In this article, I talk about the best email hosting providers and how to choose the right option for you.
Email hosting refers to a service when a separate email server is rented for sending and receiving messages. But having a separate server for email and website hosting can increase the pricing quite a lot.
I admit it, premium email hosting services are great - easy to use and very reliable. For a price, of course. And while general recommendations don't advise on trusting your hosting provider with your emails as well, I have a pretty different opinion.
Well, if you're just getting started, budgets are often tight. Why would you want to spend up to $15/mo for each additional mailbox when hosting providers offer that for free?
Also, if you're using a reliable provider, it will offer anti-spam protection as well as all the security measures. There's no need to worry about your emails getting blocked by someone on the server sending spam.
Last but not least, if you're not planning to launch huge email marketing campaigns, what's the need for fancy email hosting services?
Personally, I rarely sign up for paid email hosting so I've used tons of email services offered by hosts throughout the years. This way, I only pay for the hosting of my site and email accounts come complimentary.
At the same time, there's a couple of things to look for and look out for. What are these things?
Choosing a Good Email Hosting Service
A number of things are involved in good email hosting. That's security and privacy, storage, and configurations among others.
Before sticking to a provider, consider this:
- Security and data privacy
Hosting a website together with mailboxes requires strong security measures. A big set of rules and terms when purchasing a provider does not always limit you. In this case, it means the more protected servers. If your provider restricts adult content, does not tolerate spam and scam - there's less chance that you'll feel the negatives of hosting email on the same server.
Additionally, look for DDoS protection, spam filters, and of course - strong backup and recovery protocols.
- Generous storage limits
I rarely keep my mailboxes as clean as a fresh snowfall. There are often lots of promotional emails that remain unopened going on. So don't trust your employees to clean up their emails regularly.
Simply look for a provider that offers big allowances on the mailbox size.
- Large attachment support
Because emails are one of the fastest and the most reliable ways of communication, files are being sent all the time. But what's the point when you cannot attach a document or an image?
Look for a provider that has big allowances on attachment sizes. 25MB is considered an average and 50MB is a golden standard.
- Email configurations
SMTP, POP, IMAP should ring a bell - these are the main email protocols of how you'll send, receive, and store emails. All of them offer their benefits and drawbacks. And all or at least one should be supported by your hosting provider.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a standard and very similar to HTTP - all hosts have to include it.
POP (Post Office Protocol) is a client-server protocol. Using it, you can save a lot of server resources as email management takes place in the email client rather than the server. Drawback - you lose the option to sync.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is another client-server protocol that saves all the data in the server with info like replies or reads.
Based on your preferences and personal goals, you may want to choose one or another protocol.
So now, take a look at the list to see who offers what.
The Best Email Hosting Service Providers
From all the best web hosting lists, I've picked the providers that offered the best email hosting services. Not only that. These are the best of the best - in terms of features, performance, security, and pricing.
Here are the best email hosting service providers:
Bluehost - the best email hosting service provider.
HostGator - cheap and intuitive email hosting.
Liquid Web - advanced hosting and email services.
GoDaddy - business-grade email hosting.
A2 Hosting - all-in-one hosting for beginners.
Bluehost is one of the best known hosting providers for WordPress that offers some of the best email hosting services as well. It is flexible and fully customizable to user needs. Starting from free Webmail accounts and topping off with professional G Suite or Office 365 services.
Choosing the cheapest shared hosting plan for $2.95/mo, users already are provided with unlimited webmail accounts.
Webmail can be easily set up through cPanel - users get to choose from the default Roundcube (IMAP) or Horde (IMAP and POP3) email clients.
Starting with the Plus plan ($5.45/mo), users will also get 1 Office 365 Mailbox license for 30 days.
Talking about professional email accounts - licenses for Office 365 and G Suite can be purchased separately.
Office 365 starts at $2.99/mo for the first year and includes 15GB email storage. It can be upgraded up to Business Pro plan for $8.99/mo which includes 50GB email and 1TB OneDrive storage.
G Suite tends to be a bit more expensive - $6/mo per user or $60 yearly.
So as you can see, Bluehost has options for everyone - from completely free webmail to premium email hosting services. Together with that, the performance of the host will also be great.
Bluehost Performance Testing
Bluehost is optimized for WordPress specifically. For this reason, it shows stunningly great performance results.
Our monitoring tool recorded an average of 148ms response time with the maximum not reaching 200ms.
Through the monitoring period, there was also no downtime. Considering that Bluehost does not provide any official uptime guarantee, the result is much better than expected.
On the other hand, the provider does not offer barely WordPress hosting - you can install another content management system and get similarly great performance results.
Putting all things together, Bluehost is an excellent all-in-one provider for both website and email hosting.
If you're looking for both website and email hosting, Bluehost is one of the best options available. It offers speedy and affordable services with several email options to choose from.
- Various email hosting services
- Powerful and reliable servers
- Affordable pricing
- Expensive renewals
When it comes to simplicity, affordable pricing, and performance balance - HostGator is a clear leader. Not only that but the provider also offers tons of email hosting services to choose from.
With any of its hosting plans, you can have unlimited POP3 accounts, IMAP support, and of course - SMPT. Essentials like spam protection and catch-alls are also included in the packages.
The cheapest plan costs $2.75/mo and already includes unlimited bandwidth as well as disk space. It can be upgraded up to $5.95/mo with a bunch of more advanced features like anonymous FTP among others.
For basic users that want a professional email with their domain name attached like [email protected] - its a perfect option. Clients like Rouncube, Horde, and SquirrelMail are among the choices. You can also request custom modules, connect your mobile devices, and more.
Everything is easily configured and managed through cPanel, so even beginners will not find it difficult to set up as many emails as they need.
For a more advanced email usage, HostGator also offers G Suite for $5/mo per user - a bit cheaper than Bluehost's offer.
As your needs change - it's simple to adjust. But the best part is, HostGator's performance is not a let down as well.
HostGator Performance Testing
Great email hosting services are useless if the website is down or slow. Fortunately, HostGator excels in both.
The average response time of the host is 257ms - just a fraction over the perfect 200ms line. It is stable as well - the maximum does not overstep 300ms.
The host also outperformed its 99.9% uptime guarantee. Throughout the monitoring period, it hasn't gone down even for a minute.
All in all, alongside all the professional email options you get, the website will also perform to the top of its shape.
HostGator is a top provider when it comes to email hosting services, performance, and pricing. Not only that, it's a great option for beginners with an intuitive cPanel interface.
- Affordable email hosting service
- Beginner-friendly hosting
- Great performance
- G Suite is rather expensive
When you're looking for the best of the best for your promising new project, Liquid Web is one of the companies able to offer it all. Complete reliability, turbo speeds, and custom email hosting services all come managed.
You can start with a simple control panel email and switch to Premium Business Email whenever you need it. The hosting package is required - VPS starts from $29/mo with generous resources. As the needs grow, it is possible to upgrade up to managed dedicated server hosting with even more resources, better privacy, and security.
So what will you find in the control panel in terms of email?
If you choose cPanel, Horde is the main email client provided by Liquid Web and you can use it completely free of charge. Unlimited domains are available as well as email filters, autoresponders, and catch-alls. On the contrary, it will use your server storage - it might be limiting for some.
In this case, Liquid Web has a completely separate email hosting service add-on.
The pricing starts at $1/mo for a mailbox which is equipped with secure POP/IMAP/Webmail as well as anti-spam and anti-virus software. External storage of 25GB is provided for each mailbox. Attachments are limited to 50MB.
Additional features include - Outlook setup, recovery, custom filtering, free user aliases, and chat via Webmail. And that's just for the cheapest option.
The $3/mo plan will also include Mobile Sync, 30GB Cloud Drive, and online document and spreadsheet editor.
The $10/mo plan offers even more - 100GB mailboxes, ActiveSync, Outlook Web Access, a free copy of Outlook, and a control panel.
One minus - to get the premium services and complete support, you'd be charged a $10 monthly base fee. So the premium email hosting service is worth it only when you require more than 10 mailboxes.
So when Liquid Web is your go-to option? When speed, reliability, and brilliant customer support are crucial.
Liquid Web Performance Testing
Although more expensive than any other option, Liquid Web performance is worth every penny.
Our monitoring tool recorded an average of 151ms response time. We had one higher peak of 381ms but besides that, it remained stable.
There is even more good news. Liquid Web has a 100% uptime guarantee which it manages to maintain at all times. So not only users get extremely fast performance, but reliability as well. And it comes the same for all of the services offered by Liquid Web.
Liquid Web is a premium hosting provider focusing on high speed and reliability. As it happens, the company also offers stunningly cheap and customizable email hosting for all of its users' needs.
- Premium email hosting
- High level of security
- Powerful managed services
- More expensive option
GoDaddy has it all - hosting, email, marketing, SEO, website builder, domain names, and other professional services. All to get you noticed online.
But what puts GoDaddy on my list is one of the best web hosting (with a professional email of course) offers. $1/mo (if you go through our link) gets you 100GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain, and a license for Microsoft Office 365 professional business email for an entire year.
That's a great deal for those just getting started and counting every dollar.
The same $1 also provides access to user-friendly cPanel. From there, dozens of one-click installs to the most popular software are available.
However, there are other options as add-ons to get your professional email with website hosting:
- Email Essentials for $1.99/mo per mailbox is equipped with 5GB storage, backups, security, and archiving.
- Email Plus for $3.99/mo per mailbox offers 50GB storage.
- Business Premium for $9.99/mo per mailbox additionally puts Office 365 access.
There are Outlook plans available too:
- Online Essentials for $7.99 per user/mo provides 1TB of storage and access to Office 365 online.
- Business Premium is $9.99 per user/mo and equipped with 1TB of storage, Office 365, sync with 5 devices, HIPAA compliance mail, and business apps.
- Premium Security for $17.99 per user/mo offers 1TB of online storage, 5 devices sync, Office 365, business apps, DocuSign, HIPAA compliant email, security and encryption, and searchable archive.
GoDaddy has options for everyone's needs. Let's check the host's performance to see if it's worth all the hype.
GoDaddy Performance Testing
GoDaddy falls into the category of a bit slower providers delivering reliable and stable results. With a tendency to improve, it averages at 421ms response time. It is a great result, making websites run fast and smooth - but not as good as GoDaddy's competitors scored.
One thing's for sure - I picked only the most reliable providers that will make running sites and sending tons of emails into a flawless process. GoDaddy showed 100% reliability and outperformed its 99.9% uptime guarantee.
GoDaddy is a major provider delivering some of the best email hosting services that combine well with reliable and cheap hosting. It is speedy, secure, and great for small budgets.
- Professional email hosting
- Powerful and reliable servers
- Email hosting renewals are more expensive
When it comes to the best email hosting services, A2 Hosting has one of the largest choices of email software alternatives and options.
Purchasing a simple shared hosting plan, users get a choice of around 24 alternatives that include both free and paid options.
POP3, IMAP, and SMTP are the available essentials. Alternatives include Squirrelmail, Horde, Roundcube, Dovecot, and others.
So, how do you get your emails?
- Lite for $2.94/mo is equipped with hosting for 1 site and 25 free email accounts.
- Swift for $3.70/mo offers unlimited website hosting and unlimited email addresses.
- Turbo for $7.03/mo is for those who need unlimited hosting, turbo speed, and unlimited email account.
A2 Hosting equips each and everyone with cPanel for the ease of use. From there, it is possible to add, manage, and delete email accounts as well as to access them.
From the performance department, A2 Hosting is pretty good too. The provider includes caching and Cloudflare services for better website speed. Does it work? Let's find out.
A2 Hosting Performance Testing
Together with GoDaddy, A2 Hosting is on the slower side yet still averages above 500ms - the response time we've got from the monitoring tool was 494ms with occasional peaks here and there.
Throughout the period, there was one downtime. It put A2 Hosting uptime stats at 99.98% - way better than the promised 99.9%.
So putting all things together - A2 Hosting is a fast and reliable provider offering ease of use and a large choice of email hosting software.
A2 Hosting is a great all-in-one option for those who need lots of professional mailboxes at an affordable price. Together with that comes speedy website hosting and reliability.
- Cheap hosting services
- Intuitive control panel
- Many email service options
- Lower server performance
The Best Email Hosting Service - the Verdict
Email hosting is as important as your site's hosting. And when it comes to both of these, you want to get the best. On this list, I picked the best email hosting service providers that combine the hosting of the website too. This way, you can save a couple of bucks and manage everything from one place.
So here are the shortlisted providers and the best they offer:
- Bluehost - a great email hosting service with powerful site hosting at an affordable price.
- HostGator - cheap web hosting with email services included.
- Liquid Web - premium web hosting with cheap and customizable email services.
- GoDaddy - business email hosting and $1 site hosting packages.
- A2 Hosting - all-in-one website hosting with email services for beginners.
Here they are, the best email hosting service providers bundled with powerful site hosting. What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section down below!