Over the past years, there has been an almost frantic focus on business digitalization in Canada. In 2021, the digital buyer penetration rate has hit over 70% – an audience of more than 27 million people. Meeting the needs of this audience requires an effective digital strategy built around a robust and effective platform.
The core of your digital solution should be the best web hosting that you can find.
WebHostingSecretRevealed (WHSR) has spent years collecting data and exploring web hosting companies. If you’re looking for the best web hosting for a Canadian business, you’ve come to the right place.
* Note: $1 = CA $1.26
Hosting Available: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, Dedicated Servers
With over 13 years in the web hosting business, GreekGeeks is one of the more mature and stable names you’ll encounter. The small but focused team comes with diverse skills and is all dedicated to service and quality.
Why Choose GreenGeeks for Canada Web Hosting
GreenGeeks is the perfect match for most Canadian businesses. It’s a US-based company with servers in Montreal in Canada, Chicago in the US, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. That makes it a good fit regardless of where your target audience lies.
Another claim to fame for GreenGeeks is their eco-friendly hosting. Given the copious amounts of energy sucked in by data centers, GreenGeeks returns the favor in various ways. For example, they buy enough renewable Energy Certificates to cover three times the energy consumed.
GreenGeeks offers all types of web hosting plans ranging from entry-level shared hosting to powerful dedicated servers. They also have specialized web hosting plans such as those built around the WordPress platform.
Find out more from our GreenGeeks review.
GreenGeeks Data Center Locations
- Chicago, USA
- Montreal, Canada
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Environmentally-friendly web hosting
- Free SSL certificate and domain name
- Unlimited SQL databases
- Email hosting included
- Website builder
- Daily backups
- The steep jump in pricing for renewals
- App-based media streaming is not allowed
Hosting Available: Shared, WordPress, Cloud/VPS, Reseller, Dedicated Servers
ScalaHosting originates from Sofia, Bulgaria, but today considers Dallas, Texas, its second home. The company is geared towards innovation, resulting in performance and cost-savings features you won’t easily find elsewhere.
Why Choose ScalaHosting for Canada Web Hosting
ScalaHosting may not be native to Canada, but the company offers distinct advantages. The first is their second home base of Texas, which brings US-based data centers closer to a Canadian audience.
In addition, ScalaHosting builds proprietary software that it offers customers at no cost. One example is SPanel, the impressive cPanel alternative, which helps you avoid expensive cPanel licensing fees.
ScalaHosting now boasts several key partnerships that allow them to offer even better hosting. They’ve teamed up with AWS and Digital Ocean to expand significantly on their Cloud and VPS portfolio. That means more choices for you under a single umbrella.
Check out our ScalaHosting review.
ScalaHosting Data Center Locations
- Texas, USA
- New York, USA
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Bangalore, India (via Digital Ocean)
- London, UK (via Digital Ocean)
- Singapore (via Digital Ocean)
- Frankfurt, Germany (via Digital Ocean)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (via Digital Ocean)
- San Francisco, USA (via Digital Ocean)
- Toronto, Canada (via Digital Ocean)
- Very affordable managed VPS plans
- Free SPanel control panel
- Free SShield real-time cybersecurity application
- AWS and Digital Ocean plans are available
- Free domain name, SSL, and CDN
- 7-day backup cycles
- SPanel is a bit lightweight in features
- Price almost doubles on renewal
Hosting Available: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller
On this list, HostPapa is the only true-blue Canadian web host we recommend. The company was founded over a decade ago and came from Ontario, Canada. It offers a wide range of hosting-related services aside from web hosting alone.
Why Choose HostPapa for Canada Web Hosting
Like GreenGeeks, HostPapa comes with an eco-friendly approach to web hosting. Although not quite as rabidly green, it still purchases 100% renewable energy to power all its equipment. That extends beyond data centers and includes their office computers and environment.
HostPapa operates servers in data centers located in Canada, the US, and Europe. That makes it a good fit whether you need to keep things purely local or address a broader audience. In addition, it’s known for its excellent performance and reliability.
Businesses will find HostPapa an incredibly compelling choice thanks to its range of extended services. For example, PapaCare+ is an optional service you can use to offload all technical issues to keep focused on your core business needs.
Find out more from HostPapa review.
HostPapa Data Center Locations
- Toronto, Canada
- Los Angeles, USA
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Green hosting provider
- Responsive customer support
- Wide range of hosting and services
- Free SSL and domain name
- Generous resource allocation
- Website builder included
- Steep renewal pricing
- Automated backups cost extra
4. WP Engine
Hosting Available: Managed WordPress, WooCommerce
WP Engine is a web hosting provider a little out of the norm. It doesn’t offer a full range of hosting services but focuses solely on WordPress hosting. Based out of Texas, the company has been around since 2010.
Why Choose WP Engine for Canada Web Hosting
Depending on the plan chosen, WP Engine opens a wide range of possibilities. They have a good range of server locations available, thanks to Google and Amazon architecture. That means a choice of one based in Canada, North America, or anywhere else worldwide.
As a Managed WordPress hosting provider, their prices are on the steep side. However, they justify this with stunning performance and the premise of a hands-off experience for WordPress website owners.
Essentially, you just need to focus on building and running the website. WP Engine will ensure that it performs neck to neck with the best hosting servers in the market. The plans include lots of bells and whistles, from free premium themes to one-click website staging.
Here's the in-depth review of WP Engine.
WP Engine Data Center Locations
- Iowa, USA (Google)
- South Carolina, USA (Google)
- Oregon, USA (Google and AWS)
- Virginia, USA (AWS)
- Ohio, USA (AWS)
- Montreal, Canada (Google and AWS)
- St. Ghislain, Belgium (Google)
- London, UK (Google and AWS)
- Frankfurt, Germany (Google and AWS)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (Google)
- Singapore (AWS)
- Changhua County, Taiwan (Google)
- Tokyo, Japan (Google)
- Sydney, Australia (Google and AWS)
- Crystal-clear terms of service
- Extended 60-day money-back guarantee
- No steep renewal price hikes
- Uses Google and Amazon infrastructure
- Extensive WordPress resource library
- No email hosting
- No domain name registration
Hosting Available: Cloud Hosting
Cloudways started in Malta back in 2009, but today they’ve physically expanded to several locations. Unlike most regular hosting providers, they’re more of an integrator instead. Cloud hosting can be complex, and to address that, Cloudways offers a convenient user interface to help users handle everything.
Why Choose Cloudways for Canada Web Hosting
Cloudways is designed for business use and offers high levels of performance and reliability. There’s also a wide range of options here since it works with several Cloud service providers. Its partners include Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud.
For businesses that need high-powered hosting plans but don’t have the necessary expertise to handle Cloud hosting, Cloudways is an excellent choice. Their system dashboard makes Cloud as easy as shared hosting, ideal for SMEs.
The wide range of service providers it works with means you get many server locations from which to choose. Bringing your business closer to your target market has never been easier or more accurate.
Read our Cloudways review here.
Cloudways Data Center Locations
- Simplified Cloud hosting
- Broad choice of infrastructure providers
- No contract lock-ins
- Unlimited applications on all plans
- Free migration and SSL certificates
- Higher than the base cost of Cloud hosting
- Limited control over hosting servers
Digital Adoption in Canada is Booming
With so many countries pushing for digital adoption, Canada hasn’t fallen behind either. If you’re still sitting on the fence about moving part of your business onto cyberspace, there are many compelling reasons to do so.
Thanks to excellent infrastructure, almost all of Canada is highly connected. That means over 99% of the population has digital access, increasing the likelihood of making a digital purchase. From goods to services, it’s a massive market you can tap.
$40 Billion in Potential Revenue by 2025
By 2025 it’s projected that Canadian eCommerce revenue will hit $40 billion. Remember that as that number grows, physical retail is likely going to dip. The numbers indicate a growing shift towards the digital space on which you can capitalize.
Recognizing this growth, the Canadian government is helping businesses move towards the digital scene. The Grow Your Business Online program offers small businesses a chance to move online with micro-grants of up to $2,400.
Changing Business Landscape
Even without the massive eCommerce boom, recent events have changed the business landscape. More are shifting towards the digital space to adapt to customer needs and stay relevant in current times.
This shift to digital is especially relevant to Canada since over 97% of businesses there are in the SME space. The webspace acts as a force multiplier, allowing these smaller businesses to compete on a more level playing ground locally and globally.
Types of Different Hosting Plans
While web hosting companies tend to market web hosting following customer demand, the reality is that there are only a few key types of hosting. Your choice of web hosting plan affects many things, including performance, customer experience, security, scalability, cost, and more.
Understanding the differences between various web hosting plans will help you fit them more accurately to business needs.
Among web hosting plans, shared hosting is the cheapest and easiest to manage. In shared hosting, hundreds of customers occupy a single server, each “sharing” (hence the name) from a common resource pool.
This resource sharing means your website may not always get the resources it needs on-demand, causing performance to be affected. Shared hosting is generally only suitable for smaller websites with a limited audience.
VPS / Cloud Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a step up from shared hosting. Although multiple customers still occupy the same hardware, they get dedicated resources, assuring availability when needed. VPS and Cloud hosting users can quickly increase resources, making these plans excellent for long-term viability.
Cloud hosting is similar to VPS but extends the resources available across multiple servers. Business or eCommerce websites, in general, should use VPS hosting to ensure better performance and, most importantly, data security.
Among web hosting plans, dedicated hosting is often considered the most powerful and secure. You’re essentially getting an entire server for yourself. This solo “ownership” means that dedicated servers offer the best security profile among web hosting plans.
The downside, however, is cost. Regardless of the resources consumed by your website, the server configuration isn’t easily scalable. You’ll need to decide – and pay for – the entire server in advance.
Technically, WordPress hosting isn’t an original category of web hosting. Its emergence stems from the popularity of this Content Management System (CMS) among web hosting customers. Hence, it became a widely marketed term.
WordPress hosting plans are primarily sold based on shared or VPS/Cloud hosting. The difference is that opting for a WordPress hosting plan means the CMS usually comes pre-installed. In some cases, hosting companies also offer WordPress-centric advantages like premium themes of customized plugins.
What to Look for in a Great Canadian Web Host
The closer a web hosting server is to your target market, the faster your website will load. This speed increase is due to lower latency, the time required for data to travel physical distances. Choose a server location as close to your intended audience as possible.
For example, if your business is in Montreal and you’re targeting customers in that state alone, the ideal server location would be in Montreal itself. This placement would lower latency significantly over choosing a server location in London or even the USA.
For websites with a global audience, you can opt for any place which has excellent infrastructure.
Many buyers consider pricing as a critical element of their choice in a web host. While technically that’s a prudent decision, make sure you’re not sacrificing needed features to enjoy lower hosting prices. The result may affect the usability of your website in the long term.
Although web hosting service providers will take care of server security, some will go the extra mile. These “extras” may come via partnerships with prominent cybersecurity companies or security applications to users.
Some web hosting providers offer features that give them an added advantage over others. ScalaHosting, for example, has SPanel, helping them provide VPS plans at more affordable prices since they avoid the high licensing fees associated with cPanel.
If you’ll notice, only one of the web hosting companies on the list above is resident in Canada. As much as we love supporting local businesses, web hosting is an industry where we always look at multiple areas – and location is just one of them.
Always consider a web hosting solution from the context of business needs. What works best for one business can be massively different compared to what your company needs to use. Choose your web host wisely to avoid unnecessary migrations in the future.
Alternatives: More Canadian Hosting Providers
The hosts we’ve picked as the top 5 for Canada are the best overall of the bunch. However, every business has unique needs, and you may find more joy in some of the others available for the Canadian market.
Here are some local alternatives to consider as well;