Best Web Hosting Choices for Canada

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TL;DR

No matter the reason you want to build a site for Canada, it’s important you can grow with the host you choose. ScalaHosting and Cloudways are good international choices with server locations in Canada; HostPapa and GreenGeeks are top home-grown players we recommend.

Note: While our HostScore ratings provide a general overview of host performance, there are other factors you should consider for your specific needs. Our top hosting picks address this by offering tailored suggestions for different requirements, as demonstrated in this article.

Cloudways

Cloudways is a systems integrator specializing in deploying solutions across various cloud platforms including Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud. Their business model is unique, functioning as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider rather than a traditional web server host.

Learn More in Our Review

Data Centers Locations

North America, South America, Oceania, Europe, Asia, and Middle East

Cheapest Hosting Plans Available

Shared Hosting:
/mo

HostScore

%82.8
Hosting Services
Cloud, and Reseller
Visit Online

Cloudways Pros

  • Topnotch server uptime and speed performance
  • Good abstration over complex cloud server setups with integrated dashboard
  • Outstanding customer support
  • High scalability; Autonomous plan supports auto-scaling
  • Easy server cloning, site staging, and website transfer
  • Host unlimited applications in one account
  • 25% discount for first two months with coupon “HOSTSCORE”

Cloudways Cons

  • Getting expensive – Prices increased steadily for the past few years
  • Limited trial period

ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting has a full range of products including Cloud and VPS hosting with its in-house built control panel, sPanel. The “Anytime Unconditional Money-back Guarantee” offered by the company transforms their offers into an irresistible proposition, particularly for those eager to experiment with their services without any financial risk.

Learn More in Our Review

Data Centers Locations

North America, South America, Oceania, Europe, and Asia

Cheapest Hosting Plans Available

Shared Hosting:
$2.95
– $14.95
/mo

HostScore

%81.4
Hosting Services
Shared, Cloud, and Reseller
Visit Online

ScalaHosting Pros

  • Outstanding hosting uptime and speed performance
  • Affordable pricing
  • Anytime unconditional Money-back Guarantee
  • Automated backup with 7 restore points
  • Generous offer in server resources – Even the lowest shared plan gets unmetered bandwidth and unlimited emails
  • NVMe SSD storage for all shared hosting plans
  • Innovative technology – SPanel, SShield, SWordPress

ScalaHosting Cons

  • Price increase during the renewal

Kinsta

Specializing in a very specific niche of web hosting can be an extremely challenging thing to do but Kinsta has managed to succeed. The company offers users the unique opportunity to opt for extremely powerful web hosting that is designed around a single platform – WordPress.

Learn More in Our Review

Data Centers Locations

North America, South America, Oceania, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa

Cheapest Hosting Plans Available

Shared Hosting:
/mo

HostScore

%73.2
Hosting Services
Visit Online

Kinsta Pros

  • Outstanding server uptime and speed performance
  • Choice of 30+ server locations
  • Optimized for best WordPress site performance
  • Plans auto-scale during visitor spikes
  • Specialized WordPress support staff
  • Highly developer-friendly

Kinsta Cons

  • Expensive
  • No email hosting
  • No shared hosting
  • Does not support cron jobs
  • Some WordPress plugins banned

GreenGeeks

With their eco-friendly vision GreenGeeks has positioned themselves in a unique spot to offer hosting that some companies have bylaws mandating them to take advantage of – green hosting. Combined with above-average performance and a good spread of supporting technologies, they are an attractive option for many.

Learn More in Our Review

Data Centers Locations

North America, Europe, and Asia

Cheapest Hosting Plans Available

Shared Hosting:
$2.95
– $8.95
/mo

HostScore

%71.6
Hosting Services
Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Reseller
Visit Online

GreenGeeks Pros

  • Returns 3x power consumed with renewable energy credits
  • Affordable pricing
  • Free daily backup for all shared hosting plans
  • All plans support Perl, Python and Git
  • Free website migration assistance
  • Root access, control panel and cPanel/WHM included in reseller hosting plans

GreenGeeks Cons

  • Price increase during the renewal
  • Slightly lacklustre customer service
  • Non refundable setup fees

HostPapa

Hailing from the land of Maple syrup, HostPapa is as sweet as that not-so-secret sauce. It offers outstanding deals for new signups and has a broad range of hosting plans thrown into the mix. They’re relatively well thought of by the public and stand tall in the hosting space.

Learn More in Our Review

Data Centers Locations

North America, and Europe

Cheapest Hosting Plans Available

Shared Hosting:
$2.95
– $12.95
/mo

HostScore

%69.3
Hosting Services
Shared, VPS, and Reseller
Visit Online

HostPapa Pros

  • Broad range of hosting plans
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Excellent support services
  • Multi-language website

HostPapa Cons

  • Few dev-friendly tools
  • Limited features on lowest shared plans

Choosing a Web Host for Canadian Websites

There are many options when it comes to finding a web host for a site in Canada. While often dismissed as that ‘freezing cold country north of America’, Canada is quite fortunate when it comes to web hosting.

Aside from having a number of good hosting companies with operations there, the country’s proximity to North America opens up the possibilities of using a US-based host as well. This increases the choices available to you significantly.

At the same time, many of the top web hosts we see originate from this region. Still, pay attention to some of the key criteria if you want to host a site in Canada. It can influence not just how good an experience your visitors have, but also their security.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Understand Your Hosting Needs

  • Website Type: Determine if your website is a personal blog, a business website, or an eCommerce website, as each has different hosting requirements.
  • Traffic Volume: Estimate your site’s traffic. Higher traffic sites need more robust hosting solutions to handle the load.
  • Technical Requirements: Consider the technical requirements of your website, such as the type of content management system (CMS) and the programming languages used.

Consider Different Types of Hosting

Having a choice in web hosting plan type may sound like web hosting 101 but it doesn’t just end at cost versus performance. You want to be able to grow with the host you choose. To do this, the hosting company needs to have a range of plan types available.

Thankfully, Canada and nearby North America have a large number of excellent web hosting companies to choose from. In fact, one of the strongest web hosts on this best web hosting for Canada list is exactly a home-grown Canadian company.

  • Shared Hosting: Ideal for small websites and blogs with lower traffic levels – It’s usually the cheapest option but offers limited resources.
  • VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting: A middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting – Suitable for websites with medium-level traffic.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Offers the highest level of resources and control, ideal for large, high-traffic websites.
  • Cloud Hosting: Provides scalable resources based on your site’s needs, perfect for websites with fluctuating traffic.

Having a choice in web hosting plan type may sound like web hosting 101 but it doesn’t just end at cost versus performance. You want to be able to grow with the host you choose. To ensure this, your hosting company needs to have a range of plan types available.

Thankfully, Canada and nearby North America have a large number of excellent web hosting companies to choose from. In fact, one of the strongest web hosts on this best web hosting for Canada list is exactly a home-grown Canadian company.

More on different types of web hosting here.

Key Features to Look For

Getting a website up and running may seem like something quite basic to many. Yet there is a notable difference between up and running as compared to performing well. Here are some key features to look for when searching for a web host.

  • Uptime Guarantee: Look for a provider with a high uptime guarantee (99.95% or higher) to ensure your website is always accessible.
  • Speed: Site loading speed is crucial for user experience and SEO. Opt for hosts with fast server speeds.
  • Customer Support: Ensure 24/7 customer support via multiple channels (phone, email, live chat).
  • Security: Look for features like SSL certificates, firewalls, and regular backups to keep your website secure.
  • Scalability: Your hosting plan should be able to grow with your website. Check for easy scalability options.
  • Server Location: Most hosting companies will offer users a choice of server location for their website. This is important because it impacts the latency of your site for its visitors. The further your website files are from their intended audience, the slower pages will load for them. While in some cases it can be negligible, Canada is pretty far off from most other places in the world apart from North America. Hosting your site on a server halfway across the world – perhaps Australia or Malaysia, is less than optimal.

Consider Pricing and Value

  • Initial vs. Renewal Costs: Some hosts offer low introductory prices that significantly increase upon renewal. Be aware of the total cost of ownership.
  • Refund Policy: Check the refund policy and any money-back guarantees to ensure you’re not locked into a service that doesn’t meet your needs

Notable Local & International Hosting Companies in Canada

In Canada’s web hosting market, people are spoiled for choice. A diverse array of both local and global providers delivers services tailored to various requirements, encompassing everything from modest personal blogs to expansive e-commerce sites.

Locally, home-grown hosting providers like HostPapa, Canadian Web Hosting, and GreenGeeks cater specifically to the Canadian market with a strong emphasis on local data centers. For example, HostPapa offers multiple server locations in the country – Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

On the other hand, international web hosting providers like Cloudways, Kinsta, and ScalaHosting leverage the power of major cloud platforms to offer advanced hosting services in Canada. By utilizing global infrastructure from AWS and Google Cloud Platform, these companies provide scalable, high-performance hosting solutions with the benefit of local server presence. This unique combination allows for flexibility, security, and ease of management, catering to a wide range of hosting needs from managed WordPress hosting to fully managed VPS solutions.

Conclusion

Despite a relatively large landmass and proximity to the US, Canada is a pretty unique and special location. If you’re building a site for this region it should be able to cater to a uniquely diverse audience as well.

Since you would know what they need, spend some time and pay attention to the host you choose to support this audience. At the end of the day, a website’s success is a whole made up of so many things.

About Canada

About Canada the country.
Map of Canada (source)

Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. The population of Canada is estimated at 41 million (source). The total land area is 10 million square kilometers, making it the second-largest country on earth. Ottawa is the capital of Canada, located on the Ottawa River, is the fourth largest metropolitan.

The State of eCommerce in Canada

  • Market Expansion: Canada’s eCommerce market has seen significant expansion in recent years, with a growing number of consumers opting for online shopping due to its convenience, variety, and accessibility.
  • Consumer Preferences: In general, Canadian shoppers show a strong preference for local businesses, with 43% looking for Canadian businesses and 33% aiming to support more local businesses. Additionally, 21% favor small businesses, indicating a robust market for domestic online retailers​ (source)​.
  • Payment Innovations: The introduction of various digital payment options, including mobile wallets and contactless payments, has made online transactions smoother and more secure. Digital wallets and mobile payment apps like PayPal, Venmo, Stripe, and Moneris have become increasingly popular among consumers.
  • Impact of Global Events: The COVID-19 pandemic notably accelerated the adoption of eCommerce, as lockdowns and social distancing measures pushed more consumers and businesses online. For example, retail eCommerce sales in subsectors considered non-essential (like clothing and electronics) initially surged due to store closures. Though – as restrictions lifted and in-store shopping resumed, a decline in eCommerce sales was observed in these sectors (source).
  • Data Protection and Privacy: Regulations around data protection and consumer privacy, such as PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), play a significant role in shaping eCommerce practices.

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Article by Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.
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