Choosing the best email hosting for small businesses can seem like a daunting task at times. After all, if you choose poorly, you may end up spending too much money while having no idea what kind of results you’ll get out of your investment. However, choosing wisely will save you both time and money down the road.
There are hundreds if not thousands of companies out there offering these services. How does one choose between them?
We have made the process easier for you and finalized the best email hosting services and the things you should consider when choosing email hosting for your small business.
When it comes to selecting an email host, there are many factors that need to be considered before making any decision. You will have to consider the costs, storage you get, if your emails are actually delivered to the user and not taking salsa dancing lessons on spam folder, privacy, and a lot more.
Worry not, we have taken care of everything for you in this article.
What is Email Hosting and Why Use It?
Email hosting allows you to host, send and receive emails from your website. You can use it for communication, marketing, newsletters, or any other purpose that requires sending emails. There are many free services available online (Gmail) but they don’t offer the same features as paid ones do. All you need to get an email hosting is a registered domain name and well, an email host.
Paid services have more options like custom domains, multiple mailboxes, shared calendars, etc which makes your workflow smoother. They also provide better security measures which makes them a good choice if you want to keep your data safe. All you need to get an email hosting is a registered domain name and well, an email host.
Why should you go for business email hosting instead of freebies like Gmail?
Businesses today rely heavily on their emails to communicate with customers, prospects, teams, and daily business operations. An email account has become a vital part of any successful business and businesses fully rely on it, which is why you should get a business email to show your professionalism.
We focus on marketing, and whenever we send outreach emails for backlinks or any other reasons, we make sure to use professional email. It’s not that premium email makes you look professional most of the times but rather it prevents you from looking unprofessional.
Businesses using free services might seem unprofessional. It is possible that people will judge the legitimacy of your company. Some people think you aren’t serious about your business, while others think it won’t be around long. You should get a professional business email to avoid any misconceptions about your business and land more clients.
Similarly, as your business grows it will be difficult and very unsecure for your team to communicate through free email services. For example, hackers might try to send phishing links to your employees and hack into your business computers. If you have a business email in a similar situation then you can set up filters like removing all the links from every other email address except the ones with your business domain.
Types of Business Email Hosting for Small Businesses
There are many options available for you even when it comes to choosing a business email hosting. Factors such as costs, ease of use, reliability vary on every one of them so let’s take a look at them.
Shared Web Hosting With Email Service
This is the email hosting service provided for free by your web hosting provider. Usually, this is not provided by professional email hosting providers and is buggy, lacking features, has very outdated UI and is mostly just used as an upsell for the same web hosting providers slightly less buggy, less ugly, and a little more feature overpriced version. We advise our users to use this only if they do not use professional emails frequently and mostly for display only.
Third-Party Email Hosting
Third-party email hosting is the most popular email hosting most businesses use and what we recommend to everyone. They are extremely flexible, very clean UI, the limits are amazing, professionally support when you need help and everything you’ll need. However, this hosting does not come free with your website and will cost you extra.
Self-Hosted Email Servers
Self Hosted servers are a more advanced form of email hosting and require a very high level of technical expertise. This is not an ideal option for small business email hosting but we wanted you to know that this is an option available. This is the most flexible option and you can do whatever you want to do with it unlike the last two because you are the owner of the server. The costs can be very expensive when you factor in server costs, developer costs, maintenance costs, and much more.
Visual Comparison: Best Email Hosting for Small Business
Check the table we have prepared if you are looking for a comparison table for email hosting providers. Plain and simple head-on comparison considering the price, attachment limit, and users allowed.
Which Business Email Hosting Provider Is Best?
Our extensive market research and years of experience hearing from our clients have helped us finalize the list of best email hosting services for small businesses. Check out the list below and find the right solution for your email needs.
Google workspace is a web suite service provided by Google which has email hosting included. Aside from the email hosting suite coming with everything they have built for businesses such as Google Drive, Google Meet, Google Calendar, Jamboard, Office Suite, and many more this product is totally worth the $6 per month pricing it comes with.
Google workspace plans begin from $6/month and it comes with 30GB of storage across the platform and it can be expanded. No credit card is required to get a 14 day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Google workspace has the most intuitive design and the easiest interface to use and manage over any other email host we have had feedback about. You’ll get access to all your emails, contacts, calendar appointments in one place with no need to jump back and forth between different screens and interfaces. You can easily integrate google apps like Google texts, dropbox, or any other third-party for your drive which I believe is why most small businesses like Google Workspaces.
Microsoft 365 for business is a comprehensive system that provides a range of features for businesses. It includes email hosting, which can be used to send and receive emails from your domain name. Email hosting comes with 1TB of storage on every business plan and can be flexibly upgraded to a range of different packages. Microsoft 365 is a very robust platform that will provide you with a very powerful set of tools in one place for your business needs.
One of the most popular features of Microsoft 365 is Office 365. Similar to google workspaces, the pricing starts at $5/month but Microsoft 365 has much better limits overall. For example 1TB storage vs 30 GB, 100 meeting attendants vs 300, access to the OG office apps, and much more.
Microsoft 365 Business is the best email hosting platform for small businesses if you are looking for a powerful system with an all-in-one package to manage your tasks, emails, documents, and more.
Zoho Email is a cloud-based, online email hosting service by Zoho. This works perfectly fine for small businesses and will allow you to send and receive emails from your own domain name with a simple interface and easy-to-use tabbed inboxes. Zoho mail allows you to create powerful custom email templates with Zoho designer for fast, professional-looking email newsletters.
Zoho Mail offers a free plan which has a storage limit of 5GB and 5 members, as well as a 25MB max attachment size limit. It is completely free with no limits to the number of users you add to your account or contacts stored in your mailbox etc. The premium plans start at $1/month, however unlike Microsoft and Google when you buy email hosting, email hosting is the only thing you get. No video calls, cloud storage, and other features.
It’s a feature-rich email platform with lots of collaboration and integration features required for small businesses. Best email hosting for small businesses with just the email requirement and are under a budget constraint.
Amazon Workmail is a business email and calendaring service from Amazon Web Services. It is a secure, managed, and compliant email solution for organizations of all sizes. Workmail integrates seamlessly with the other AWS services you use, making it easy to manage your email, contacts, and calendar alongside your files, websites, applications, and more.
Workmail starts at just $4 per month per user for up to 50GB of storage. You can add more storage as needed, and there are no long-term contracts or commitments. A 30-day free trial is available so you can try it before you buy. As we all know amazon’s hosting services are probably the most reliable service out there so reliability is not something to be worried about. However, at $4/month/user it’s better to go with Google workspace or Microsoft 365 for one extra dollar.
Overall, a very reliable email provider with mediocre everything else. There are better alternatives but if you would like to go with them it won’t be something to regret in the future.
MXRoute is a very straight forward email hosting provider with amazing prices. It offers a variety of packages for businesses of all sizes, and its email hosting services are competitively priced and include a number of features that are not commonly found in other providers’ plans.
MXRoute’s only pricing differentiator is email storage and nothing else. Plans start at only $45/year (no monthly option) and that plan has a 10GB storage capacity. Other than storage, MCRoute can be used on unlimited domains for unlimited email accounts. MXRoute is definitely the cheapest option available, but that doesn’t mean they are unreliable. They have been around for a while and the support and servers are both very responsive.
Do note, MXRoute is very famously GDPR non-compliant. So if you would require GDPR compliance then MXRoute is definitely not the right option for you.
FastMail is a more privacy-focused email hosting service. Their only major selling point is privacy-focused features they offer such the aliases, masked email, etc. Other than that, they limit very basic email features such as custom domain behind second tier plan and the plan offerings are overall disappointing.
The basic plan starts at $3/month but it’s basically the free Gmail minus ads and other google apps. The so-called premium plan comes with only 2GB storage and blocks very basic features like accessing your email with your own choice of the email app. The real plan starts at $5/mo and comes with 30Gb of storage, at that point might as well get any other provider listed above with either so many more features or a much cheaper price.
Their “privacy” features are offered by almost every single paid email hosting provider and upon testing, we can conclude it is only a shiny surface.
Yandex Mail is a Russian email service that has been around for a long time. It’s one of the most popular email providers in Russia and Ukraine. The service is available in English and Russian, and it’s a fairly basic email service with limited features but a very good spam filter.
One of Yandex Mail’s biggest selling points is its spam protection. Yandex Mail’s spam protection is some of the best in the business, and it’s able to block a high percentage of spam emails. Yandex Mail also offers a number of other security features, such as two-factor authentication and anti-virus protection. Pricing starts at only $2/month and similar to Google and Microsoft comes with a bunch of other features such as storage, office apps, etc. However, unlike Google or one drive, it’s not $2 PER USER but rather 100GB and unlimited email accounts/users.
This email service would be 3rd on the list based on just features and pricing, however, most western citizens (our primary traffic) do not trust products that aren’t western-based. It did manage to crack this list of best email hosting for small businesses despite that so you be thee judge of it.
MailCheap is a great, dedicated email hosting service provider. Mailcheap would be much higher in this list if this wasn’t a list of the best email hosting for small businesses and instead best enterprise-grade email hosting. They offer dedicated and shared email hosting for businesses looking for the services and are experts at that. The offerings are very affordable and don’t lack any features.
The pricing starts at only $4/month and comes with 20GB of storage that can be shared amongst unlimited users and websites. They offer enterprise-level features such as logging and custom features on select plans which makes it an obvious platform for enterprises looking for a similar product. Small businesses with lots of confidential data flowing through email should get Mailcheap to protect confidentiality with their premium features such as server activity logging.
However, for small businesses with small requirements, this might be overkill and they should go with the email hosting providers listed above instead.
Things to consider before you choose email hosting
A business should have complete control of its email providers and it needs to fulfill its requirements at no extra cost than mentioned prices. Here are the things small businesses should consider in an email hosting provider.
Email storage is the most basic thing you need to consider before choosing email hosting from this list of the best email hosting for small businesses. Considers things like unlimited storage (do they have one?), storage per user, total mailbox storage (if it’s shared among users), maximum allowed size for email attachments, and file storage and file sharing methods. If storage and file sharing are your main priority then Microsoft 365 is the best option available to you.
A professional email address does not have to cost a kidney or two. Basic plans are made for businesses that do not have big requirements and require an affordable email hosting solution. Businesses that just need essential features should go with either Zohomail, MXRoute, or Yandex mail. Do note, MXRoute is not GDPR friendly, and Yandexmail is a Russian company that might be of concern to some. However, they are all affordable options and we recommend it as business starter email hosting.
Business email addresses have different billing techniques, some bill only on storage, and some limit storage as well as user per month. Google workspace and Office 3655 are examples of it. If you have many active users a month, you will need a lot of mailbox per month which means email hosting might not be affordable for you. This is why for such requirements, it is necessary to go with secure email hosting with unlimited email addresses, a control panel, and collaboration tools as a user management tool.
All the above features are useless if your email client is not reliable. Email messages should be received and delivered reliably between the sender and the receiver. Things like mail server uptime, mobile app uptime, advanced security, spam filtering, reliable email delivery, maybe email encryption (for businesses that need it) should be available for all email hosting providers. Choosing email hosting that just rents bulk email space from third-party providers is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. All the providers mentioned in this list of the best email hosting for small businesses are reliable and can be trusted.
So, what is the best email hosting for small businesses? The answer to that question depends on your needs and requirements. There are a lot of business email providers, some are at an affordable price while others have expensive plans. If you need a basic email service with good spam protection, an office suite, and other SMB features then Office 365 or Google Workspace will never cause you regrets. The choice among those two depends mostly on your UI preference and the fact Microsoft 365 has much higher limits.
If you need more features or are looking for a dedicated email hosting provider, Zoho email is reliable and affordable. Ultimately, the best email hosting for small businesses depends on your specific needs and what you’re looking for in an email hosting service. Choosing the best email hosting for small businesses is a daunting but much-required business process for small businesses.
Regardless of which service provide your choose for, reliability is must and everything else comes second. This is a general rule to follow regardless of if you are looking for best email hosting for small businesses, best podcast hosting for beginners, or any other kind of hosting.
Let us know what email hosting you use currently or are planning to use upon reading this article in the comment section.
Should You Use a Separate Server for Email Hosting?
Yes because you would still like to receive emails when your website is down. Imagine your website is down and your customer is trying to reach you but can’t do that either because they are both hosted on the same server. Avoid that beginner’s mistake!
What is the best email host for small businesses?
This varies by the individual requirements of the business. If the business requires a sorta office suite with all the features for a decent price then Office 365 or Google workspace is the best. However, if they require something just for email then Zoho Mail will take the spot because it’s affordable and reliable.
How much should email hosting cost? for a small business
Unless your requirements are very big, a small business should not be paying more than $5/month/user on email hosting.
Why do small businesses need email hosts?
Professional emails are required to have a professional brand image and to gain trust from users on the receiving end.