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.

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.


For any business user or organization today, the decision to use email is a no-brainer. Business simply can't be done in many cases without it. But that doesn't mean you can interchange email platforms or service providers at will. Digging into the capabilities of these services reveals a great deal of additional feature scaffolding that surrounds almost every email implementation by necessity.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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).


Other advanced plans utilize more intensive security and offer support for things like a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Also on offer is SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption for all hosting plans and the option to buy SiteLock (a service that provides spam and malware monitoring, site-verification certificate, and app scanning). You may also have access to malware scanning and removal features.
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.
Since GoDaddy has essentially repackaged Microsoft Office 365, you get a lot of bang for your buck in terms of email features, both on the user side and from an administrator's perspective. Assuming you go with the Business Premium feature set as we did, you'll get the full Microsoft Office Suite along with its business collaboration tools. This means the usual productivity apps, such as Microsoft Access, Excel, Outlook, and Word, but it also gives you additional team collaboration, online conferencing, and even VoIP phone calling via Microsoft Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. However, we are a little disappointed in the pricing structure, as some of what GoDaddy sells as extra-cost add-ons, such as encryption, is already present if you go with a plan directly from Microsoft.
When it comes to getting online, there are few bigger names than GoDaddy. The largest domain provider in the world, GoDaddy is also a one-stop-shop for building, hosting, and marketing your website. Our research found that its website builder could get you online the fastest. Its hosting was middle-of-the-road overall, but it scored very well for features.
Start from scratch or choose from over 500 designer-made templates to make your own website. With the world’s most innovative drag and drop website builder, you can customize or change anything. Make your site come to life with video backgrounds, scroll effects and animation. With the Wix Editor, you can create your own professional website that looks stunning.
All the aforementioned features are valuable parts of the web hosting experience, but none matches the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, new clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. As if that weren't bad enough, regular customers may lose confidence in your service if they can't reach your site. Or they may simply need access to a service or widget today, which means they might go to a competitor to get the job done—and they might never come back. Anyone who's ever tried to build customer loyalty understands what a catastrophe this is.
iPage provides two kinds of email hosting. One is Gmail at your domain meant for small business and individual users/teams. The other one is Enterprise service using MS Exchange 2020 preferred by mid-sized business and Outlook users. The first service is available at a monthly cost of $5 whereas the second one is available at $12.95 per month. In addition, you can opt for their add-on services such as premium spam filter and larger mailbox storage. So, in short, iPage has email solutions for every kind of user requirement. 

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.
Along with the slew of desktop apps, you also get access to Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), a sleek and modern web adaptation of the Outlook email client. It offers a familiar layout for calendars, contacts, and tasks, and a new "focused inbox"—all available in your browser. What Microsoft means by a "focused inbox" is that, rather than just being a dumping ground for all incoming email, it defaults to a dynamic view that's constantly being updated. This tech is based on a machine learning (ML) algorithm that attempts to figure out which email is most important to you; everything else goes to the regular inbox. As you sort emails between the focused inbox and the regular inbox, the algorithm gradually gets better, helping you to concentrate on email that matters most. You'll also be able to use mentions. When creating a new email, if you prepend someone's name with the @ sign, then it will automatically Cc that individual. You can also apply a filter that will show you emails in which you were directly mentioned.

Hostpapa is an affordable email hosting option for small businesses. Based in the US, it boasts of being an award-winning email hosting company. It provides services that are available at just $2 per month per mailbox. This professional email management solution offers a host of features that include the following. Apart from numerous other features, the ease to send bulky files is the main feature that Hostpapa offers.


Room to grow. Even though most small businesses will probably want to launch just one website, it’s worth having the possibility for the client’s portfolio to grow and expand to a couple more websites. Even though most hosts will allow that, some of them might charge more than what can be considered reasonable. Also, rolling out new sites should be easy to do – without the need to reconfigure or move the original site.
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.
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.

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.
Other advanced plans utilize more intensive security and offer support for things like a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Also on offer is SHA-2 and 2048-bit encryption for all hosting plans and the option to buy SiteLock (a service that provides spam and malware monitoring, site-verification certificate, and app scanning). You may also have access to malware scanning and removal features.
Founded in 2000, Namecheap is a private email hosting service that is powered by Open-Xchange and boasts of 2 million customers and 5 million domains under management. It provides a fast and a lightweight webmail interface to easily manage email, contacts and calendar. It gives the option to try its various email packages free for two months. The various packages are Private for $9.88 per annum, business for $28.88 per annum and business office for $49.88 per annum. It offers a decent 10 GB mailbox storage capacity.
PCMag understands that no two businesses have the same web hosting requirements, so we've rounded up our best-reviewed web hosting companies for small businesses and detailed their offerings in the table above so that you can get a jump-start on picking a service. If an offering catches your eye, make sure to click the appropriate link from the capsules below to read the in-depth review of the service in question.
GoDaddy’s shared pricing plans range from $2.99/month to $12.99/month. Each plan builds on the previous set of features, working up to the most powerful ‘Maximum’ plan, which has four times the processing power and memory of the Deluxe and Economy plans (plus an SSL certificate for the full term). It claims to support ‘multiple complex sites with high-res photos and videos’, but we’d still recommend a VPS for such sites.
Some web hosts offer prorated plans that charge you by the amount of resources that your site demands. For example, Cloudways hosting plans start at $0.0139 per hour, which, including fees, equals roughly $10 per month. That's assuming that your site's online at the beginning of the month; if your site goes live half way through a month, you'll see a reduced bill that reflects two weeks' worth of resources use. Similar rules apply should you quit the web host.
If you're planning on selling a product, look for a web host that offers a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, because it encrypts the data between the customer's browser and web host to safeguard purchasing information. You're probably familiar with SSL; it's the green padlock that appears in your web browser's address bar as you visit an online financial institution or retail outlet. A few companies toss in a SSL certificate free of charge; others may charge you roughly $100 for that extra security layer.
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.

Heavily trafficked sites will favor 1&1 Ionos . The co-Editors' Choice has the specs (16-core CPUs, 48GB of RAM) and prorated plans that big businesses crave. In addition, 1&1 Ionos offers customizable servers that you can build from the ground up. Those, of course, cost big bucks. You should reach out to one of the company's customer service reps for pricing information.
This site builder comes with hundreds of templates that make it even easier to create and customize your website. The templates come in 300 different styles for premium plan users (those on Business and Business Plus plans) and 50 styles for the personal plan. They’re categorized into 20 groups ranging from entertainment to education to real estate. So, finding the one that suits the feel and look you want your site to portray won’t be difficult.
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.
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.
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.

GoDaddy Website Builder is an online editing and publishing tool that helps you create a website, regardless of your technical skill level. Just create an account, pick a design and use the built-in editor to add your own images and text. You can make your website as simple or complex as you’d like. Need to sell your stuff online? No problem. You can add a full online store complete with product listings, coupons, shopping cart, shipping and multiple payment options.

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.
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.
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