This article is part of a larger series on Business Email.
Having email on your domain (e.g., email@example.com) is vital for brand credibility, but the cost of domains and email hosting add up. You can avoid racking up expenses with providers that include free domains with services like email hosting, web hosting, or a site builder. Keep reading to learn the best ways to get a free email domain.
- IONOS: Multiple ways to get a free email domain (all with domain privacy)
- Hostinger: Great for startups and beginners wanting an all-in-one solution
- Scala Cloud: Most advanced security and most email storage in free domain plans
- DreamHost: Best and cheapest long term for unlimited emails on your domain
- InMotion: Best for protecting email data with automated daily backups
- Bluehost: Free email domain plus 50% off Google Workspace (first year)
- HostGator: Best for creating unlimited emails and aliases
Free Email Domain Name Options at a Glance
Score Out of 5
Free Email Domain With
Starting Cost / Month*
Email or web hosting
1 to 10+
Email or web hosting
5 to unlimited
*Cost per month with annual billing for plans that include a free business email domain for at least one year; all plans except for IONOS email hosting renew at a higher cost after the first year
Interested to know how to create your own email domain free of charge and with business email? Learn more about five legit ways to get free business email addresses.
1. IONOS: Most Ways to Get a Free Email Domain
Free email domain: With email hosting, site builder, or web hosting plans
- Limited base storage
- No plans include unlimited email addresses, unlike DreamHost
- Advanced security and max storage requires highest-tier plan
- $1 per month web hosting and site builder plans renew at a higher rate
IONOS offers ultra-low-cost email hosting plans that include a free domain for business email. This is a great deal for freelancers or budget-strapped small companies since it only costs $1 per month to host one address, and a free email domain is included.
Another time to choose IONOS’ email hosting is for domain anonymity. This means you want a domain name different from the one you use for your website so that your company’s email accounts aren’t as easily discoverable by spammers and hackers.
Another reason to go with IONOS is that private registration of your domain is included to protect your contact information and keep it out of the hands of list-buying spammers and website hackers. Business plan users get up to 50GB of storage and emails are protected with advanced spam and phishing prevention.
IONOS is one of the best cheap email hosting providers for businesses needing only one email address, but the price will scale for each new email account you need. Using DreamHost will be more cost-effective in the long term (with the Shared Unlimited or WordPress Unlimited plans for unlimited email). Bluehost and DreamHost are also our top picks if you want email and web hosting using the same domain.
IONOS offers the most ways to get a free email domain on a budget. First-year pricing for web hosting, WordPress hosting, and IONOS’ website builder all start at $1 per month the first year. However, with these plans (as with most hosting plans), keep in mind that your domain is only free for one year.
Migrating to IONOS from another email provider? Good news: IONOS also includes free email migration to your new account. And from 15 years as an IONOS customer myself, I can state unequivocally that if something goes wrong and you need help, the team at IONOS will be there for you, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if things don’t work out.
Having trouble finding an available domain name? Get help with the top tips when choosing a domain name.
2. Hostinger: Best for Startups & Beginners
Free email domain: With a web hosting plan with multiple websites and email addresses
- Emails in shared hosting plans have small storage limits (1GB)
- Only one email per domain in the plan (vs unlimited with HostGator and DreamHost)
- No mobile app
Hostinger is one of the best business email providers startups and beginners who are just setting out to build brand presence online. It offers a simple, easy-to-understand web hosting plan that allows you to build multiple websites with Hostinger’s artificial intelligence (AI)-rich, no-code site builder or on WordPress. This allows for the experimentation beginners are often looking for to get the just-right solution in place.
Any small business on a budget will love Hostinger’s plan. The first year includes a free email domain in a plan that costs less than $3 per month with annual billing. Depending on your comfort with contract length, Hostinger is likely the cheapest option for business email and web hosting as your plan renewal could be as little as $6.99 per month (but you will have to pay for the domain after the first year).
If you need multiple emails on a single domain, Hostinger may not be the best option for you. You’ll have to add on standalone email hosting on a per-user basis. In this case, the unlimited emails included with DreamHost and HostGator shared hosting plans would be better.
The email included in the hosting package with Hostinger allows for only minimal storage space (1GB), although its standalone plans offer 10-50GB per user. IONOS’ base storage with email hosting plus a free domain is 2GB, and it’s expandable up to 50GB. For max storage, we recommend IONOS Business Plans, which include 50GB per user.
Hostinger makes getting your business online a breeze. From low-cost hosting to the included-for-free no-code Hostinger website builder with a built-in artificial intelligence (AI) writing assistant, all the tools you need to build a website or even a full-blown online store are at your fingertips. This makes Hostinger our top choice for beginners looking for an easy option or startups that want an affordable, all-in-one solution for a website and email.
All Hostinger web hosting plans include a free email domain. You can host up to 100 websites in your plan, and for each domain, you can create one email account. So while you can’t create multiple addresses on one domain, essentially the plan does account for an email attached to each domain you own.
If you need multiple accounts on your domain, you can get this through Hostinger’s standalone email plans, which are as low as 99 cents per user if you go with a long-term contract. Likewise, your cost for hosting starts at $2.99 per month with annual billing and renews as low as $6.99 per month if you go with a 48-month contract. Even if you go year to year, your renewal cost will only be $8.99 per month.
While there’s no free plan or trial, your first year comes under $40, and Hostinger backs it with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So there’s little risk to testing out the site builder, choosing a domain, and setting up your free business email account today.
3. Scala: Best for Advanced Security & Large Storage Limits
Free email domain: With Scala Cloud for advanced security and unlimited email hosting (and in most web hosting plans)
- Free domain and advanced security only comes with highest-tier email hosting plan
- Base web hosting doesn’t include a domain or email accounts for free
- No mobile app
Scala’s at the upper end for business-class email security and deliverability. This makes it a top choice for businesses prioritizing online security and sales teams wanting to ensure 100% deliverability of cold emails. The Cloud plan also comes with blacklist monitoring, unlimited emails, and daily offsite backups.
In addition, Scala email and web hosting plans offer the highest storage limits for email. So while plans are a bit more expensive, it could be more than worth it if you need unlimited emails and don’t want to worry about your company’s email users coming up against storage limits.
Scala offers impressive features, but it’s not the cheapest option. IONOS’ business plans are more affordable with similarly strong security features if you don’t need more than 10 email addresses. If unlimited email storage is a necessity, Bluehost’s second-tier and above plans are the better choice, starting as low as $5.45 per month.
Scala’s Cloud email hosting is our top pick for businesses that prize security as well as teams that want to be sure their emails hit inboxes, not spam folders. While on the pricier side, it’s a great product to complement your sales and marketing tech stacks for companies wanting dedicated email management tools.
Email hosting with Scala is a great way to get a bundled plan with a domain and unlimited email addresses. Lock in pricing as low as $14.95 per month for a 36-month plan, or pay $19.99 per month annually or $29.99 month-to-month. Regardless of your payment preference, get:
- A free domain and unlimited email accounts
- Large, scalable storage starting at 50GB per user
- Secure, isolated, dedicated cloud hosting
- SShield real-time cybersecurity protection
- Daily offsite backups to fully protect your data
- Blacklist monitoring to keep your emails off of blacklists and out of clients’ spam folders
If the Cloud plan is overkill for your small business today, you can get smaller email hosting packages starting as low as $2.95 (three-year billing), inclusive of 10 email addresses. And while not as robust as far as features and security, Scala also offers web hosting plans that include a free email domain for 10 to unlimited users, starting with the second-tier plan. Head over to Scala’s site to learn more and pick a plan.
4. DreamHost: Best (& Cheapest Long-term) for Unlimited Emails
Free email domain: With a Shared Unlimited or WordPress Unlimited web hosting plan
- Not the cheapest for those only needing one or two email addresses
- Doesn’t include email migration
- Unlimited plans don’t have unlimited (allocatable) email storage
DreamHost is a leading web hosting provider that includes a free domain and email addresses in website hosting plans. With its Shared Unlimited hosting plan, DreamHost is the best and most affordable choice for businesses that need 10 or more email addresses or entrepreneurs or freelancers looking to host multiple websites and email accounts in one plan.
Since unlimited email addresses are DreamHost’s selling point, it is best to use an alternative if you only need a few business emails under your domain. IONOS email hosting plans allow for up to 10 users and are better for those needing automated email migration to preserve important records from a previous email client. Scala is a great option for those wanting a free domain and up to 10 email addresses with advanced security.
Like Bluehost, DreamHost is on our list of the best WordPress website builders. The Shared Unlimited plan, in particular, is an excellent value. It comes with WordPress hosting for unlimited sites, a domain and SSL, and unlimited emails on your domain. This is a great option for those needing emails for several team members or who want the option to create dedicated email accounts for departments like sales, customer service, and more.
Once created, you can access your DreamHost email from any web browser using its webmail app, Roundcube. It’s the same app that comes with Bluehost or InMotion, by the way. And you can add your email address to your favorite email app (e.g., Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, and so on) easily, with just a few clicks.
Even if you never build a website in this hosting plan, it’s an exceptional value for unlimited email accounts. You’ll pay $2.95 per month (with annual billing) for the first year, which will then renew at $12.99 per month. Email storage is ample for most at 25GB each, and when you’re ready, you can build a WordPress website using the BoldGrid theme and page builder.
5. InMotion: Free Domain & Automated Backups in Hosting Plans
Free email domain: With unlimited email addresses in all but the base web hosting package
- More expensive starting cost vs DreamHost
- Domain renewal cost is the highest of any on this list ($19.99 per year after the first year free)
Like DreamHost, InMotion web hosting plans include unlimited websites, storage, and email after the base tier as well as a free custom domain for the first year. In addition, your files are backed up daily to protect your data. This makes it a great fit for those needing unlimited email accounts as well as the peace of mind that the data can be restored if something goes wrong.
InMotion isn’t as cheap as DreamHost for unlimited sites and email addresses. It also charges more if you want to protect your personal information with private domain registration, unlike IONOS.
InMotion is a highly reputable web hosting company that provides great customer service. A free custom domain comes in all but the base tier of its web hosting plans, as do automated daily backups of your data. Each plan also comes with additional server power, making it a good option for any business prioritizing data security as well as speed.
Email storage is listed as 5-20GB, but based on our research, we believe that storage can also be allocated among mailboxes, giving you the flexibility to assign higher storage to heavy users. One drawback to getting a domain through InMotion is that domain privacy is an add-on. DreamHost is a bit better in this aspect as they include private domain registration (as does IONOS).
Still, InMotion is a solid choice for getting a domain to use for email and more. It’s so confident that you will like what you get that it offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. Visit InMotion and get started today.
6. Bluehost: Great for Collaborative Teams (50% Off Google Workspace)
Free email domain: With any web or WordPress hosting plan
- Not the best value if you only need one or two email addresses and don’t need web hosting
- Domain is only free the first year (renews at regular cost, about $13)
- Limited email and web storage in base plan vs Shared Unlimited with DreamHost for the same starting cost
Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosting companies with a free domain, email, and web hosting plans. And while many of the providers here sell Google Workspace through their platforms, Bluehost goes one step further and underwrites half of your cost the first year ($3 per month instead of $6). This makes it a smart play for businesses on a budget that need productivity and collaboration software for their teams.
Plans start as low as $2.95 per month for WordPress website hosting, plus a free domain name and email of up to five free business accounts. The second tier includes unlimited emails, and the third also includes unlimited websites and storage. It’s a great value if you need all-in-one web and email hosting that can scale as your business grows.
Bluehost’s base tier has the least amount of per-user storage (500MB) of any email host in this list, though you can allocate additional storage manually. DreamHost’s Shared Unlimited plans include unlimited web storage and 25GB of email storage for unlimited users (and also come with WordPress hosting, page builder, free domain, and SSL).
With Bluehost, backups only come free for one year on higher-tier plans. InMotion and IONOS both automatically back up your data and make it easy to restore if something goes wrong.
Bluehost is great for collaborative teams. All hosting plans include a domain, and Bluehost resells Google Workspace at a 50% discount for the first year. This, coupled with low-cost email hosting and a free domain, makes it an outstanding value. For step-by-step instructions on how to set it up, read our guide on how to set up Bluehost business email accounts.
Sign up for hosting, then create up to five emails on your free domain for $2.95 per month (or get unlimited emails and storage for a few dollars more). Then access your mail via any web browser using Bluehost’s webmail app, or add it to Gmail, Outlook, and other popular work email apps in a few steps. Take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to try Bluehost out risk-free today.
Planning to use Google Workspace or Microsoft Outlook for business email? Find out which one is best for your business in our head-to-head comparison of Gmail vs Outlook.
7. HostGator: Best for Unlimited Emails & Aliases
Free email domain: Free email domain and unlimited addresses in all hosting plans
- Plan cost goes up after the first year
- Hourly limits on the number of outgoing emails (500 per hour)
- No standalone email hosting options
- Could hit storage limits quickly in first two plans if you have a lot of users
- No mobile app
HostGator is a great fit for large teams or those needing a lot of aliases or forwarding emails. Simply put, you can create all the email addresses you want with any HostGator plan, and a free email domain is included. It’s also good for teams with heavy email users, as you can allocate storage space accordingly, though this may mean you need to get a higher-tier plan to avoid running out of plan storage.
HostGator’s low-cost point of entry may make it attractive for bad actors. In fact, there’s a limit to the number of outgoing emails you can send per hour, which leads us to assume that there has been misuse of email products by customers.
While this may not be the fault of HostGator, it may lead to their servers or IP addresses getting onto blacklists, which can hurt your email efforts. If deliverability is a top concern, Scala Cloud is the best option for you, followed by the advanced security included in IONOS Business plans.
We also dug a little deeper and found complaints about the level of customer service itself. If you want a high level of service, I highly recommend IONOS as well as InMotion. Both are renowned for prompt customer care.
HostGator is one of the most affordable options for getting unlimited email addresses and aliases. All plans come with a free domain to use for email, web hosting, and more. Email accounts don’t have a set storage limit, either, but you are restricted to the total storage included in your plan. So if you have a website and several email users, you’ll likely want to grab the highest-tier ecommerce plan that offers unlimited storage as well as emails.
It’s easy to connect your HostGator email domain to Google Workspace to use for Gmail, Microsoft 365 (and Outlook), Apple Mail, or any other email client you prefer. However, there’s no mobile app, domain privacy isn’t included, and there are no standalone email plans, all of which you’ll find at DreamHost for less, especially after the first year.
In addition to web hosting, like Hostinger, HostGator has web hosting plans that come with a no-code site builder. These plans all include a free email domain and domain privacy (but not email addresses). Still, the ease of use of getting unlimited emails and all you need to build your brand presence online makes it a good contender.
How We Evaluated the Best Ways to Get Free Email Domains
The best providers include a lot more than an email domain free of charge. The best business email services include top-level domains (e.g., .com, .net, or .org) and secure, reliable, ad-free email hosting. We analyzed over a dozen leading email hosting services and found top-notch providers for professional business email that are quick, affordable, and legitimate.
Click through the tabs to learn more about what we considered in relation to these providers.
30% of Overall Score
If you came looking for a free custom domain for email, then pricing is likely a top consideration, as it is for most small businesses. We looked for providers that offered a low point of entry and a reasonable cost for renewal as well as how much the domain would cost on renewal.
20% of Overall Score
The most obvious general feature required was including a free domain. Beyond that we evaluated email storage, security, and the availability of webmail and a mobile app.
10% of Overall Score
“Nice to have” features included things like automatic backups, spam filtering, domain privacy, the ability to create an alias and forwarding emails, and whether a standalone plan for email was also available.
15% of Overall Score
The support available to customers varies widely between providers and can also vary depending on individual plans offered by a provider. We ensured that each of these companies offers ample support and gave extra weight to those that offer multiple means of communication.
25% of Overall Score
Expert score encompasses several different factors, including our firsthand experience with each provider. We got on chatbots to see how responsive and helpful each provider was, sent emails, and researched review sites and forums to gauge popularity with real customers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The .com domain extension is the most popular choice among most businesses (along with the new .co variant). It’s the most memorable, making it ideal for building a strong online brand presence, but finding an available .com domain can be challenging. Luckily, there are other top-level domain extensions available that are well-suited for business use.
There are legitimate ways to get a completely free domain name. IONOS, Bluehost, and DreamHost include a free domain in paid hosting plans, as do top website builders like Wix and Squarespace. There are domain registrars offering free domain names as well, but keep in mind that these won’t be top-level domains (e.g., .com, .net, .org, and so on) and so aren’t considered credible for business use.
The answer to whether Google Domains includes free email is yes—but only with the purchase of a Google Workspace plan. Alternatively, you can purchase a domain name through business domain registrars like Bluehost or Domain.com and use it to create up to five free email accounts in Zoho Mail.
Getting a domain is the first step in setting up a custom email address. If you need multiple email addresses, DreamHost is the best value, whereas ScalaHosting offers the highest storage and security. If you just need a single email address or want a domain to use for email that’s different from your website URL, choose IONOS.