Does Web Hosting Include Email? Let’s Discuss Facts.

By sana sabir

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When people invest in web hosting for their website or online business, one common question they have is, “Does web hosting include email, or does it require an additional cost?”

Email is such an important part of modern communication that it’s understandable why customers want to know if they must budget separately.

According to statistics from Statista, there are over 4.26 billion email users worldwide, and the numbers are expected to reach 4.73 billion by 2026, demonstrating just how prevalent email has become for both personal and professional correspondence.

With email being such a necessity these days, let’s look at whether web hosting plans typically include email service and explore some of the key factors involved.

What is Included in Basic Web Hosting Plans?


In general, basic web hosting plans that offer limited disk space and bandwidth at affordable monthly rates will include a set number of email accounts. The exact number can vary depending on the hosting provider, but you can usually expect somewhere between 5-10 email accounts to be included at no extra cost.

These email accounts are hosted on the provider’s own email servers using their domain name. For example, if your website domain is, the email address might be

While basic hosting plans do cover email hosting, there are some limitations: 

  • The storage space for email inboxes is often relatively small, sometimes as little as 2GB, depending on the plan.
  • Premium email features like synchronization with mobile devices may not be supported either.
  • Customer support for email-related issues is also typically more limited than for website hosting problems.

Hence, for basic hosting needs, the included email works fine, but it may not meet the requirements of a business with higher volume email requirements.

(Make sure to read this blog to find out why web hosting is necessary for a website.)

Mid-Level Hosting Plans and Email Options

As hosting package tiers increase to mid-level plans offering more storage, bandwidth, and advanced features, email capabilities are expanded as well. Storage allotments for inboxes increase substantially, sometimes up to 50GB or more. Users also get access to additional email accounts, often 25 accounts or more, depending on the specific plan.

While email continues to be hosted for free on the provider’s domain at this level, customers do start to gain some self-service email administration panel access.

Features like mailbox filtering, mail forwarding, and vacation responses become available to configure. Integration with third-party email and calendaring clients is supported as well through protocols like IMAP, POP3, and CalDAV for syncing to desktop and mobile email apps.

For businesses that need custom email domains, mid-level plans sometimes include one custom domain name that email addresses can be tied to.

For example, email for employees could be set up as rather than just the hosting provider’s domain. Additional custom domains usually require a small monthly or annual fee on top of the regular hosting costs, however.

(Want to buy web hosting for your e-commerce business? Check out this blog!)

Do Dedicated and VPS Hosting Plans Include Email?

The highest-tier hosting options, like dedicated servers and virtual private servers (VPS), are fully customizable virtual servers where customers have root access. With this level of control and technical flexibility comes full responsibility for email services as well. Dedicated/VPS hosting is essentially an “email not included” situation where setting up email is the customer’s responsibility.

Email servers like Postfix, Exim, Microsoft Exchange, or another MTA must be manually installed, configured, and managed by the customer or a hired professional. This includes obtaining and configuring SSL certificates for secure IMAP/SMTP, Spam/virus filtering, archiving, auto-responders, and more advanced setups. VPS/dedicated plans let customers fully customize their email infrastructure but require technical understanding or help from consultants.

Email Service Add-Ons and Upsells

For customers who find the basic email capabilities restrictive but aren’t ready for fully self-managed email, many hosting providers offer “a la carte” email add-ons that can be bolted onto any web hosting plan. Common email service upgrades available as monthly subscriptions include:

Email ArchivingSaves all inbound/outbound messages for compliance and eDiscovery retention needs.
Custom Domain HostingAdd additional custom email domains beyond the ones usually included in mid-tier plans.
List/Forwarding Addresses Create email groups, forwards, and mailing lists.
Catch-All AddressesRoute all unknown addresses to one inbox rather than bouncing messages.
Mobile Device SyncEnable calendar sharing contacts sync for iOS and Android email apps.
Outlook/OWA AccessOffer web-based Outlook clones and desktop Outlook sync using EAS or ActiveSync.
Advanced MailboxesUpgrade individual user mailboxes to larger storage tiers like 1TB, 5TB etc.

Basic email may come free with web hosting, but dedicated email service packages with additional features are commonly priced at $2-5 USD per user/month on top of any base hosting fees. This allows email needs to scale up as a website grows.

Email Security and Compliance Considerations

It’s important to note that email services included as part of web hosting plans rarely include advanced email security suites or compliance certifications.

For most businesses, a hosted email solution alone may not provide enough layers of defense against phishing, spam, viruses, and data leaks, especially if handling sensitive customer data.

Things like:

Email Encryption —> Enable encrypted messaging to ensure only intended recipients can read messages in transit.

Archiving/eDiscovery —> Preserve all emails in a centralized, searchable archive for regulatory retention or litigation needs.

Antivirus Scanning —> Filter out malware hidden in email attachments before delivering to users.

Email Security Platform —> Offer protection through multilayered defense capabilities like AI-driven filters, sandboxing links, DMARC/DKIM authentication, etc.

Compliance Standards —> Adhere to regulations involving data residency, backup procedures, encryption practices, and auditing controls.

As such, for businesses dealing with regulated data, including PCI, HIPAA, or GDPR mandates, a fully managed hosted email security service will align better than standard hosting email alone. This ensures all legal and security compliance bases are covered appropriately.


Basic email service is included as a standard feature with entry-level hosting packages. But for higher demands, dedicated email add-ons, hosted services, or fully customized self-managed solutions may be more suitable options. Factors like data volumes, security requirements, custom domains, advanced features, and compliance obligations also influence what level of email capability is needed.

To cut short, simple email needs are met through basic hosting, while more robust solutions exist for scaling email infrastructure per business demands.

Proper planning ensures the right fit between website hosting, available email options, and an organization’s unique communication needs.

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