What is the Difference Between Email Hosting and Web Hosting?

What is the difference between email hosting and web hosting?

They differ at the fundamental level that the former is about hosting your emails, while the latter your website. That said, both your emails and website can be hosted in one server or in two separate servers. Each one has its pros and cons that span budget, security and scalability considerations.

Imagine this: your business operates online and caters to several users within the day. Your content and data will need a proper medium to reach them. Perhaps you want to ride the trend. In 2018, RightScale’s Cloud Computing Trends: 2018 State of the Cloud Survey reveals 96% of respondents are using cloud technology. Furthermore, 81% of enterprises are implementing a multi-cloud strategy. Perhaps you’d rather use a dedicated email server, to save on money from expensive hardware. Because of this, you might be asking this question: what kind of service do I need?

There are two answers to this. One is email hosting and the other is web hosting. Both are provided by hosting services and are essential components of conducting business and dictate how you interact with your employees and clients online. Email hosting and web hosting may seem similar, but they operate in two fundamentally different ways. Nonetheless, both require diligent security measures in light of increasing cyber attacks on private data.

Source: thebestvpn.com

They both host your content and service, but the crucial differences lie in how they are stored and sent. Choosing the right method can do wonders for your company by encouraging conversion rates, letting you access important digital features and increasing your sales.

This leads to an important question: what is the difference between email hosting and web hosting? In this article, we will help you understand what makes both of these services unique. We will list the benefits and issues that you may expect from each method. We will also provide you with examples of web hosting products, as well as a comprehensive description for each of those examples. 

What Is Email Hosting?

Email hosting is, basically, a service that acts as a server for your emails. The email host rents out a server designed to handle all your data for receiving and sending emails. You might be thinking that common and free webmail sites are examples of email hosting, such as Yahoo and Google. This is not the case.

A unique property of this method hosting is that you rent out a server that does nothing more than host your emails. Businesses using this method set up email addresses via a domain name. This stands out because it sends emails directly via the server itself, rather than going through free webmail sites.

Instead, clients will need to connect a registered domain name to their email servers. They can then use this combo to generate unique usernames for each email user accessing the said server. For example, an employee of a company will receive a unique address of “[email protected]”, and the server will host all of the emails coming from, and going to, this email.

Another unique property of this hosting method is the server. Unlike free webmail sites that cater to different users at a time, the email host usually provides a dedicated server. This means it operates solely for a set number of accounts. While this probably doesn’t mean that the server is just for one account, the resources within that server will only be reserved for a certain number of accounts.

And if one client’s requirements exceed the capacity of their current server, they can always scale up and share the content on multiple servers.

One of the benefits of having your emails hosted privately is the flexibility to define server settings.

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting, on the other hand, publishes a website online via a server. This differs fundamentally from email hosting in that it hosts multimedia that can be accessed even by viewers who don’t own, or are part of, the domain.

Depending on the capabilities of their servers, the hosting provider can cater to several sites at a time, and multiple requests. A request is whenever anybody accesses a website hosted in that server via a browser; some servers can manage only a certain number of requests due to their bandwidth limitations. This is something that can be scaled up depending on the service provider.

Several websites (and even email services) can be hosted in a single server. These shared servers are the most basic units provided by a web host. As the client’s traffic–the number of requests–grows, clients can choose to upgrade to servers that have better bandwidth, or to dedicated servers that host only their website. Dedicated servers are even more helpful when the client’s site ends up using more and more data storage. Price notwithstanding, the benefits of dedicated hosting over shared hosting lend to your website optimal performance and security.

Typical cPanel dashboard of a web host provider.

Examples of Web Hosting Services

While email hosting services are similar in design, web hosting services offer different advantages and operate in different ways. Some may be dedicated, while others share the server among different sites. Here are some popular servers that you may want to try out.

  1. InMotion Hosting is a hosting service that has the most versatile options for companies of all sizes. Scalable methods of hosting means you can start off from their simplest product, and scale up to fit your needs as you go along. They offer choices from dedicated servers to accommodate those wanting a private host, to shared servers, which is better for smaller businesses with a smaller viewership. If you want to know more of its plans and inclusions check InMotion Hosting pricing here.InMotion uses Linux servers for their core business, and is one of the industry’s most trustworthy services in terms of speed and reliability. Their service is also operated on a 24/7 basis. This means you can consult their tech support team for help and advice at any time of the day.Their pricing plan is transparent and caters to business of all types. From basic hosting to dedicated servers and even cloud hosting, they have the most reach and speed in the market today.
  2. HostGator has several different hosting options available to their clients. Each service comes in three separate packages that vary in terms of how many domains can be used, and cater to small, medium, and large businesses. They offer cloud-based hosting, WordPress, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers.Unique in their one-click installation products, you can easily apply for and get the service running within a day. They specialize in providing a variety of web hosting on different platforms, including WordPress and wikis.Their introductory package is small and limited to only one domain. However, their subsequent packages offer more space and bandwidth for any business. It can also expand to unlimited domains for use.They also come with a unique website builder to help you develop your own site to fit the brand of the company.
  3. GoDaddy Hosting has several servers and outlines the basics of hosting well. They are limited by three possible options: shared, VPS, and dedicated servers. However, they also package each option to fit the size of different companies. You can also pay for their service with localized currency, which makes it easier to purchase from them.One good thing about GoDaddy is that they own the servers. This means they can offer you a decent price for their service. In fact, their prices are fair and relate to the scale of their hosting options.
    All services come with 24/7 support and can be used for different types of businesses. For example, their WordPress hosting is dedicated for blog and article-based content, while the dedicated hosting service caters to larger businesses and comes with Office 365.
  4. Bluehost is a cloud-based solution catering to businesses of various sizes. This means your data is stored online, and kept safe from damage or corruption. They also make it easier for first-time users to get familiar with their service by providing an easier user interface to help make navigating through the service backend simpler.Their pricing plans are more detailed in terms of data and email storage. They have set limits on the market offers you can place on your store or service, which range from $50 to $200. The initial package limits the domain to just one, although this lets you set up to a hundred email accounts.
    Bluehost is unique in that it also offers products that provide an unmetered bandwidth. While there are limitations to this service, this can be quite helpful if you want to have a site that can easily adapt to a spike in requests.
  5. iPage is a hosting service dedicated to smaller businesses online. They have a support team to assist you from saving data to building your site, which can be great if you’re new to building a website. They only offer web hosting. Their pricing plan is only $1.99 per month, to cater to small businesses. It comes with a drag-and-drop layout builder for websites, and also offers PayPal integration.
  6. Exabytes Web Hosting offers feature-packed hosting packages at affordable rates. They have one-click installations, 24/7 security monitoring, automated data backups, and more. It also comes with an easily navigable Plesk control panel for Windows users, while Linux users get cPanel.

Should You Host Both Email and Web in One Server?

Both hosting methods rely on a server to handle the storage of all the content sent and gathered by the company. This is useful because it is kept in a digital database with backups and protective measures. Most, if not all, companies on the web rely on retaining their own servers nowadays because they can work faster without the risk of losing important information.

One important concern by companies of various sizes is the option of separating or keeping both hosting methods together. Several products nowadays can consolidate both email and web hosting in the same package. 

Why Together?

When a small company chooses to do both email and web hosting, the ideal choice is to have it in one combined package. It gives them an affordable method of reaching out to their audience in two different ways. Having both options in one convenient payment means they can quickly update both their email and website pages easily. It also means you’d need less people supervising the hosting, since it can be used simultaneously. Even as email and web hosting is just one of the costs of hosting a website, this setup gives your budget a much needed breathing space. But that’s about it.

The main problem with having this method is in terms of space and speed. The data storage is limited because it must divide between the email and the web hosting. The speed of the server is also divided to both sides. Less space for emails means you’d have to delete old data to make room later. This means you’d have to sacrifice data you might need for future reference.

Why Apart?

When a company chooses  to divide the hosting methods and retain separate vendors, it previously required entire departments to fulfill. A team dedicated to web hosting and another to email hosting, and both would coordinate from time to time for information consolidation. However, recent developments in cloud hosting have made it easier for dedicated servers to divide both the email and web hosting. 

Nowadays, a dedicated server to email hosting and a separate one for web hosting is both easier, and more efficient. Email data space is increased so no one has to delete any of their old emails or clear out the inbox. It also means the server has less load overall to carry. The dedicated server can then be optimized for faster and more secure processing. With this, accessing your emails is quicker than in an all-in-one program. Also, cloud hosting has strong backup measures for data. This means that corruption or damage to the drive won’t risk data loss. In fact, the cloud has made data recovery faster and easier than ever.

The main problem dedicated servers give is in terms of cost. By dividing both email and web hosting servers, you now have to pay more to keep both active. Even if cloud hosted services have made it easier to maintain, the overall fee would still be higher than an all-in-one program. However, it also allows a company to focus its efforts evenly between the two.


All in all, what is the difference between email hosting and web hosting? Ultimately, both are hosted on servers and correspond to the type of content that is shared. Email hosting focuses on email traffic amongst companies and subscribers. Meanwhile, web hosting offers more content on a website online. Modern day innovations in online hosting have lead to package deals containing features of both hosting methods. This can help companies achieve the best of both methods in the same server. However, separating the servers also means more effort concentrated between the two and more data space overall.

Astrid Eira

By Astrid Eira

Astrid Eira is a resident B2B expert of FinancesOnline, focusing on the SaaS niche. She specializes in accounting and human resource management software, writing honest and straightforward reviews of some of the most popular systems around. Being a small business owner herself, Astrid uses her expertise to help educate business owners and entrepreneurs on how new technology can help them run their operations. She’s an avid fan of the outdoors, where you’ll find her when she’s not crunching numbers or testing out new software.


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