Email Hosting Guide: Best Place to Host Your Custom Email Accounts

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For the layman, email hosting is usually associated with major providers such as Google or Yahoo since it is free and comes with limitless storage. However, businesses often have different requirements and it is generally a good idea to look towards business email hosting.

While there are free versions available with many web hosting companies, many businesses take advantage of the flexibility and power of professional email hosting services. Professional email hosting usually involves emails being managed by a separate or dedicated mail server.

How Custom Email Works?

What is a Hosted Email?

A hosted or custom email address is a unique email identifier that is specifically tailored to match your website domain name. A custom email address looks something like this:

[email protected]

A custom email not only bolsters your professional image but also enhances brand recognition – making your business correspondence more credible to customers and clients. To own a custom email address, an email hosting service is needed.

What is an Email Hosting?

Email Hosting is a specialized service that operates email servers. Unlike free email services, a professional email hosting solution offers you greater control, flexibility, and customization over your email system, allowing you to create domain-specific emails (like [email protected]).

You can host your email with most shared hosting providers. For example, in the following screenshot, I show how you can create a new email account and configure it in your local email client.

Hostinger email control dashboard
Hostinger email hosting configuration dashboard. To access this page, log in to your Hostinger account, go to Hosting Dashboard > Emails > Email Accounts. Your email configuration info such as incoming and ongoing mail hostname, MX records, and email port info are shown on this page. You can also create, delete, or edit email accounts on the same page.

Three Ways to Host Your Business Emails

1. Bundled (Email + Website) Hosting

Example – TMD Hosting allows unlimited email accounts in their shared hosting plans. This means you can host your website and your business emails on the same platform.

Bundled email hosting is when you get email hosting that comes along with (hence the term ‘bundled’) your web hosting account. Depending on your needs, this can turn out to be very helpful since you won’t need to manage your emails on a separate account or pay extra for email hosting.

However, bundled email hosting is often limited in space by the overall capacity of your web hosting account. Most bundles allocate a single amount of space that is shared between your email and web hosting. Aside from space, you are also sharing the amount of bandwidth allocated to your account.

Pros

  • Easy to setup
  • Cheap
  • Host multiple small email accounts at one price

Cons

  • Limited features and storage
  • Not for big enterprises

2. Dedicated Email Hosting

Dedicated Email Hosting
Example – At Hostinger, you can host your business email accounts for as little as $2.99/mo.

If you need email hosting for more accounts or are looking for enhanced email-related features, dedicated email hosting might be the solution for you. Dedicated email hosting doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have an entire mail server for your own use, but it means the account if focused on handling email only.

You will get a set amount of space and bandwidth for your account that is separate from your web hosting. Many dedicated email hosts also provide advanced features such as extra protection, automated smartphone synchronization and the like. The downside is that you will need to pay extra for your email as compared to a bundled plan.

Pros

  • Easy to setup
  • Advance features
  • Host multiple small email accounts at one price

Cons

  • Higher cost compare to Bundled option

3. Enterprise solutions (SaaS)

Example - Gmail, a popular professional email hosting services by Google.
Example – Gmail, a popular professional email hosting services by Google.

There are service providers such as Google and Microsoft that have email hosting solutions such as G Suite and Microsoft 365 Business. These are dedicated email services that are easy to use and powerful but need to be managed separately from your hosting even if they can use your custom domain name.

The downside of this is that the services may end up costing a fair bit as your staff counts increases. As an example, G Suite may only cost $5.40 for a basic plan, but that is the price to pay per user per month.

Pros

  • Easy to setup
  • Powerful features
  • Host multiple small email accounts at one price

Cons

  • Extra administrative work
  • Expensive – additional cost for extra email accounts.

Best Email Hosting Providers to Consider

Small businesses usually have more basic requirements when it comes to email hosting. In this scenario, I would highly recommend bundled email hosting since there are distinct advantages here for small businesses.

  • Price – The cost of email hosting is integrated into the bundle, so there is no additional overhead to consider. The price is ‘all-inclusive’ for web hosting, email, and any other features you can find that the hosting provider offers!
  • Ease of Use – In many cases, managing bundled email can be as simple as just adding in the email addresses you want. More complex things such as MX and SPF records can be referred to your hosting provider’s technical support staff. They will be happy to help you set things up.

Here are some of the best email hosting services for small businesses which we recommend.

Email HostSignupRenewalMailboxStorageServicesPOPIMAPSpam Protection
Hostinger$1.59/mo$3.99/mo110 GBBundled or DedicatedYesYesCloudmark Protection
InMotion Hosting$2.49/mo$7.49/mo110 GBBundledYesYesSpamExperts
TMD Hosting$2.99/mo$4.95/moUnlimitedUnlimitedBundledYesYesSpamExperts
NameCheap$1.98/mo$4.48/mo15 GBBundled or DedicatedYesYesSpamExperts
A2 Hosting$1.59/mo$11.99/moUnlimitedUnlimitedBundled or DedicatedYesYesBarracuda

1. Hostinger

Hostinger business email starts at $1.59/mo
Hostinger Business Email, which includes email hosting service, starts at $1.59/mo for new users > click here to order.

Website: https://www.hostinger.com

Hostinger is based in Kaunas, Lithuania, and offers a huge variety of hosting plans. The best thing about their web hosting is that it comes with bundled email hosting as well. No matter if you sign up for their shared hosting plans or even VPS hosting, they’ve got your email hosting covered.

Services: Bundled and Dedicated Email Hosting.

Check out my Hostinger review.

Advantages of Hostinger’s Email Hosting

  • Solid hosting performance with >99.98% uptime
  • Competitive pricing – Bundled email hosting starts at $1.59/mo
  • A+ grade in speed tests
  • In-house DNS management
  • Access emails via IMAP/POP/Webmail
  • Unlimited email accounts & forwarders
  • Cloudmark Email Protection

2. InMotion Hosting

InMotion - best email hosting with bundled features
You can setup, access, and manage your emails easily from InMotion Hosting Account Management Panel (AMP). This is a big plus for those who want a simple email hosting solution.

Website: https://www.inmotionhosting.com

Based in both Lost Angeles California, InMotion Hosting has been around for more than 15 years. The company has long been one of our favoured hosts for many reasons and even their shared web hosting comes with email features for free.

Services: Bundled Email Hosting.

Read my full InMotion Hosting review.

Why Choose InMotion to Host Your Emails

  • >99.95% server uptime record
  • SpamExperts professional spam filter
  • Configure and manage their emails without logging into cPanel
  • Access emails via IMAP/POP/Webmail
  • Unlimited email accounts & forwarders
  • Compatible with all desktop clients

3. TMD Hosting

TMD Shared Hosting (which comes with email hosting service) starts at $2.99/mo.
TMD Shared Hosting (which comes with email hosting service) starts at $2.99/mo.

Website: https://www.tmdhosting.com

With a ten-year service record under its belt, TMDhosting has been a reliable partner for many website owners over the years. It has multiple data center locations clustered around the US plus one in the Netherlands. With prices starting from as low as $2.95 a month, this choice is certainly a bang for the buck if you consider they bundle email with their hosting plans.

Services: Bundled Email Hosting.

Check out our full TMD Hosting review.

Pros of TMD’s Email Hosting Services

  • High-speed test and uptime score results
  • SpamExperts professional spam filter
  • Unlimited email accounts even with a most basic shared plan
  • Access emails via IMAP/POP/Webmail
  • Email filtering

4. NameCheap

Namecheap offers affordable private email hosting
NameCheap Private Email Hosting comes with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and other easy-to-use tools.

Website: https://www.namecheap.com

Even among budget-oriented web hosts, NameCheap comes across as cheap (no pun intended). With shared hosting plans that kick off from as low as $1.98, even upon renewal they boast some of the lowest pricing in the industry. Besides hosting, NameCheap also offers other products like domain names and SSL certificates.

Aside from their considerably low-priced web hosting starter plans, Namecheap has a range of services that includes private email hosting. From as little as $0.99/mo you can get not just email hosting but also some space for file storage. Prices go up depending on how many mailboxes you need.

Services: Bundled and Dedicated Email Hosting.

Advantages of NameCheap’s Email Hosting

  • 2FA authentication enabled
  • Antispam protection
  • File storage space allocated with all plans
  • Both webmail and POP access
  • Free 2-month trial

5. A2 Hosting

You can add unlimited mailboxes in any A2 Hosting plans, price starts at $1.59/mo
You can add unlimited mailboxes in any A2 Hosting plans, price starts at $1.59/mo

Website: https://www.a2hosting.com

We consider A2 Hosting as one of the top web hosts around and it has a good spread of data centre locations around the world – in Amsterdam, Singapore, Arizona and, of course, Michigan. It offers extremely powerful feature sets and combines that with a great customer experience at reasonable price points.

Services: Bundled and Dedicated Email Hosting.

Learn more in my A2 Hosting review.

Why host your emails at A2 Hosting:

  • Risk-free – Anytime money back guarantee
  • More than 99.98% availability
  • Barracuda Advanced Spam Filtering
  • Access emails via IMAP/POP/Webmail
  • Unlimited email accounts & forwarders
  • Unlimited email addresses with bundle plans

How to Choose an Email Hosting?

Many of the traits that a good web host has should also be present in a good email host. Among these traits, the top of your list should be reliability and flexibility. Other factors include:

Security

As a business, your clients need to be able to have faith in the integrity of your business. They are entrusting you with information that is confidential, such as names, email addresses, and possibly even financial data. Securing your email is important and you should look out for integrated features such as data security, anti-malware, anti-spam, and the like in an email host.

Accessibility

We often check our email via various platforms that it can become easy to forget that each of them may require different configurations. When looking for an email hosting provider, ensure that you have access to webmail, POP, and IMAP.

Webmail allows you to use a web-based email client which is very convenient. IMAP allows you to read your email from any device without having to download them. POP on the other hand requires that you download your emails before reading them.

Blacklist-Free

Having your IP address blacklisted is a sure way to see your business activities (especially client-related!) grind to a quick halt. This can be a major issue as once your IP gets blacklisted it takes time and effort to get it clean again. Avoid email hosts who have a reputation for having clients get on blacklists as you may end up with an IP that is recycled and already on a blacklist.

You can check an email host blacklist status using MX Toolbox.

Now that you have a list of the best email hosting providers, it’s time to check out the setup process.

Final Thoughts: Is a Custom Email Account Necessary?

When I use the term business email hosting what I am really referring to is using a custom domain for your emails (ie. [email protected]). There are many reasons to do this ranging from professionalism to data security.

From a business perspective, the cost is not prohibitive, and the benefit far outweighs those costs.

1. Professionalism

Using a custom domain will let your customers know exactly who they are dealing with. Because the domain is owned and managed by you, it would be difficult for someone to misrepresent themselves as belonging to your company.

Let’s consider two scenarios where one company uses business email hosting while the other uses a free email service;

In the case of Company A, anyone can actually register for that email address so long as it is still available.

The Company B email however will be unique to you, the domain owner. Company B’s email address also reflects the professionalism and dedication to its business that the company has.

2. Data Security

By hosting your own business emails, you are in full control of how emails that are sent to you behave. For example, if you are in a business where there are certain regulations such as data localization, you may need to store your emails on servers in specific locations.

3. Support

Businesses today tend to communicate heavily via email. It is likely that some of those emails will include important information such as billing, invoicing, contracts, and the like. By using your own email hosting, you will be better equipped to deal with scenarios that would arise from email issues.

Lost or corrupted emails could severely impact your business and the support that comes along with business email hosting could prove invaluable.

Make the Right Email Hosting Choice

The creation of individual email accounts is relatively simple and if you follow the steps outlined here there should be no major issues. However, do remember that tech support is usually only an email away – which brings me to my final point.

Your choice of provider can help greatly in anything that you need to do with your hosting account. I’ve recommended a few which I highly recommend partially because of their excellent track record. Working with reliable hosting can reduce your stress levels, so assess your host wisely.

FAQs on Email Hosting

What is email hosting?

Email hosting refers to a service provided by hosting companies that rent out and maintain a server dedicated to storing your business’s emails.

Is Gmail for Business free?

Gmail for Business is part of Google’s G Suite. Unfortunately, G Suite isn’t free, and working with it will cost monthly fees starting from $6/mo/user. There is a 14-day free trial evaluation period.

Where should I host my email?

Most web service providers do offer email hosting and it comes as a standard with many web hosting packages. Alternatively, you can also consider buying a domain name and integrating that with an email service like Gmail.

Which free email is best for business?

Unless you’re using a custom domain with the service, most free email providers will require that you use their domains. This isn’t great for business branding.

What is the best email host for small businesses?

For smaller businesses, Hostinger offers great value for money with low overhead, starting from as little as $1.59/mo.

How do I set up an email account?

Email account setups are usually done in your web hosting control panel. In most cases, setting up an email account is as simple as creating the username in the email control panel, then setting up limitations on account size.


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Article by Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.
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