook is still the most popular on-site email client, but a fast-increasing number of today's email users are opting for other email clients, such as Thunderbird, or all-web clients, such as Google's hugely popular Gmail. These clients can be very sophisticated and, depending on what your users are doing with email, they can have a big impact on your day-to-day business process. 

Ultimately, it boils down to a balance between cost, features, and risk. It's always tempting to simply jump on the lowest-cost solution, but the fact that email is ubiquitous keeps this from being the smart play. It's nearly impossible to escape using it, which means your users, your customers, and the guts of your business have all come to depend on it in different ways. You need to discover those ways, evaluate them, and then choose a service that either meets or improves on them. This takes time, discussion with your IT staff, and some investigation; these are steps you don't want to skip. Otherwise, you'll pay for it later.
If you’re on a quest for high quality email hosting, you’ve probably got one of two motives: Either you’re a business owner in need of a professional means to communicate with clients and company contacts, or you’re an individual establishing your personal brand. In either case, you want a reliable email service, unlimited resources, and, ideally, a free domain at which to host your email accounts.

While all the hosts atop our email hosting reviews tout reliable security features, SiteGround and InMotion lead the market when it comes to secure email hosting. As you’re comparing hosting plans, look for words like IMAP or POP3, SPAM filtering, virus protection, and 24/7 server monitoring. SiteGround and InMotion Hosting offer all of the above, whether you’re shopping for business or pleasure.
For email, security starts with spam, otherwise known as unsolicited email. This is often the bane of not only those who live in their email inboxes,but also of the IT administrators who manage email services. The good news is that spam filters are getting better every day and email providers tend to deploy the very latest and greatest for their customers. The bad news is that these filters still aren't perfect, which means they can catch a lot of "good" email but often vary significantly in effectiveness. Today's spam filters are based largely on machine learning (ML) as the primary method of determining what's bound for the trash bin. Given that ML gets more effective over time, it is no surprise that the services that have been around the longest tend to have better spam detection.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization that governs the rules and regulations for domain name registrations. ICANN requires, for various reasons including to determine ownership of a domain should a dispute transpire, that a publicly accessible database be maintained that contains the contact information of all domain registrants. In layman's terms this means your domain name will be searchable by anyone and those search results will include your full name, physical address and other contact information. In order to protect your privacy in this regard, Domain.com offers WHOIS Domain Privacy which then masks your information using our own and implements a procedure for you to control who is able to then gain access to your contact information via a WHOIS search. Whenever you buy a domain name, no matter what domain name registration service you use, you are subject to the same ICANN rules, for this reason it is important to use a reputable service who cares about your privacy. Domain.com always recommends enabling WHOIS Domain Privacy.
Eric Moser, author of Community College Hero: Trial by Fire, is offering readers a free (non-interactive) 2,500-word short story, titled “A Very Stoic Christmas.” The events in the short story involve the character Stoic and take place on an evening several days after the conclusion of Trial by Fire but before the events of Community College Hero 2: Knowledge is Power, currently in development. The events in the story are canon, but spoilers for the sequel are minimal. The story also includes cover art by Adrienne Valdes, the official artist for the sequel. To receive the free short story, just

Alexandra Leslie’s interest in website administration was sparked in her teens, priming her for a fast-paced career in managing, building, and contributing to online brands, including HostingAdvice, Forbes, and the blogs of prominent hosting providers. She brings to the table firsthand experience in reviewing web hosts, perfecting website design, optimizing content, and walking site owners through the steps that add up to a successful online presence. Today, she combines her extensive writing experience with technical understanding to unpack some of the most complex topics that daunt novice website owners, as well as the subjects that excite veteran technologists within the HostingAdvice readership.


The target audience is just as varied as the contents of the Domain Guide, as it’s made up of small and medium-sized businesses as well as website operators, domain traders, and inquisitive readers. As is the case for all categories of IONOS’s Digital Guide, the domain guide also caters to both novices and experienced users. Get domain expertise with our guide.
Disclaimer: Great efforts are made to maintain reliable data on all offers presented. However, this data is provided without warranty. Users should always check the offer provider’s official website for current terms and details. Our site receives compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Our site does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.
Domain name generators allow you to input an initial keyword or domain and then generate a list of similar domains you can purchase. While some specialize in offering an extensive list of domain extensions, others help you find domains specific to your business niche, and still others help you find currently owned domains and then negotiate their acquisition.

BustAName is a free domain generator that stands out by comparing the domain prices among domain registrars like 1&1, NameCheap, and Dreamhost. You can choose from .com, .biz, .net, .org, .info, and .biz extensions and begin your search by inputting multiple keywords at a time, which BustAName will then select from to come up with your list of possible domains. Given its comparison feature, BustAName is best for companies needing the best deal on a domain. 

Your next major concern will be compatibility. It's not a shock that most businesses run on Microsoft Windows and use some form of Microsoft Office. Being able to use common third-party clients such as Microsoft Outlook can often be a concern, and even today, compatibility with Microsoft Outlook isn't necessarily guaranteed. This is especially true when sending and receiving meeting invites. It only takes one garbled meeting invite to realize how frustrating this can be in the real world. Even if using Microsoft Outlook isn't a concern, portability is. If the service is entirely web-based, then is there a means for me to take my email offline and send email when I connect?
Spam is a widespread phenomenon on the internet. Unwanted emails are not only a nuisance, they can also contain malicious phishing links or Trojans disguised as attachments. Our efficient IONOS email spam filter protects you against unwanted messages. In the settings of your email account you can activate the free IONOS email spam blocker. This filters out a large portion of suspicious content and unsafe contacts. If you are still receiving regular spam messages, you can make further adjustments to the web mail settings. For example, in the email spam filter settings, you can add certain email addresses and contacts on an email spam blacklist. Mails from contacts in this blacklist are automatically deleted, and you can remove a contact from the blacklist at any given time.
Post initial setup, a primary concern will be the log-on issue. If your organization is fine with a separate log-on for your email provider, then this step will be quick. However, that's not typically what businesses want or users expect. In general, users expect to sign onto their desktops and have their email and file sharing sign-ons happen as part of that one-step process. Not surprisingly, this is called Single Sign-On (SSO) and it's enabled in one of three ways: through the use of a back-end directory service like Microsoft Active Directory (AD); an identity management service, like Okta (one of our Editors' Choice winners in that category); or several compatible web services that include SSO along with other apps and email services, like Google G Suite Business and Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium (two of the top providers reviewed here). Which method you choose depends on how your business is configured today and your long-term cloud services strategy. It's definitely a conversation you'll need to have either with your in-house IT staff or your outside IT consultant.

Alana Rudder is a staff writer at Fit Small Business specializing in Marketing and Tech. Before joining the team, she built her career offering content strategy, marketing project management, and content writing services to Fortune 500 brands, including Adobe, and leading tech firms like Workfusion. She’s currently an MBA candidate at Excelsior College. Alana has also contributed her expertise to Business2Community and Towards Data Science.


LeanDomainSearch is a free domain name registrar provided by WordPress. You can search for a domain by first inputting a keyword. LeanDomainSearch then generates a list of available .com domains with that keyword. When you select a domain, LeanDomainSearch will check to see if the name is available as a Twitter handle, and then guide you to register your domain with Bluehost. LeanDomainSearch is best for companies that use WordPress for their websites.
If you have purchased domain names that you no longer need, you can sell them through Namecheap. When you are ready to sell, you can list your domain in our Marketplace for a fixed price. We will add your domains to our searchable list, visited by thousands of people every day. When you buy domain names from Namecheap, we guarantee the best available support from managing, to selling, to renewals.
The best free domains are ones with credible extensions readers or customers trust, like .com, .org, .net, and .edu. These make your readers feel more at ease by offering a professional look that puts your website in the same class as reputable organizations’ and businesses’ websites. To get a free, credible domain name, you can purchase web hosting packages with a company like Bluehost that include a free domain name.

Our email hosting plans come with an efficient spam filter and an additional virus scanner is available. You can also create blacklists and whitelists to customize your spam protection. Our security systems are always up to date and react immediately to security threats, providing robust email virus protection in accordance with the highest security standards.
There are of course free domain options available from many service providers, and likewise you can certainly register free domain names with IONOS. However, it should be mentioned that there are usually no free options for .com domain registration, regardless of registrar. As a general rule, getting a .com domain name free is not possible because they are in exceptionally high demand. Because .com domains are the most commonly used gTLD, there is not an infinite amount of them still available. It ultimately comes down to an issue of supply and demand: .com free domain name registration is usually not possible simply because there aren't enough unregistered .com domains to be able to offer a .com domain for free.
While most businesses will have such suites in place, it often falls to the email service to provide an additional layer of anti-phishing and anti-malware protection. Our reviews found a surprising variance in this department, however, ranging from very robust to completely non-existent, so be careful. Since it's such a huge liability for business owners, this could be one of the most important factors in terms of background features. At the very least, it's better than filing an insurance claim or outright losing funds due to simple social engineering tactics.
Every web address begins with "www." This is an abbreviation for World Wide Web and is the gateway to the internet. Nowadays, domain names do not necessarily have to have a "www" in front of them because web browsers automatically recognize them. The next part, the second level, is the most important recognition factor – the domain name. Think of a domain name that best reflects the content and subject of your website.
Spam is a widespread phenomenon on the internet. Unwanted emails are not only a nuisance, they can also contain malicious phishing links or Trojans disguised as attachments. Our efficient IONOS email spam filter protects you against unwanted messages. In the settings of your email account you can activate the free IONOS email spam blocker. This filters out a large portion of suspicious content and unsafe contacts. If you are still receiving regular spam messages, you can make further adjustments to the web mail settings. For example, in the email spam filter settings, you can add certain email addresses and contacts on an email spam blacklist. Mails from contacts in this blacklist are automatically deleted, and you can remove a contact from the blacklist at any given time.

Check to see if you get any email accounts. Many web hosting companies don’t include email or charge extra for it. In many cases, you can only get email forwarding. Even for straightforward POP3 email, some companies only offer 1 or 2 email accounts. You should make sure you get at least 15-20 POP3 email accounts included free of charge with your domain.
Think of the name you want to register. The answer is typically your company or website name. It is best to keep your domain name short and easy to understand. Say it out loud, and make sure it sounds great. Next, search to see if it is available. If the name you desire is taken with the .com top-level domain, there are hundreds of others available. Finally, add the top choices to your cart and complete the domain registration.
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