With a nearly 20-year old legacy, Australia-based Fastmail is dedicated to professional email hosting with unrivaled features including super fast “push” features for full mobile sync. In fact, this is one of our favorite picks if you like to manage all your emails on a phone. Fastmail also perfectly integrates with Thunderbird, Outlook and Apple Mail. With two-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy, you definitely get best security and privacy.
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.
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.
You can also purchase Secure Sockets Layer certificates (starting at $69.99 per year), the software that's represented by a green padlock in your web browser when you visit, say, a financial institution's website. If you plan to sell products via your website, consider an SSL certificate an essential purchase, as it safeguards the data exchange between a customer and your servers.
By creating a website, you are creating an online presence. This allows you to connect with people that you might not otherwise be able to reach. Whether you’re making a basic website with contact information for your small business or medical practice, creating a landing page for your freelance work, a multi-page experience for your wedding photography business or you just want a place to blog about your thoughts on food, having a website will give you a dynamic advantage. 

If privacy is your number one concern, perhaps you should go with Protonmail. You can upgrade to an email with your domain easily on a web interface under “Protonmail Plus” or “Protonmail Visionary” plans. However, the plans can be rather expensive, as getting only 20 GB storage space could cost you at least €24/user/month/yearly. Most email hosting providers retain your emails for months even after you delete your account. This Swiss email provider will destroy all your data when you delete your account.
What about the time you clicked on that PayPal link that wasn't really a PayPal link? "Phishing" is a term applied to either websites or emails that pretend to be something they're not in hopes of getting a user to click on something they should have ignored. This tactis is done in hopes of then getting users to provide confidential information they would have otherwise kept to themselves, typically like passwords, financial information, or other personal data. While there are security measure that fight this, the mechanics behind phishing are, unfortunately, also consistently becoming more sophisticated. Even some dedicated antivirus and business-class hosted endpoint protection suites are having trouble keeping up.
Possibility to launch an e-commerce store later on. Adding an online store to a small business website is a fairly common thing. However, if the site is set up on a server that does not offer affordable SSL certificates, dedicated IPs, or PCI compliance, then you might end up having to move the entire website to a completely new host. It’s best to avoid that and prepare yourself ahead of time. More on best hosting for e-commerce.

Business – from $5.95/month. Best for fast-growing businesses. Unlock features including SSL certificates, a dedicated IP address, and VoIP phone service. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It protects data moving through your site (like customers’ bank details). Providers often charge over $100 for SSL certificates, so HostGator’s offer makes it great value for money compared to rivals like Arvixe. Your site’s URL will have a green padlock to show it’s secure.
A lengthy list of tutorials that is on all customers’ expert service menu. Separate from the company’s support services, these tutorials teach beginners and the technically ungifted how to perform various website creation and management tasks. This is a highly beneficial bonus as it prevents you from having to run to the customer support representatives with every question you have.

If you require a lot of functionality and versatility from your website, you’ll benefit from programs and applications that can help you build your site. Our Web hosting plans give you access to free, server-side applications that can be used to develop and customize your website, including popular Content Management System (CMS) applications like WordPress® and Joomla!®. You can even add a Dedicated IP if you plan to add an SSL Certificate later.
Reliable. Reliability is always a big question mark. Stuff can always happen unpredictably, and even the best servers can go offline from time to time. However, it’s still worth keeping in mind that if anything should go bad at any point in time, the client is still going to come to you for answers (and probably blame you a little as well). For that reason, working with web hosting for small business that has a good track record is crucial, as it will limit the times you’ll have to explain why this or that is not working.
We use a website monitoring tool to track our test sites' uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings our websites and sends an email if it is unable to contact any sites for at least one minute. The data revealed that our test site didn't go down once during the observation period. You can count on GoDaddy to act as a rock-solid hosting foundation.
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.
In all Website Builder plans any data transmitted from your site will be encrypted using a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. Your SSL will establish an encrypted link between your web server and the browser of the person visiting your site. This means that all data will be kept private; which is important if you want visitors to your site to be safe. If you want to sell products or services in your store, you will want to have a SSL since it protects credit card and bank numbers from being intercepted by hackers.
GoDaddy has many business- and consumer-friendly options, a reliable Microsoft-based hosted email service, and quality 24/7 customer service. Note, however, that GoDaddy lacks cloud hosting plans, and has a skimpy number of default email accounts. Still, if you're looking to quickly set up a website, GoDaddy has the tools you'll need for a successful launch.
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.
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