It’s a fact—all websites need a web hosting provider. But which is right for your Canadian business? Look for a web host with these features:
- Canada-based servers—for quicker page loads and response times
- Guaranteed 99.9% uptime
- Free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification to safeguard the website
- Email hosting
- .ca domain names—surveys show that Canadians are 4x more likely to shop online from a .ca website over one with a .com domain
Consider the five reputable hosts below. All provide fast web response speeds, a variety of hosting plans, and top-shelf customer support. But which is for choice?
1. Web Hosting Canada (WHC)
Founded in 2003, privately-owned WHC has hosted over 130,000 websites and 40,000 customers. With data centers in Montreal and Vancouver, WHC offers dedicated servers and shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and reseller web hosting (for web developers).
An eco-friendly hosting provider, WHC deploys servers with solid-state drives (SSDs). SSDs are far superior to conventional electromechanical hard disk drives (HDDs), which some web hosts still use. SSDs have quicker access time, no moving parts, much lower latency (lag), and use a fraction of the energy HDDs consume.
While WHC offers fast web load speeds—averaging 1.3 seconds—other hosting providers are faster still.
Toronto-based HostUpon, a privately-owned web host in business since 1998, offers shared hosting, reseller hosting, WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, and VPS. It has four North American data centers with one in Toronto to serve Canadian customers. In total, it hosts over 50,000 websites globally.
Like many of its competitors, HostUpon uses LiteSpeed web servers with SSDs and MariaDB database management software. LiteSpeed servers deliver faster performance and use less CPU and RAM than the venerable Apache server (introduced in 1995). A fork of the MySQL database management system, MariaDB improves on its predecessor with faster replication and caching speeds and more storage options. MySQL is also available.
While eco-friendly HostUpon offers guaranteed 99.9% uptime—now the industry standard—it has yet to furnish live technical support via chat or phone.
3. Dynamic Hosting
A Nova Scotia-based hosting provider founded in 1999, Dynamic Hosting utilizes three Canadian data centers in Halifax, Vancouver, and Calgary. It offers dedicated servers and shared, WordPress, and VPS hosting.
Dynamic hosting provides free website transfer, daily backups, and a free SSL certificate. SSL matters; Google factors websites secured by SSL (i.e., HTTPS) in its search engine rankings.
Note that Dynamic Hosting deploys the Plesk interface control panel instead of the more frequently-used cPanel. While both have an intuitive GUI, industry consensus has it that Plesk is more expensive for hosting websites with an external hosting provider. As Dynamic Hosting explains on their website, “We know we are not the cheapest host out there.”
4. Cirrus Hosting
Toronto-based Cirrus began operations in 1999 and hosts over 100,000 domains. Plans include dedicated servers and VPS, shared, reseller, and WordPress hosting. Note that while Cirrus utilizes three data centers, all are located in the Toronto metro area.
Cirrus divides its plans between Linux and Windows OS hosting. With Windows plans, customers use the Plesk interface control panel. Linux customers may opt for either Plesk or cPanel interface.
For even faster web page load speeds, Cirrus offers Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) free with its premium accounts. However, other web hosts furnish Cloudflare at no additional cost with all of their plans. Too, industry analysts note that Cirrus has a limited number of domains available.
Serving customers in over 150 countries since 2006, GreenGeeks—widely acknowledged as the world’s leading green web host provider—has data centers in Toronto and Montreal. It too provides commonly available hosting plans such as VPS, shared and reseller hosting as well as dedicated servers.
GreenGeeks uses SSDs with RAID-10 arrays, even for its shared hosting plans, on LiteSpeed web servers. GreenGeeks also provides Cloudflare to all its customers, boosting performance by 50% compared to websites that lack a CDN.
Speed tests show that GreenGeeks delivers faster web response times compared to other Canadian-based hosting providers. A recent survey found that response times from GreenGeeks’ Canadian data center averaged 178.6 ms worldwide. Within Canada, response times averaged an astounding 9 ms.
Which Canadian Web Host for Choice?
All the web hosting providers listed above are solid choices to host a Canadian business’ website(s). Too, there’s no “right” web host; choose one that best serves both present and future hosting needs.
That said, GreenGeeks.ca edges its competition by delivering good web response times with well-optimized web and database servers. GreenGeeks also boosts speeds by deploying the latest HTTP/3 transport layers and PHP codes.
In this age of climate change awareness, choose a provider that not only delivers robust, feature-rich hosting plans and stellar support but also demonstrates an unsurpassed commitment to the environment.