I never realized how muddy and cluttered the information on web hosting was until I started working on HostingAdvice. Definitions are ambiguous. Clarifications raise more questions. And “common language” seems to mean, “We use the same words to mean four different things, and if you don’t understand the difference, too bad, you commoner.”
Take a basic question, for example: What’s the difference between web and email hosting? Simple enough, yet it’s been beaten to death with confounded responses. There seems to be an online game going on — who can give the most obfuscated answer to the simplest ask?
The short and clear answer: Web hosting involves website files being stored on one or more servers, or computers, whereas email hosting refers solely to the storage of email data. It gets confusing when a company offers both and mixes up the naming conventions, so I’ve made it my mission to clear up any confusion in the next 1,000 words or less.
Definitions & Differences: Email Hosting vs. Web Hosting
In a nutshell, the web host serves up webpages when someone types yourdomain.com into a web browser, whereas an email host owns the server from which content is fetched when an email is sent to [email protected] The line between email and web hosting has become blurred in recent years, as more providers offer combo packages that include free hosting for your email accounts with the purchase of a web hosting plan. Fortunately, the roles and responsibilities happening behind the scenes are actually pretty straightforward. Your website, domain, and related email accounts are three separate entities that can live in different places.
- Web hosting is a service that enables your website to live on the internet and be accessible to web browsers. Your web content is hosted on a server.
- Email hosting is a service wherein your email content is stored on a server. It can be the same server that’s hosting your website content, a server managed by another host, or two different servers managed by the same hosting company.
- Domain hosting is a tangentially related service worth noting for the sake of clarity. Your domain is the memorable name given to your website, e.g., HostingAdvice.com. You register that name with a domain registrar, but for that domain to be online, you need domain hosting. More often than not, you’ll get domain and web hosting in one fell swoop — and many folks knock out domain, email, and web hosting needs with one plan/provider.
As I mentioned, bundled email and hosting packages are all the rage these days, so in the next few sections, we’ll cover the best services to meet your unique storage and server needs.
Best Web Hosting and Email Services Overall
Typically, we recommend opting for an email-friendly web host, though some larger companies may prefer to separate their email and web hosting needs. We understand not everyone needs both web hosting and email hosting, so while the majority of this article outlines the best-bang-for-your-buck combo packages, we’ll start with the top hosts for email and hosting, respectively.
Top 3 Web Host Reviews
A quality web host should hit on the three hallmarks of reliability: plenty of server space, reputable uptime rates, and competent customer service on-call should anything go wrong. Whether you’re on the hunt for email, domain, WordPress, or cloud services, our recommendations point to hosts that consistently hit these support factors out of the park. Our current favorites for quality, reliable web hosting are reviewed below:
Top 3 Email Host Reviews
While we still expect reliability and room to grow to be high on the list of features outlined in our top-recommended email hosts, there are other variables to consider when evaluating a niche service. We like to see hosts include a complimentary domain name registration and free email accounts. The ability to host unlimited domains on one account is a plus, as are unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email allowances. Our favorite hosts for email, listed below, capitalize on these points while offering other email-friendly features such as IMAP/POP3 support, spam filtering, and integration with Google Apps.
Free Web Hosting with Email Accounts is Okay
This is something we harp on a lot here at HostingAdvice: Free isn’t always a good thing in the world of web hosting. While it’s human nature to search for the free option first, you’re likely to be disappointed by the limited server space, nonexistent support personnel, and obnoxious onsite advertising if you take that route. That’s why we typically encourage coughing up a few measly dollars per month for quality (see below). However, there are a select few providers, including 000webhost and x10hosting, that actually offer decent free hosting services. Our #1 pick for free hosting with email accounts, however, is listed below. Click the links to check out our review.
Cheap Web Hosting with Email Accounts is Better
It’s 100% free — so what could go wrong? Don’t fall for the false advertising.
We’ve all been there. You think you’ll have no regrets, and then you feel cheated and irritated when you end up paying more to make up for the faults of a rip-off service.
Let’s skip that step and opt for a low-cost, high-quality service recommended by experts. Especially if you’re browsing for professional purposes, you must think of your hosting as a worthwhile business investment. Accept nothing short of ample storage space, free email hosting, 99.9% uptime rates, and (if desired) easy-to-use design tools to get a website up and running. Our favorite host to recommend for cheap pricing met with premium service is below.
- Known for performance at a low price
- Endorsed by WordPress.org team
- FREE Weebly site builder and templates
- FREE Cloudflare CDN
- Get 63% off today (was $7.99/month)
- Get started on Bluehost now.
Best Email and Web Hosting for Small Business
If you’re like many business owners, your livelihood begins and ends with your email inbox. It’s how you communicate with employees, clients, partners, and vendors. We live in an increasingly digital and mobile world, and instant access is do or die when it comes to the content ushered through your email server. We’ve thoroughly vetted the most popular hosting companies, making note of the features and services that directly benefit business owners, and we encourage you to take a look at the hosts below. Find out why we recommend their email and web hosting packages for SMBs.
Get the Best Deals on Web Hosting with Email Using Online Coupons
BOOM. Asked and answered in just over 1,000 words, give or take some HTML code — how’d I do? If there are any questions lingering in this gray area of a topic, please drop me a line below. If not, hopefully, you’ve found the right service to meet your hosting needs. Sweeten the deal by checking for any online coupons or promotions currently available. Some of the most popular basic hosting discounts are listed below. Click the orange buttons to activate!