Running in-house email servers does provide more control and wider customization as well as tracking and compliance for small to midsize businesses (SMB). But they require specialized on-site IT staff as well as the need to manually manage and support both hardware and software. A third-party hosted email service matches many of the advantages of in-house email without the expensive initial investment. The ability to manage the number of users, access the latest security protocols, and enjoy ease of connectivity and deployment of hosted solutions makes it a viable and competitive option.
HostingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the hosts listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where hosts appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). HostingAdvice.com does not include listings for all web hosts.
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.
Things are probably more complicated than that, though. As a recent survey conducted by market research firm Statista clearly shows, email is one of the most popular apps for mobile devices across most organizations and even consumers. Given how many workflows, business processes, and just plain important communications take place over email, this is one area where you likely shouldn't skimp.
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.
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.
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.
HostingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the hosts listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where hosts appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). HostingAdvice.com does not include listings for all web hosts.

If you’re a startup or a small- to medium-sized business, iPage offers low-cost options that are great for small or growing companies on a budget. With your free domain name registration, you get hosting for unlimited domains and emails, plus $150 in free advertising credits, should you need to market a new website as well. The host’s email tools include webmail, autoresponders, email forwarding, and security features like SPAM filters and virus protection.

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.
Even if you’re not running a burgeoning business, there’s the personal branding component to what an email host can offer. Maybe you’re a graduate student building your personal portfolio and publishing your resumé online when your realize Corporate Hiring Managers are less likely to respond to [email protected] Wouldn’t it be nice to reach out from [email protected] instead? Or maybe you’re establishing a side biz to bring in some extra cash. Would you rather folks considering you for freelance work reach out to [email protected] or [email protected]?
Make sure you can control every aspect of your domain name. Many domain name registration companies don’t let you make changes to your domains yourself. You have to enter a request via their support systems and then wait days for assistance. Simple things like changing IPS tags and changing name servers should be possible via your control panel. Make sure you get a control panel and check out what the control panel lets you do.
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.
Contact the owner. Before so much as hinting at a price, simply email to ask whether or not the domain is for sale. If you are known or can clearly be linked to a thriving business, create a generic alternate email address through which to contact them, as your success might be leveraged against you. Be aware, however, that an informal-sounding email address is more likely to be regarded as spam or junk mail.
To choose a web hosting plan from Bluehost, begin by navigating to its homepage and click the “Hosting” tab. Then, choose the type of web hosting you’re interested in. For the cheapest domain name and as part of this example, we are going to select “Shared Hosting.” Businesses wanting larger sites can choose between a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hosting.
IONOS is always running offers and other deals that add value and will save you money. Recently, for example, users were able to register a .us domain extension and get the first year 100% free. Please note that this offer was restricted to customers with a bonafide US presence. It's important to check back often as we're always posting new deals on domain names and other products.
HostingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free for users, we receive advertising compensation from the hosts listed on this page. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where hosts appear on the page (including, for example, the order in which they appear). HostingAdvice.com does not include listings for all web hosts.
With email hosting from IONOS, each package features full IMAP support so you can easily retrieve your mail wherever you may be. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) allows you to synchronize your email across many different devices, including your computer, smartphone, and tablet. You'll enjoy maximum flexibility in your ability to answer and organize your email while you're on the move. At the same time, you have peace of mind knowing that with IONOS email hosting all your communication is safely stored on our secure servers. Email hosting with IMAP functionality also allows companies to set up multiple email accounts for employees while encouraging greater cooperation through a simplified communication system. Each user can define their own settings within their preferred IMAP program on each individual device. This gives users greater autonomy, allowing them to use personal organizational systems that they are familiar with. Finally, IONOS email hosting provides full webmail access to complement our IMAP functionality. This means that should you be temporarily unable to access your usual devices, our email hosting allows you to easily retrieve your emails from any available web browser — the perfect way to ensure your important emails are always accessible.

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.
However, there are limitations. You cannot upload files of more than 15MB or transfer your free domain name to another host like you can with Bluehost or .tk, although this is likely to be available in the future for a surcharge. Also unlike dot.tk, .co.nf is technically a subdomain owned by biz.nf. While this makes little difference to visitors besides the slightly longer URL, it does mean you will lose the URL should biz.nf ever discontinue service.

You can learn more about DreamHost’s hosting packages by clicking on the “Hosting” header menu tab on its homepage, then “Hosting Overview.” You can also chat with a customer service representative between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Pacific time by clicking the “Chat With Us” button on the bottom of the DreamHost home page. Click here to get started with DreamHost.
A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the needs of the network. For example, some networks require that one computer be set aside to manage communications between all the other computers. A dedicated server could also be a computer that manages printer resources. Note, however, that not all servers are dedicated. In some networks, it is possible for a computer to act as a server and perform other functions as well.

Knowing the communications-specific features to keep an eye out for, and the hosts that offer them for a reasonable price, you’re all set to get started with the best email hosting service for you. Whether you’re planning the launch of Dan Jones Independent Design or setting up accounts for your 10-year-old established practice, the top email hosts empower you to communicate professionally, personally, and cost-effectively. Best of all: You can be signed up (with your free domain!) in mere minutes.
But your service provider isn't your only worry. If you've opted for any third-party email integration, like combining your email with a third-party customer relationship management (CRM) provider (such as Salesforce), that opens your company's email up to either data-snooping apps deployed by Salesforce or to any data breaches that originate with that service. So the more informed you can be about what's attached to your email service, how that data's being used and accessed and especially by whom, the better off you'll be when it comes time to send confidential email.
With only 12 predesigned themes compared to Squarespace’s 60, DreamHost’s Remixer website builder―included in both plans―isn’t as robust as the Squarespace builder. Still, both builders offer similar, fairly limited customization capabilities; you can’t drag-and-drop elements anywhere on the page. Instead, you must add them in a predefined stacked structure. However, Remixer allows you to export designs to WordPress for additional customization.

PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant.

Make sure you always retain control of your domain name. There are hundreds of businesses hosting their websites with a web host they’re not happy with. Poor service, surprise invoices, unreliable uptime and email issues are just some of the common issues customers are facing today. What most of them want to do is vote with their feet and walk out the door and find another web hosting provider. They don’t go through with it, however, because moving all their domains to another host is a complete admin headache. Choose wisely from the get-go so you don’t become one of these customers.
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.
Email isn't going away any time soon. Despite a rise in adoption of collaboration-based communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, 86 percent of professionals prefer to use email for business purposes. How companies host, store, and distribute their email—that's the area that has undergone a massive transformation. Businesses are veering away from costly onsite email servers running products such as Microsoft Small Business Server and looking instead to the cloud with hosted email solutions. Businesses of all sizes have realized the wisdom of going with a scalable and secure hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution with guaranteed uptime that breaks down pricing into flexible, per-user charges. 

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.
Knowing the communications-specific features to keep an eye out for, and the hosts that offer them for a reasonable price, you’re all set to get started with the best email hosting service for you. Whether you’re planning the launch of Dan Jones Independent Design or setting up accounts for your 10-year-old established practice, the top email hosts empower you to communicate professionally, personally, and cost-effectively. Best of all: You can be signed up (with your free domain!) in mere minutes.
With email hosting from IONOS, each package features full IMAP support so you can easily retrieve your mail wherever you may be. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) allows you to synchronize your email across many different devices, including your computer, smartphone, and tablet. You'll enjoy maximum flexibility in your ability to answer and organize your email while you're on the move. At the same time, you have peace of mind knowing that with IONOS email hosting all your communication is safely stored on our secure servers. Email hosting with IMAP functionality also allows companies to set up multiple email accounts for employees while encouraging greater cooperation through a simplified communication system. Each user can define their own settings within their preferred IMAP program on each individual device. This gives users greater autonomy, allowing them to use personal organizational systems that they are familiar with. Finally, IONOS email hosting provides full webmail access to complement our IMAP functionality. This means that should you be temporarily unable to access your usual devices, our email hosting allows you to easily retrieve your emails from any available web browser — the perfect way to ensure your important emails are always accessible.

But your service provider isn't your only worry. If you've opted for any third-party email integration, like combining your email with a third-party customer relationship management (CRM) provider (such as Salesforce), that opens your company's email up to either data-snooping apps deployed by Salesforce or to any data breaches that originate with that service. So the more informed you can be about what's attached to your email service, how that data's being used and accessed and especially by whom, the better off you'll be when it comes time to send confidential email.
Even if you’re not running a burgeoning business, there’s the personal branding component to what an email host can offer. Maybe you’re a graduate student building your personal portfolio and publishing your resumé online when your realize Corporate Hiring Managers are less likely to respond to [email protected] Wouldn’t it be nice to reach out from [email protected] instead? Or maybe you’re establishing a side biz to bring in some extra cash. Would you rather folks considering you for freelance work reach out to [email protected] or [email protected]?

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.


For those unlucky enough to choose an email host that doesn't have built-in spam detection, it can often be an ordeal to route email correctly through a third-party filtering service. Some businesses actually prefer engaging with a third-party spam filterer, mostly for compliance or customization reasons. But, for the majority of SMBs, this is headache they would be best off trying to avoid.
Make sure you can use their SMTP servers for outgoing email. Many hosting and domain name registration providers will not let you use their SMTP servers for sending emails. They assume you can send email via your internet server provider’s SMTP servers. However, a great many ISPs and broadband providers will only let you use their SMTP servers on their branded email accounts (i.e. [email protected]). This means that if you use your own email address (i.e. [email protected]), you won’t be able to send email via their SMTP servers. There are workarounds but you shouldn’t have to go to the trouble.
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.
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.
A domain name is a website address made of a website name, followed by a dot, then an extension like .com (fitsmallbusiness.com, for example). You can receive a free domain by buying web hosting packages that include them or via domain name registrars offering little-known extensions like .tk. Paid domains offer extensions that lends to greater business credibility like .com or .net domains.
GoDaddy is a domain generator and registrar that stands out by alerting you of already owned high-traffic domains, then assists you in appraising the domain and negotiating a purchase price from the current owner. While its domain generator is free, its domain broker services are $69.99 per domain, plus a 20% commission once the domain is acquired. GoDaddy is best for businesses willing to pay premium prices for a domain that already generates high traffic.

NameStall is a $10 per month domain generator that stands out by allowing you to curate highly customized domain lists. Input a search term, and then customize the list by choosing various criteria. For example, you can choose to include only nouns, or focus on niches like real estate, transportation, design, or travel and hospitality. You can also choose from among 100-plus extensions. NameStall is best for companies needing niche-specific domain names.
GoDaddy is a domain generator and registrar that stands out by alerting you of already owned high-traffic domains, then assists you in appraising the domain and negotiating a purchase price from the current owner. While its domain generator is free, its domain broker services are $69.99 per domain, plus a 20% commission once the domain is acquired. GoDaddy is best for businesses willing to pay premium prices for a domain that already generates high traffic.
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.
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?
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.
Contact the owner. Before so much as hinting at a price, simply email to ask whether or not the domain is for sale. If you are known or can clearly be linked to a thriving business, create a generic alternate email address through which to contact them, as your success might be leveraged against you. Be aware, however, that an informal-sounding email address is more likely to be regarded as spam or junk mail.
A dedicated server, or computing server, is a server where all the physical resources of the machine are available. Unlike a virtual server, which uses a portion of the resources to run its virtualisation technology, a dedicated server allows you to benefit from all of the machine’s available RAM, storage, and computing power. With cloud computing, we can also define this type of solution as "bare metal", highlighting the physical availability of the machine’s resources, in contrast to standard solutions based on virtual instances.
One example of such cooperation might be a registry that launches a new TLD but does not intend to do all of the marketing and sales activities by themselves. Nevertheless they would like to see quick growth in their user base and to reach this goal they give IONOS very attractive offers. Then, for example, we can sometimes offer free domain registration.
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. 
×