Our Website Backup automatically backs up your data – every day. And in worst-case scenarios, if disaster strikes, it’s ok – you can restore your data with a single “click.” So, get Website Backup and stop worrying about data loss. Get back to doing what you do best – running your business and making money. And speaking of money, here’s the best part – we’re offering it for only $2.99/mo.
GoDaddy's dedicated servers come in many Linux or Windows configurations. Economy (starts at $89.99 per month, renews at $169 per month) comes with four CPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, three IP addresses, Office 365 Starter Email, and a free SSL certificate. Value (starts at $104 per month, renews at $199 per month) ups the RAM and storage to 8GB and 1.5TB, respectively. Deluxe (starts at $129 per month, renews at $249 per month) boasts 16GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. Ultimate (starts at $179 per month, renews at $349 per month) has a sizeable 32GB of RAM. Naturally, a long-term commitment nets you big savings. For example, if you sign up for 24 months of the Economy plan, you pay just $79.99 per month).
But remember that while these specifications are nice, they only apply to data residing on GoDaddy's servers. In the case of email hosting, for example, users reading their email using a local email client, like Microsoft Outlook, will still be storing all that data on their on-premises devices where it won't be automatically encrypted. That means for full security, you should still invest in local data encryption software. And for those employees who access data from the road and remote locations, keep their data-in-transit safe by using a virtual private network (VPN) client.

However, if the request comes through for a domain name not on the server, the Web Server application returns a 404 error, which means the website can’t be found at this location. Because computers are pretty smart, putting through the same request again is going to return the same error—it’s not analogous to not finding your keys, unfortunately. You can’t keep digging until you finally find what you’re looking for.
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.
To test this critical aspect of hosting, we include uptime monitoring as part of our review process, and the results show that most web hosts do an excellent job of keeping sites up and running. Sites with uptime problems aren't eligible for high scores, no matter how good the rest of their offering may be. All services suffer ups and downs, sometimes for reasons beyond their control. Those sites that fail to quickly address the problem are penalized accordingly.
Microsoft’s closest rival is winning rave reviews with its G Suite apps. If you enjoy using Gmail as your mail client, along with Docs and Hangouts, this might be it for you. Even the cheapest plan at $5/user/month comes with 30 GB storage, business email through Gmail, video and voice messaging, group editing on docs, sessions on Hangouts and shared calendars.
The flip side of that coin is specialization. Many operators believe that hosted email services are useful mainly to companies interested only in general-purpose email use and that any specialized application requires an in-house deployment. This might be true depending on the app but it might not depending on the capabilities offered by the hosted email provider. Email marketing is a great example. Some hosted email providers have special service suites aimed specifically at email marketers, many of whom can send out thousands of emails per month, focused not so much on communication as they are on marketing. These service providers deliver more than just volume, too, as they also offer custom email creation tools and sophisticated marketing and tracking metrics.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money on web hosting, shared hosting is the way to go. This form of cheap web hosting places your website on a server with other sites. So, yes, your site literally shares server resources with others, hence the tier's name. This means that it's far from the most powerful web hosting type, however. The sites sharing the server compete for resources—everything from throughput to storage space. You'll want dedicated or virtual private server (VPS) hosting for muscle if you expect big traffic, or if you want to insulate yourself from big traffic spikes.


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.
GoDaddy hasn't traditionally had an uptime policy for its older CPanel email. But since the company has transitioned to Microsoft Office 365 for its email services, it's now able to enjoy Microsoft's 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, be aware that GoDaddy has replaced the Office 365 health services dashboard with its own internally branded version. It shows the same kinds of information including when the last issue was, and whether or not it's been resolved.
If you want to purchase email, here's the breakdown: Email Essentials (starting at $4.99 per month or $3.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) gives you 5GB of email storage. Online Essentials (starting at $9.99 per month or $7.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) ups the email capacity to 50GB and adds 1TB of cloud storage. Business Premium (starting at $14.99 per month or $9.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) raises the email storage capacity to 50GB and adds unlimited web conferencing and access to online Microsoft Word and Excel. Premium Security (starting at $24.97 per month or $14.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) tosses in encryption and Microsoft Office mobile applications.

Our Website Backup automatically backs up your data – every day. And in worst-case scenarios, if disaster strikes, it’s ok – you can restore your data with a single “click.” So, get Website Backup and stop worrying about data loss. Get back to doing what you do best – running your business and making money. And speaking of money, here’s the best part – we’re offering it for only $2.99/mo.
Bluehost uses cPanel as its site management system. The Utah-based company has done an excellent job adding simple, but useful customizations to the cPanel layout. Sections are very clearly laid out and the process is simple to follow. It strikes a great balance between simplicity for beginners, and having the functions needed for more advanced users.

You can create a free website with Wix that comes with a Wix domain. To instantly look more professional online, get a custom domain name. It adds credibility to your brand and helps visitors find you online. You can start building your brand by using your domain in a custom email address ([email protected]), your social channels, email marketing campaigns and more.
Something you’ve probably noticed is that I didn’t feature WP Engine on this list. This is no mistake (or at least I hope). As awesome as WP Engine can be, it’s just too expensive of a product to recommend to most small business websites. If you’re lucky, the price tag will be $19.33 / month = $232 / year, and potentially a lot more. This is just not the kind of investment that most small business owners will be eager to make.
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?
The Pro 5 plan (starts at $24.99 per month) comes with five domains, 50GB of storage, five staging areas, site backup (for up to 90 days), and a free SSL certificate. Pro 10 (starts at $49.99 per month) ups the domains to 10, storage to 80GB, and staging areas to 10. Pro 25 (starts at $89.99 per month) builds on Pro 10 by offering 25 domains, 25 staging areas, and 100GB of storage. Pro 50 (starts at $169 per month) serves up 50 domains, 200GB of storage, and 50 staging areas. Please note that the renewal prices are the same as the starting prices.
Our surprise find, Migadu is a little-known Swiss email hosting provider which delivers unbelievable price/performance value along with top-notch security. It lacks fancy features but does the job of email hosting with guaranteed privacy at the cheapest plan of $4/user/month. One may also go for Runbox and Amazon Work Mail, but it was outside the scope of this article.
GoDaddy has rich shared hosting plans, but HostGator(2.64 Per Month - Save up to 62% at HostGator) still reigns as the PCMag Editors' Choice for shared web hosting services. Like GoDaddy, HostGator boasts unlimited domains and monthly data transfers across the board, and a choice of Linux- or Windows-based servers, but it tops its rival by offering a VoIP number for your business and unlimited storage with all plans.

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.


If you have a business, you need a website. Really, it's that simple. Companies without an online presence face a huge challenge, because we live in a connected world where people discover products, services, and businesses—even mom and pop shops—by searching on the internet. Of course, building a business website may take months of detailed planning, debating, and compromise, but setting up a decent website doesn't have to be painful, provided you have the proper tools. And the most important tool is the right web hosting service.

Something you’ve probably noticed is that I didn’t feature WP Engine on this list. This is no mistake (or at least I hope). As awesome as WP Engine can be, it’s just too expensive of a product to recommend to most small business websites. If you’re lucky, the price tag will be $19.33 / month = $232 / year, and potentially a lot more. This is just not the kind of investment that most small business owners will be eager to make.
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.
GoDaddy offers its own Website Security, a product that includes automatic malware scanning, continuous security monitoring, Web Application Firewall (WAF), and Content Delivery Network (CDN). Website Security proactively blocks malware and malicious traffic from reaching your site. It also safeguards against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and Zero Day attacks.
You can create a free website with Wix that comes with a Wix domain. To instantly look more professional online, get a custom domain name. It adds credibility to your brand and helps visitors find you online. You can start building your brand by using your domain in a custom email address ([email protected]), your social channels, email marketing campaigns and more.
A survey conducted (see graphic above; click to enlarge) by email marketing software provider and consulting service ReachMail Media Services of over 1,000 respondents found that varying percentages of different worker generations attempted to adhere to "inbox zero," while other generations actually preferred using their inboxes as personal information managers.

Founded in 1991, this UK based company is one of the leading UK’s group hosting services company. It offers a variety of email hosting solutions that include basic email services, Microsoft exchange email and also a professional mail filter service. It can be operated securely from any device including desktop, webmail or mobile. The price per month exclusive of taxes for each of the package is from £1.49 for Easymail, from £5.99 for Microsoft exchange and £25 per annum for email mail filter. The main feature is that Easyspace offers up to 100 GB mailbox storage.
If you want the security and privacy features of the above solutions while not paying too much, Rackspace offers the best alternative. In fact, they claim “256-bit Encryption in transit and at rest.” Rackspace offers a basic plan at $2/user/month, with huge 25 GB mailboxes, 30 GB cloud storage and unlimited email aliases. You can run your emails from Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook.
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.
GoDaddy has 24/7 telephone support and live web chat support. We placed a call on a weekday morning and spoke to a customer service rep less than two minutes later. We asked about the different email tiers, and once again experienced the best customer support of any of the web hosting services we've tested so far. The rep was friendly and knowledgeable.
Something you’ve probably noticed is that I didn’t feature WP Engine on this list. This is no mistake (or at least I hope). As awesome as WP Engine can be, it’s just too expensive of a product to recommend to most small business websites. If you’re lucky, the price tag will be $19.33 / month = $232 / year, and potentially a lot more. This is just not the kind of investment that most small business owners will be eager to make.
A survey conducted (see graphic above; click to enlarge) by email marketing software provider and consulting service ReachMail Media Services of over 1,000 respondents found that varying percentages of different worker generations attempted to adhere to "inbox zero," while other generations actually preferred using their inboxes as personal information managers.
GoDaddy's Economy plan is presented as though you can't sign up for a month-to-month payment plan (the lowest price displayed is for a three-month minimum sign up period), but once you add the plan to the cart, the one-month plan appears. We're glad the option exists, but we do wish it were easier to find. We couldn't find it until a GoDaddy pointed it out after we complained that the option didn't exist in a previous version of this review.
Microsoft’s closest rival is winning rave reviews with its G Suite apps. If you enjoy using Gmail as your mail client, along with Docs and Hangouts, this might be it for you. Even the cheapest plan at $5/user/month comes with 30 GB storage, business email through Gmail, video and voice messaging, group editing on docs, sessions on Hangouts and shared calendars.
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.
In terms of plans, GoDaddy’s VPS plans look very similar to its Business ones. The only real difference is a jump in storage  – up to 200 GB on the Expand plan – and therefore in price. GoDaddy promises to get your VPS server up and running in minutes, and takes care of managing the whole thing for you. These VPS plans are best suited to eCommerce sites, or resource-heavy apps. They’re also a good option if you have multiple sites on the go, as the isolated environment means one site won’t impact on the loading times of another.
It is also necessary to study email alternatives as part of your email service setup plan. Email is the standard way to communicate and it is familiar to most users, but it isn't always the most effective or expedient method. Email can be slow, result in delayed responses, and messages are rarely read to completion. Because of this, many businesses require additional "collaboration" tools, that various email services also include, in order to fill the communication gap more effectively.
If you have a business, you need a website. Really, it's that simple. Companies without an online presence face a huge challenge, because we live in a connected world where people discover products, services, and businesses—even mom and pop shops—by searching on the internet. Of course, building a business website may take months of detailed planning, debating, and compromise, but setting up a decent website doesn't have to be painful, provided you have the proper tools. And the most important tool is the right web hosting service.

For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew. You can a find Jeffrey online at jeffreylwilson.net, or send him a tweet at @jeffreylwilson
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