Why Email Quotas are Important

Picture this. You get an email from someone, and they have an important question. You answer the question, taking time to explain your answer, and hit send.

And then you get the dreaded “Internet Mail Delivery Failure – Delivery Notification: Delivery has failed” email. The reason? “Over quota.” Here is an actual screen shot of an email I just received:


They never get the message. And they’re probably wondering why you’re not answering.

Illustration of a cartoon businessman furious with exploded brain

Courtesy Bigstock

What does Over Quota mean? Typically, it means that the web host your recipient uses sets a size limit on his or her email, and he or she might not even know it. When the inbox reaches its limit, all incoming email is rejected. In our line of business, our clients need to purchase web hosting to house their website. Typically, web space comes with email space, too– and you want to pay attention to what’s offered. I’ll explain.

Why You Care about Email Space

Good web hosting companies provide email addresses with the domain name, and lots of email space. For authors, this is key. Having and info@yourname.com email protects your personal email from being out there, plus it looks professional. If you’ve purchased your own domain name, why not have your email to go with it? You can interact with readers using this email.

But not all email offerings are the same.

When purchasing web hosting space, you need to make sure your email accounts aren’t set at a limit, because chances are, you’ll exceed it. This is a trick on their part to get you to upgrade to better, more expensive packages. Don’t fall for it. The day I learned that my email quota was capped was the day I switched web hosts for my freelance business–because I was starting to lose emails and clients couldn’t get through. Bad!

Web Hosts with Good Email Space

Let’s look at how you could figure out whether email space is capped. We’re going to look at four popular web hosts, one of which we regularly recommend to our clients. But note that in order to find out how much email space they offer, you really have to dig for it. For all these companies, you have to look for a “compare plans” or actually select the plan to see the specifications about. Do that! Make sure you understand everything you’re getting.

1. Bluehost

Mike and I love Bluehost. We recommend it to all our clients because it’s reliable. However, they recently changed their price structure, and Basic Plans now cap their email space, which is a real drag. We’re reevaluating whether to recommend them anymore based on this, although as you’ll see, it’s still going to be one of the best choices.

Here’s a screen shot of what they offer. For $3.95 a month, you get email, but they cap you at 100 mb! That is no bueno. They know this, which is why they offer unlimited space at $6.95 a month. Look at the line under Email Storage:



2. 1and1

I used to be a loyal customer of 1and1’s but their email space cap drove me nuts. Check their prices: .99 cents a month for the first year! BUT then it’s $6.99 a month after that, and do you get unlimited email? Well– scroll down.



I had to really click around to get to the email specs, and here they are. At the .99 for the first year price, then $6.95 you get a 2 GB of email space. Not good.


3. Go Daddy

Go Daddy is cheap and popular, but we typically don’t recommend them because their servers are known hacking targets, which means your web space is regualrly affected. However, recent interactions with them have shown better customer service, and it could be that they’re strengthening their offering. Let’s look at their pricing. Well, the basic (economy) plan is $3.99 a month fir the first year, then $7.99 after that (if you renew with them–all kinds of limits here). Again, I had to really dig around to find the web space cap.


Here it is. With any of their plans, you’re getting email space caps. So you could pay for the $14.99 Ultimate Plan and STILL get email space caps!



4. HostGator

Our final web host that we’re comparing is Hostgator. They offer the usual 3.95 basic plan, but I am sorry to say I could not find at all where email space is mentioned. Which tells me it’s capped. Bad. Worse, that Hatchling Plan is only $3.95 for the first month. Then it goes to $5.95 a month, although that isn’t clear by looking at their chart.


The Results

Here’s a summary of all four hosts and what they offer.


  • $3.99 a month for basic plan
  • Doesn’t go up after the first year, but requires a 3-year sign up in order to secure that price (we typically recommend this)
  • Caps email space at 100 mb. For the $6.95 plan, you get unlimited email
  • Price for unlimited email space: $6.95 a month


  • .99 cents for the first year, $6.95 thereafter.
  • Email space is capped at 2 GB. For the $4.99 plan, you get unlimited email, but that goes to $9.99 after the first year
  • Price for unlimited email space: $9.95 a month

Go Daddy:

  • $3.99 a month for the first year, $7.99 after that
  • Email storage is never unlimited, it’s capped on all its plans
  • Price for unlimited email space: not offered


  • 3.95 a month but with an asterisk that says in tiny print at the bottom that this price only reflects 20% your FIRST INVOICE – thereafter it’s $5.95 a month!
  • No mention of email space capping — not good
  • Price for unlimited email space: ????


The Verdict

Based on these prices, we will continue to recommend Bluehost. As well, we are Bluehost affiliates and we often get special pricing to extend to our clients (usually during a promotional period). If you want to sign up with Bluehost, here’s our link. I hate to say that the $6.95 plan is the one to go for, but there aren’t any hidden charges after a year like the other hosts have. You could always start with the $3.95 a month plan and then upgrade.

I hope this post has helped you understand the ways in which web hosts work and offer plans. If you have questions, leave them in the comments!




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