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Web Hosting Canada: The Ultimate Guide (2020)

written by Shawn Gant Last Updated: March 28, 2020
Web Hosting Canada
Web hosting isn’t an easy feat or a quick task:

One doesn’t simply choose a web host, and this is one of the most common things missed by people who have never had a website for their business or brand before.If you choose your website’s host without giving it enough thought or just by taking a quick look at the price before making your choice of host, you’re almost guaranteed to be disappointed with your web host in one way or another within a few months of signing up.Web hosts should be considered carefully.

Look at different companies, different countries and different packages within the same hosting company and compare the pros, cons and benefits of each before making your choice.

Cost factors into it, but might turn out to be less important than things like speed or potential to seamlessly scale.

What is Web Hosting?

Other than different types of web hosts, there are also different types of web hosting.

This is something you’ll have the option to choose from when registering your domain, adding hosting to an existing domain or migrating your site to another hosting provider – and it can be confusing to pick between shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting or dedicated hosting if you aren’t sure what these things mean.

Here’s what you should know about the different kinds of hosting options out there and how to go about finding the right one for your website.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting describes a type of website hosting where several different websites are hosted on the same server, with each of these clients having their own website and domain, but still sharing server space.

The cheapest plans at GoDaddy or Namecheap are simple examples of what shared hosting can look like:

Even though your domain is owned solely by you, you’re using up part of the GoDaddy or Namecheap servers with other users – and it costs you less to do this as a result.

People choose shared hosting as an option because it can be cheaper, but it can be for a few other reasons too.

Shared hosting is especially perfect for smaller websites that have to gauge the market before expanding to something that gets a ton of traffic – or websites that have a small, local focus and keep their visits (and their customer base) at a generally lower number.

For What Type of Business?
Choose shared hosting if you are a new business, a small company, an emerging brand or venture or someone who isn’t sure of their amount of projected traffic or needs just yet, but still needs a platform for their brand.

Shared hosting is the right choice when the amount of traffic you expect is low and therefore the server resources you require is not high, allowing you to get by with sharing the resources on a server.

Shared hosting can also be the right choice if you need to keep your hosting costs lower.

VPS Hosting

VPS is short for Virtual Private Server, and it’s a newer type of hosting that only gained popularity once the dot-com rush of the nineties turned into something more high tech.

While you’re still hosting on a physical, buzzing, lit-up server, VPS Hosting means that your website and data will be hosted on a virtual network – a partition on a physical server where you can run whichever operating system you choose.

This differs from shared hosting in the way that shared hosting is usually not configurable to run whichever operating system you prefer and must go along with what the web hosting company has put in place.

The main benefits of using VPS hosting is to allow you to have dedicated space (that is ‘virtual’) so you have much more control of the applications and other things that can be installed and used, while being much more affordable than having a dedicated server.

The downside however is that at the end of the day you are still on a shared hosting server and if any of the other sites are straining the server, the performance of your site will also suffer.

For What Type of Business?
Theoretically, VPS hosting is a type of hosting that might fit any type of company well – and it can be considered something in the middle of getting shared hosting and dedicated hosting in terms of budget, but with more functionality than what shared hosting would provide.

Companies and businesses who need a highly-customizable server environment with the option of installing and uninstalling what they like to make it theirs (including operating systems like Linux over Windows) should choose VPS hosting as their server type.

Cloud Hosting

The term “cloud hosting” meant very little in the nineties when we were still trying to get more used to the idea of servers and how they work.

Today on the other hand, the cloud is a commonly accepted term – and one of the most popular ways to host websites or data, even of the sensitive kind.

Hosting on the cloud means that your data is still hosted on a physical server, but this itself gets hosted in a virtual, accessible location called the cloud.

The ever popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a prime example of cloud hosting.

This is great for any people or companies who need instant access to vast amounts of customer data in a few seconds or less:
This is also great for anyone who needs the access to their information from anywhere in the world and at any point.

One of the main benefits of cloud hosting is the ability to scale.

You can start with a small space and seamlessly expand the server resources you require with minimal configuration.

This allows you to grow in tandem with your needs, allowing you to keep costs in check and avoiding the hassle of moving from a shared hosting set up to a dedicated server, to having multiple dedicated servers and making sure they work together seamlessly.

For What Type of Business?
Cloud hosting can be used by any type of business with almost any budget:
This is part of what’s helped make cloud hosting one of the most successful forms of hosting in the current day and age.

Thousands of websites and data banks are hosted on various clouds all over the internet: It’s easy to get yours hosted this way, too.

Sometimes cloud hosting is a safer option, especially anywhere an actual, physical server would have been hard or expensive to get access to.

In fact, clouds are so safe for most of the data on it that many cloud providers offer data protection and a guarantee that nobody will get to your information as long as it’s hosted with them.

Cloud hosting remains pretty popular, and it’s used by everyone from banks through to the medical industry to host websites and sensitive data.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is another one of the most common hosting options you’ll get to hear about.

This means that you have a dedicated server on the internet that’s only meant and used for you.

It follows a One-Owner-One-Server policy which means that the server you rent is entirely yours for the period of your contract – and often what you do with this server is entirely up to you.

It’s usually the most expensive options, but it can offer many benefits for companies, brands and general webmasters above other types of hosting which is mainly the ability to customize it as you please.

For What Type of Business?
Choose dedicated hosting if you have special security needs, very sensitive data or specialized server needs:
Gaming is one example of something online that will often make use of a specific dedicated server meant only for the game, which results in better traffic handling and faster speeds.

Dedicated hosting can be for anyone, but it can also be for anyone who has the budget:
Because dedicated hosting means that you have an entire server to yourself, it is more expensive than some of the other options on this list, but it can very well be worth it if you decide that your security, space and speed matches up with what dedicated hosting has to offer.

Canadian Web Hosting Reviews

Thinking of starting your own website, blog, business venture or e-commerce store any time soon?

The number of web hosting and registration options can be bewildering – especially as a novice or new user, you might find it hard to choose the right website host for your needs.

If you are ready to purchasing hosting for your new website or are thinking about moving an existing site to a new host, we’ve analyzed some of the major players in the Canadian market.

Here’s a look at 6 Canadian (or with a Canadian data center) web hosting companies to consider:

  1. 1. Kinsta.com
  2. Kinsta focuses on WordPress hosting only for sites of all sizes, which makes them ideal for smaller business ventures and starting websites who need a first (or second) web home – and plan to grow from there.

    As many websites are started on WordPress, having a web host that specializes in the particular platform is helpful.

    Tech Daily uses Kinsta, you can read more on our journey to choosing Kinsta.

    As far as WordPress hosting goes, Kinsta makes for a great option for anyone who needs more guidance than the average WP walkthrough can offer.

    The usage of containers and a strong engineering team affords Kinsta the ability to guarantee a 99.9% uptime.

    While Kinsta comes in on the more expensive side, they offer users an easy way to scale their solutions and their managed WordPress offering is one of the best in the industry.

    Kinsta leverages the Google Cloud service, one of the best in the industry alongside Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, to offer their service to their customers.

    They have 20 data center locations globally, including a Canadian one, which is in Montreal.

    Kinsta offers premium 24/7/365 customer support so whether you are an advanced user or someone just starting out, you can rest assured that there is someone also available to discuss your needs, any time, any day.

    Learn more about Kinsta

  3. 2. CanSpace Solutions
  4. CanSpace Solutions is a uniquely Canadian web hosting company that has been active since 1996.

    They call themselves the #1 hosting provider in Canada, and their list of clients includes the Government of BC and companies like Ontario Craft Brewers.

    CanSpace is one of the most trusted hosting providers, used by some of the largest companies and public entities.

    They promise 24/7 availability of their servers so that downtime is kept to a minimum – and speeds as fast as possible

    CanSpace Solutions is entirely local, from their staff through to their servers:
    This has some great search related advantages for anyone who wants to host their sites in Canada – even if they aren’t Canadian themselves!

    CanSpace Solutions offers 24/7 online support and a hotline so that you never have to be without hosting.

    Learn more about Canspace Solutions

  5. 3. GreenGreeks
  6. GreenGeeks is a larger company with a Canadian branch: They’ve been in business for more than 15 years and were first founded in California.

    This doesn’t make them a lesser local option, though: They’re trusted by more than 40,000 customers over 500,000 websites according to their home page.

    GreenGeeks is a multiple-award winning company: Several markets have chosen them as the Top Web Host several times in a row – and this can help to tip you off that they’re one of the most reliable web hosting companies you can choose to use.

    If there’s one thing Green Geeks appears to more committed to than many other international web hosting companies, it’s data security – and the ability to handle a lot of traffic.

    Their data center emphasizes the green and environmentally friendly aspect:
    It’s right in the name! This means that their servers and data centers are focused on being better for the environment – and safer for your data.

    Even though the company was initially founded in California, there are several server locations across the world today.

    These include Chicago and Phoenix (US), Montreal (CA) and Amsterdam (NL).

    Similar to the others, they have a 99.9% uptime guarantee and their support team is available 24/7 through live chat, e-mail (or phone) should you experience any issues with your hosting account.

    Of note, GreenGeeks has hosting options at under $3 per month and they also offer a unique 30-Day Money Back Guarantee for customers.

    Learn more about GreenGeeks

  7. 4. HostPapa
  8. HostPapa is another local Canadian company with a more centralized focus on small businesses and new startups who need websites.

    They offer web hosting, domain purchasing and additional marketing services that you might need when first setting up shop or site with them.

    HostPapa servers are housed in state of the art data centers which are located locally in Canada.

    They have back up facilities across North America and use Cisco hardware.

    They also provide an uptime guarantee of 99.9% and have plans starting at $2.95 per month.

    There are various perks depending on what type of service you choose, such as a free SSL certificate with their business pro package or a free domain transfer if you’re migrating your site from another host to them.

    You can find rave reviews around the net about their customer satisfaction, many customers find that they go over and beyond to help you succeed in building out your venture.

    Learn more about HostPapa

  9. 5. Whc.ca
  10. WHC is short for Web Hosting Canada: Simple name and no frills describes their approach, and they offer a quick and user-friendly way to get a professional website online in less than a few minutes with support for newer users who don’t have the experience of setting up web hosting.

    Web Hosting Canada prides themselves on reliability and data protection for small business and emerging ventures:
    That’s exactly what you’ll get – and their statistics claim that over 80% of people prefer using their e-commerce platform to shop just because it’s one of the easiest and most reliable.

    Their local data centers are home to more than 30,000 local Canadian websites, and they might be a good home to yours if you’re an emerging business who isn’t sure how much traffic to prepare for yet.

    They’re entirely local with several server locations to be found all over Canada’s east and west coast.

    This brings the search advantage of Canadian hosting, which is what many people are after when they want to register a new site or blog.

    WHC calls their platform “built for speed” and it certainly is. With the use of their internal platform, you can get a proper website running in almost no time at all.

    Their support is available 24/7, and you can ask them anything whether you’re entirely new at this website thing or looking to expand your empire online.

    Learn more about WHC

  11. 6. CanadianWebHosting.com
  12. Canadian Web Hosting is another one of the leading hosting options for businesses and blogs in Canada.

    They’re smaller than some of the other options on this list, but they’re also one of the best – and they can handle any amount of traffic that you throw at sites hosted here.

    They’re local, fast and secure: Sometimes that’s all you really need in a host.

    Canadian Web Hosting guarantees permanent up-time for your site, but they also guarantee offer plenty of security related goodies such as SSL Certificates, Firewalls, VPN Options and Malware Scanning.

    A lot of the options are included in the most basic plans, which makes them a great secure host option for anyone.

    Servers are guaranteed secure and locally located with data centers in Vancouver and Toronto.

    This is ideal for both local Canadian users and some international users who want the advantage that comes with having your site hosted on Canadian territory.

    Canadian Web Hosting gives you access to 24-hour technical support, reachable by whichever means is faster for the client.

    They also offer free website migration and a new domain with sign-up. They are completely WordPress friendly.

    Learn more about Canadian Web Hosting

Factors To Consider When Choosing Web Hosting

A web host is the glue that holds your domain, server, data and visitors to your website together.

Choosing the right web host means considering a host of different factors – if you’ll excuse the pun – to find the right one for you and your requirements.

Not all web hosts are created equal: Some are best suited to users who need a little more help and might not have built a website before – others are better for more advanced users who want total control over all aspects of their configuration.

Here are a few of the most essential things you should consider when choosing a web host that’s right for your website, users and individual traffic needs.

  1. 1. Current Clients

    One of the first things you should check if you’re considering a specific web host is what and who their current client base is made up out of.

    This can tell you a lot about whose needs a company generally caters to – and what you can expect in terms of service and speed – without having to ask.

    Most sites have reviews, testimonials or lists of their top clients on their website.

    If you notice “big name” clients on this list, that’s a good sign for your hosting company.

    It means they’re fast, reliable, secure and trusted by some of the companies mentioned.

    However, if you’re a small company this host may be offering much more than you need.

    If you don’t see this information, send them an e-mail and ask.

  2. 2. Your User Profile

    Consider your own individual user profile when you look for a suitable site hosting company.

    This means what type of user you are – and what your needs from your hosting company might be.

    Some people fall into the category of Average or Beginner WordPress users.

    It’s obvious that they might not have as many needs (or as much of a budget) as more advanced users who are programmers or developers for example.

    Are you an advanced user with specific needs or a beginner who needs more help and a usable platform to get you through the process of building or migrating your site?

    There are options for both – and sometimes different available options within the same site hosting company.

    Everyone needs something different out of their web hosting company in terms of functionality.

    Considering your user profile first can help you to establish your needs and help to track down the right website host for your needs.

  3. 3. Ease-of-Use

    When it comes to technology of any sort, ease-of-use is one of the things that has to be evaluated.

    If you’re in the market for a new hosting company, you want to know how easy it’s going to be to build and migrate a website on their platform.

    Considering your user profile (as described in number 2 in this article) is what helps to tell you what you need here.

    Some hosting options offer simple user dashboards that will let you build a website in just a few clicks or minutes.

    Others are based solely for WordPress sites and work better for people who are used to the WP platform and how to navigate it, while many others have configuration screens that the average user would have no idea on what to do with them.

    If ease-of-use is ranking low for a hosting company, you’ll spot this in the company’s reviews and know to steer clear.

  4. 4. Server Location

    Server location can be a very important thing to look at when deciding which hosting company to sign up with (or sometimes migrate to from the one you’re with right now).

    Why does server location matter?

    One of the main reasons is proximity to users: If your customer base in completely in Canada, it’s preferential to use a web host who has their data center in Canada.

    While you can also use what’s known as a CDN – a Content Delivery Network that creates copies of your site on servers around the world allowing the closest server to the user to serve up the site – this is a little more of an advanced concept that may not really be required for all users.

    A local small business that only serves Vancouver residents probably does not need a CDN and would benefit from using a company with a local data center.

    The second potential reason for choosing your hosting company according to their server location is legality.

    Servers registered in different countries are subject to different data protection laws, which is something you want to understand especially if you are collecting and storing customer data.

    Where is the data being housed?

    Are you a Canadian company housing your customer data in the United States or in Europe?

    Is this a good idea?

    These are some of the questions that go beyond hosting which you will need to wrap your head around.

    If you aren’t familiar with what the best places to register a server might be, check up on international server, hosting and data laws until you’ve found the right country for you and the needs of your users.

    This can take some time, but it’s always worth considering before finally hosting a site anywhere.

  5. 5. Speed and Traffic

    Speed and traffic are two of the most vital aspects you’ll have to think about when choosing your hosting company.

    For the convenience and safety of everyone who visits your site (and for your own convenience when there’s a need to update or put your own site together), you want to know that the speed ranks high up and that the site can handle a fair amount of traffic.

    Speed matters for things like site updating and site loading.

    This determines how fast your site and its pages will be available for people who visit.

    Google’s algorithm also places more and more importance on the site speed when deciding how to rank your site.

    Speed is super important.

    Next, look for traffic capacity.

    Even if your website is only getting a few hundred or a small handful of hits right now, this might increase in future as your fan or client base gets larger.

    Make sure your web host can easily scale to handle the added traffic of new users and be confident that your hosting provider can handle a sudden viral load if it ever happens to your business or brand.

    Most site crashes are due to the fact that the web hosting couldn’t handle the load.

    Speed and traffic scalability are some of the most important things that separates good hosting providers from bad ones (and happy customers of theirs from not).

  6. 6. Additional Benefits

    Many website hosting companies out there offer special additional benefits – sometimes for free, sometimes at a reduced fee – as part of their sign-up packages.

    Remember to check the website of each hosting provider you want to consider as a possible option to see their different packages (and what each has to offer) at a glance.

    These added or additional options are different for every web hosting company you might check.

    Just some of the benefits you might see from different hosting company packages includes the option of free domain registration, free site migration (from another hosting provider), free or included security certificates – and sometimes even more benefits like the addition of free cloud storage that stands separately from your main server for any files that you might want to keep safe on the cloud.

    Additional benefits can sometimes go up or down depending on which plan you choose from which hosting provider, and sometimes benefits can be what makes you choose a specific hosting company over another.

Should I choose web hosting in Canada?

Website hosting is a more complicated topic than most people realize when they first choose a hosting company for their brand, business or blog website.

This leads to thousands of people being unhappy with their initial web host a few weeks or months into signing up, where they realize they could have picked a better plan or web host that would have suited their site and user’s needs better than their current one.

When people switch hosts, it’s called site migration: It’s usually easy and quick to do, and it involves taking your existing website from current host to new one.

Sites can be hosted on servers located anywhere in the world, including the United States, Canada and other international countries. If you are a Canadian business, hosting in Canada is probably your best option.

Canadian web hosting affords you a ton of benefits that hosting in other countries might not.

Quick Canadian Web Hosting Stats:1

  • 91% of Canadians aged 15 and older are regular users of the internet.
  • 84% of users reported having bought something online.
  • The average Canadian user was reported to spend as much as 24.5 hours on the internet – and this was in 2016!
  • Most Canadians access the internet with high-speed internet connections: Sites and servers have to keep up!

Here’s a few reasons why you should consider it an option, whether you want to pick your first site host or migrate to another one from where you are now.

  1. 1. Data center location and Google Search

    The Canadian market is a powerful one with thousands of users accessing this particular space of the web every day.

    Some people do it to get their daily news, while others log in to find their sports news or go shopping on the internet.

    If your website is hosted through a Canadian web hosting company, this automatically means that your website could potentially rank higher on Canada-based search rankings.

    Server location is said to be one of the determining factors in Google’s algorithm, so if you are solely targeting Canadian users, it makes most sense to host with a company that has a data center in Canada, regardless of whether the company itself is Canadian or not.

  2. 2. The Potential of a .ca Domain

    One of the first things you choose when registering your website or name on the online space for the first time is your domain name – and of course, domain’s ending.

    For many brands, what they choose their domain as has a lot to do with their success (and also a lot to do with how they advertise themselves to their customer or visitor base).

    Even if you know nothing else about hosting a website, you know that websites can end in .com .ca .net .org and the list goes on, with .ca obviously pointing to Canada.

    Educational websites might have the .edu prefix, government sites share a .gov addition to the name – and the potential for possible things to end your website with are vast.

    If you register your website or domain with a Canadian hosting company, you have the option of adding a .ca domain to the list.

    This can be powerful for companies who want to promote their brand in the Canadian consumer space, for companies who are migrating their brand into Canada, for people who already have a Canadian fan or client base out there or for people who hope to.

    It is believed that a .ca ranks better for Canadian based searches and searches on Google.ca. Check out our guide on domain names in Canada to learn more about domain names!>

  3. 3. Great Web Hosting Company Options

    If you’re tired of traditional and popular hosting options like BlueHost or GoDaddy, do some more research into the Canadian web hosting space and you might find out that it’s perfect for your hosting needs.

    There are many Canadian hosting company options, many of which provide a greater detail of attention to your success vs a behemoth like GoDaddy. Each has its pros and cons.

    If you aren’t happy with the larger companies or the global companies, a local option with a strong infrastructure is something you should highly consider.

  4. 4. Cheaper Per-Month Hosting

    Speaking of cheaper, choosing to host your website in Canada rather than another country or the United States could mean that website hosting costs you less than it does right now – or at least, less than it would for the same speed and data in another country.

    A common obstacle for website hosting is cost and a great deal of website owners report that they feel like they are paying too much for website hosting.

    This is partially because there are more competing companies: Canada has a whole range of different web hosting companies that help large and small companies get a foot in the door – and many of them can keep prices lower than hosting companies in the US.

    This is also partially because of the exchange rate for non-Canadians: Paying hosting fees in Canada can mean you aren’t paying as much as hosting fees anywhere else.

    If you think that your current site hosting costs too much, why not consider Canada?

  5. 5. The Legal Benefits of Canadian Web Hosting

    Other than the benefits that have already been mentioned, there’s one more great reason why you should consider hosting your website (or migrating your current data) over to servers that are hosted in Canada: The legal benefits.

    Canadian web hosting can be cheaper and more secure than your current site hosting option, but there are also additional legal benefits that might make it a worthwhile option.

    Websites hosted in Canada have data protection laws particular to Canada which may serve you or your business better.

    If you are a Canadian business collecting customer data, it probably makes the most sense to keep that Canadian data on our soil.

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