The best web hosts for Canadian websites are globally fast, feature-rich, and offer excellent support for all your website needs. With worry-free performance and privacy protection, your website will be well prepared from the get-go.
Our #1 web host for Canada goes to Hostinger – with blazing fast speeds in Canada and quality perks at affordable prices.
We want to make sure the best web hosting for Canada is fast and reliable, no matter where you’re based. So, we’ve handpicked the top 5 web hosts out of the 40+ brands we tested – each with an average global response time of less than 180 ms and 99.9% uptime, at a value price!
Hostinger is a web hosting company hailed from Lithuania and has eyes set on global domination.
Started in 2004, it’s already spread across 40 countries, with 7 data centers worldwide! The closest to Canada is their South Carolina datacenter.
Our test site results didn’t disappoint:
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|75 ms||21 ms||92 ms||244 ms||136 ms|
|211 ms||265 ms||172 ms||37 ms||107 ms|
It scored another A+ rating with an average speed of 136 ms. The response time for Canada was 37 ms – meaning VERY very quick loading speeds for Canadian audiences.
Though, we have to admit. Our favourite thing about Hostinger is how crazy affordable it is!
Starting from CA$0.80/mo (for a 2 year commitment) Hostinger is consistently one of the cheapest hosts on the market. And we’re not talking cheap and nasty – remember, these are A+ speeds.
Hostinger takes uptime very seriously and protects users with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and their Bitninja security suite.
Sure, there are some functions missing, like CDN and daily backups. However they do offer a Cache Manager to help speed things up, and an excellent support interface, where good help is only a few seconds away. You’ll manage everything from their custom, user-friendly hPanel interface that’s a modern twist on the popular cPanel.
Hostinger definitely gives you great value for what you’re getting, and is a fantastic option for beginners and those on a budget.
Next on our list is HostPapa – an independently-owned Canadian company based in Toronto.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|67 ms||28 ms||80 ms||231 ms||132 ms|
|200 ms||203 ms||173 ms||8 ms||95 ms|
HostPapa got an A+ for their worldwide average speed, at a blazing 121.7 ms!
It performs really well in the US and Canada, but not so much for other regions.
So whilst this may not be a great choice for websites who have audiences outside Canada or the United States… things should load blazing fast if your audience is within the region.
It’s cheapest Starter plan costs CA$3.95 per month (for a 3 year commitment), although this jumps up considerably on renewal. The good news is you get a lot of value – two websites, free domain registration, 100GB of disk space, ‘unlimited’ bandwidth, Cloudflare CDN and SSL… the list goes on.
You’ll also have access to some unique forms of support. They offer a large library of self-help videos, and 24/7 support failing that. You can even schedule a one-on-one video/telephone session with ‘Papa Squad Experts’!
Another impressive aspect is that HostPapa purchases 100% green renewable energy to power their datacenters and office spaces. Similar to GreenGeeks, you’ll even get some banners to show your audience your site is powered by 100% green energy!
However, on further research we did come across some frustrated reviews of customers who were unhappy with the support received.
There have also been reports of sneaky add ons at the checkout and a rumoured cancellation fee if you try and use their ‘30-Day return policy’. We personally haven’t had any negative experiences, but it’s perhaps worth reading up further to see what you make of it.
Next is the mean, green, California-born machine that is GreenGeeks.
They’re an independently-owned company with 5 datacenters worldwide. Good news is, there’s one right in Canada!
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|66 ms||19 ms||191 ms||455 ms||151 ms|
|324 ms||262 ms||214 ms||9 ms||95 ms|
With an average speed of 178.6 ms, GreenGeeks is fast. You can definitely see the difference made by the datacenter being in Canada – the server response time from Canada is a crazy 9 ms!
That means loading times for Canadian audiences that are pretty hard to beat.
What else do they offer on top of speed?
Here’s what we found most impressive: GreenGeeks has the biggest green commitment out of all the hosts on this list.
They’ve gone beyond the waste-minimising and energy efficient work practices. Hosting with GreenGeeks means you will not be simply carbon-neutral, but “carbon-reducing”.
How? Well, GreenGeeks actually puts 3x the energy they consume back into the grid by purchasing wind energy credits. In short, it’s 300x energy efficient!
Not only is this a feel-good and responsible option, you may reap other benefits too.
GreenGeeks has a number of badges you can use on your website to let visitors know that your online business is earth-friendly. But green and speed aside, GreenGeeks’ benefits don’t stop there.
Even their lowest shared plan gets you unlimited space, bandwidth, domains, emails and databases.
One final big advantage to GreenGeeks that not all the hosts on this list have – the datacenter is hosted in Canada.
Remember how we mentioned that PIPEDA laws leave you responsible for protecting any personal info collected from Canadian individuals? Hosting in a datacenter within Canada means this data will be protected by the Canadian constitution, which can lend you some extra peace of mind.
All of the above, for a very reasonable introductory price of CA$3.95 a month (for a 3 year commitment).
In all, GreenGeeks has a feel-good factor all around. You’ll be helping to make a difference, whilst reaping the benefits of an excellent hosting provider on Canadian soil.
It’s a host that’s as solid as they come. Impressive features, excellent performance and consistently fast speeds that continue to best the competition.
Formed in 2004, SiteGround has now grown to 6 datacenters worldwide. The closest one to Canada is Chicago, so we hosted a site from there to suss it out.
Our test site data scored a solid A+.
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|68 ms||33 ms||96 ms||233 ms||181 ms|
|243 ms||203 ms||165 ms||29 ms||118 ms|
SiteGround’s average response time of 136.9 ms makes it one of the fastest web hosts. More importantly, it pinged a blisteringly fast 29 ms from Canada! This is in part thanks to SiteGround’s speed-enhancing SSD disks – said to deliver data up to 30% faster than regular HDDs.
Even better, they recently moved ALL their data centers to the Google Cloud Platform! Google is, after all, the benchmark when it comes to site loading speed, so you can rest assured your site will be zippy.
SiteGround also offers a slew of add-ons to enhance speed. All plans come with free Cloudflare CDN integration, plus premium SuperCacher to boost load times up to 4x. All that means slick & smooth content delivery.
And aside from speed?
SiteGround is super reliable. We can attest to their 99.9% uptime guarantee by our own uptime checker. It’s registered as 100% since 2016!
They’ve backed this up with a state-of-the-art security suite with an AI solution that fights off millions of brute-force attacks every day, plus a 24/7 support team. Did we mention they’re a feel-good company that seems to prioritise happy employees? (as evidenced by their rave reviews on Glassdoor).
Their ‘recommended’ GrowBig plan starts at CA$13.60/mo. Bear in mind this will jump up to CA$34/mo upon renewal. So sure, SiteGround isn’t the cheapest option, but it does deliver solid offerings on all fronts.
Finishing off our list of best web host providers for Canadian websites is A2 – another international company. They offer a huge range of hosting options across servers that span Europe, Asia and the USA.
Their closest datacenter to Canada is in Michigan. We messed around and set up a test site to see what the numbers might say:
|US (W)||US (E)||London||Singapore||Sao Paulo|
|63 ms||10 ms||129 ms||234 ms||145 ms|
|433 ms||214 ms||147 ms||13 ms||110 ms|
As can be seen, A2 also scored itself a proud A+ with an average speed of 149.8 ms.
The Canada datacenter pinged in at 13 ms – very quick indeed!
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised – our test site is hosted on their Turbo plan, which is geared for speed in every way. It runs on Turbo web hosting servers (said to load sites up to 20x quicker) and has the option of 3 levels of caching.
In fact, all shared hosting plans come with speed-enhancing SSD storage, Cloudflare CDN, Hackscan protection, and apps that are all customized to run more effectively (which all adds up to reduce loading time).
However, what’s also really great about A2 is it throws in a ton of value. Anything above their Swift plan will come with an attractive list of ‘unlimiteds’.
This includes unlimited websites, email addresses, total databases, storage, transfers and more! You won’t even need to pay for SSL.
All this, at a reasonable price, makes A2 a very feature-rich solution.
They’ve also partnered with Carbonfund.org to offset their servers’ CO2 emissions. They uphold green practices such as employee telecommuting, recycling older servers to stop them going into landfills, and running nifty little promotions, like planting 3-trees for every host package sold during a given month.
Just bear in mind ‘Unlimited’ can never be taken literally. Sites that breach their allocated resource share, do run the chance of having their resources restricted by the host. We did also read some complaints about slow support.
One thing’s for sure – now’s an exciting time if you’re reaching out to a Canadian audience. Especially if you’re an online business.
Canadians are set to spend over $39 million online in 2019.
Almost half of Canadians say they shop online at least once a month. It’s not just little purchases either – in one study, three-quarters of respondents said they spend up to $200 a month online, and nearly 10% spend up to $500!
Sure, e-commerce is still dominated by big international giants like Amazon, and you’ll need to deliver a top-notch customer experience. But there’s one big thing on your side – a love for local.
Canadians have continued to show a strong preference for Canadian brands. In one VL Omni survey, 62% of Canadians who shop internationally online said they would rather shop domestically. That means that if you leverage on your site being home-spun, you might have a real advantage.
This attitude and this sort of spending spells out huge opportunity.
Maybe you’re jumping on-board with a WordPress or Shopify store. Maybe an affiliate website. Whatever you pick – bear in mind the form of your website will also determine what your needs from your hosting provider will be.
Regardless of how you decide to ride this wave, the ‘right’ host will support your website’s growth, and give it its best chance to cash into Canada’s thriving e-comm scene.
Research has also suggested that Canadians are an especially tech-savvy population.
Meaning? Well, they have certain expectations that online businesses need to meet.
In one survey of Canadians, 52% said companies need to provide a cutting-edge digital experience if they expected to keep their business.
An even higher percentage said they would share a bad experience on social media or peer review sites – a business’s worst nightmare!
This all means you’ll need to do everything in your power to provide an excellent user experience for anyone who comes across your site. This includes making sure your site loads lightning-quick, stays online even during peak periods, and can protect itself against hackers and vulnerabilities. All things that a good host will support, and a bad host, can ruin.
Aside from being innovation-conscious, Canadians also have high ethical expectations from companies.
More so than many other countries, there is a ‘green’ expectation. According to a Leger’s OMNIWeb Canada survey, 43% of Canadian adults are more willing to purchase products that have a responsible environmental claim. In other words, being ‘green’ can factor into whether or not a brand is picked over a competitor.
You may well be part of this statistic – and are looking for a hosting provider that can create a positive energy footprint. If so – you’ll be happy to know there are a couple on our host list today!
Here’s another big thing every Canadian site owner should know about: PIPEDA.
Canada has some unique privacy laws. The big one is the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which applies to personal information that is collected during the course of commercial activities. It requires companies to request individuals’ consent to the collection of their data, and to help protect it from misuse.
We’ve summarised some of the key principles below:
PIPEDA is a hefty topic that we’d recommend you do more research on outside this article. You can read a good introduction here.
PIPEDA can affect your host provider decision-making in a number of ways. However, the type of website you’re offering will determine how much precaution you will need to take.
For example, sites that need to collect a lot of personal data may prefer to use a hosting provider that offers datacenters on Canadian soil, so as to be absolutely sure your host and your site are 100% compliant.
If your website is unlikely to deal with a lot of personal data, it may be more important for you to select a host that offers exceptional speed or support, even if its datacenters are outside Canada.
However, regardless of the amount of personal data you intend to process, a good host should absolutely help protect your site against security breaches by helping provide a solid line of defense.
To pick out the host for you, you’ll want exactly WHAT you should be looking for.
Different hosts market themselves on different strengths and specialties. However, there are some definite things to be aware of when comparing hosts for Canadian sites.
Let’s go over these quickly.
A good web host needs to be FAST. At Bitcatcha, we often argue that this is probably the most important mark of an excellent host.
That’s because a website’s loading speed can make or break your user experience. Faster host speed will mean quicker load times and higher retention. These days, online users have sky-high expectations, expecting a page to load in under 2 seconds.
Slow loading pages lead to dissatisfied customers. And where do dissatisfied customers go?
A good host will be optimised for speed in both its hardware and software – for example through CDN or caching technology.
To compare each of our hosts’ speed, we’ll be using our trusty Bitcatcha website speed checker (excuse the shameless plug).
We have 10x testing nodes installed in different locations to simulate people around the globe visiting your site.
And – you guessed it – we’ll be using it to measure how quickly a server responds to a request from Canada.
Fun fact – a whopping 77% of Canadians are concerned about cyberattacks against organizations that may have access to their personal information.
Whilst you, the site owner, are accountable for keeping their data safe to PIPEDA standards, a good host will partner with you to help you meet these regulations.
How? By offering a strong line of defense from hackers and malware.
HOW? Think firewalls, SSL certifications and a proactive monitoring system to help catch vulnerabilities before they become bigger problems.
Downtime is the enemy of traffic, reputation and opportunity. A good host will do everything in its power to prevent it.
Look out for hosts with an uptime guarantee of at least 99%. Even better, have a look at third-party tools like UptimeRobot and reviews to verify their claim.
One thing that can really help you avoid downtime is an excellent customer support team. A good host should offer around-the-clock support from a team of experts. This could be through live chat, phone, a ticketing system, or all of the above.
As we’ve mentioned, this is an important factor for many Canadians. Hosting datacenters use a tremendous amount of energy to keep their facilities running. Luckily, some hosts have made active efforts to try and offset their carbon footprint.
Environmentally-friendly hosting can occur through some sort of exchange of green power credits for power used. Alternatively, a host might simply use renewable forms of power. Or, make a conscious effort to reduce waste. We reckon it’s definitely a worthy consideration, and your audience may very well agree.
Lastly, a good host should offer good value for money. You should have all the functions that you need, at a price that won’t break the bank.
Take a close look at what inclusions you’re getting. Hosts tend to vary on whether or not they throw in the following for free:
You’re this close to knowing everything you need to know about web hosting! All that’s left to do is to learn all about the differences and nuances of the types of hosting services available, and you’re practically a bona fide expert on the topic.
This might all sound mundane, technical and even boring, but believe me it’s highly important. If you select the wrong type of hosting service, you probably won’t realize it until much later when your site starts picking up traffic.
Then, you’ll realize that you’ll need different sorts of resources for your website, but it’s too late to back out and you’re stuck paying for a service that doesn’t quite do your business justice.
Take it from us, because we’ve made that mistake before.
Let’s jump in and have a look at the different types of web hosting services available, so you don’t make the same mistake we did.
Shared web hosting is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll be sharing server space with a bunch of other users on the same server, with the resources split evenly among everyone.
This is by far our most recommended web hosting type, as it’s great for general purpose use, and actually performs surprisingly well if you go for a reliable brand that takes no nonsense from errant users.
It’s simple, uncomplicated, perfect for first timers thinking about dipping their feet in building a website. Most of them are really quite affordable too, which is always a plus in our books.
The only problem with shared web hosting is that rogue users might (intentionally or not) take up too much resources, causing slowdowns for everyone else sharing that same server.
However, as mentioned earlier, pick a reliable brand that takes no nonsense from their users (like Hostinger), and you’ll be fine!
While shared web hosting hosts multiple websites on a single server, with cloud web hosting, your website will exist across multiple servers – a cluster of servers, to be exact, in the cloud.
This means that the provider can literally choose other servers to load up your site from, if a particular one is under stress or is facing performance issues, which ensures stable, consistent, site load speeds!
Users usually upgrade from shared hosting to cloud hosting once they feel that their website has outgrown the resources that shared web hosting provides.
How would you know if it’s time to upgrade?
Well, when you’re allocated bandwidth is constantly being used up due to heavy traffic, or if your web hosting provider straight up complains and TELLS you to do it, then yeah it’s time to upgrade.
Aside from it’s obvious speed benefits, cloud web hosting provides users with a whole lot more features than shared hosting, such as balanced load, better security and easy scalability.
However, the downside is the price. Good things don’t come cheap, and cloud web hosting is unmistakably, good.
VPS servers, otherwise known as Virtual Private Servers, are actually quite similar to the abovementioned cloud hosting.
The key difference between these two is that while cloud hosting utilizes several different machines on the cloud, VPS hosting uses one massive physical server which is then partitioned into several different servers.
Each one of these partitions act as a dedicated server on its own with its own resources, but at a much larger scale than what a shared hosting server would provide.
Faster and highly reliable compared to shared hosting servers, VPS hosting is typically very customizable, easily upgradable, and the partitions can be configured however you want to suit your needs.
Since each partition acts as a dedicated server, you’ll enjoy greater privacy and security – you won’t have to worry about resource hogging, traffic surges or privacy breaches from other users.
If you’re experiencing heavy traffic spikes on your ecommerce site, or if the website you’re running is particularly resource heavy, you should consider upgrading to a VPS account from your shared hosting server.
You’ll have to pay quite a bit more, but we personally feel that the damage to the wallet is actually worth the trade off in performance, stability, security and resources.
For those of you looking for complete control over your servers, or if you just have deep pockets and a deep dislike for sharing, you might want to look into dedicated hosting plans.
With dedicated web hosting, you’ll practically be renting an entire server with ALL of its resources, dedicated just for you or your business. That’s the equivalent of booking out an entire restaurant or movie theatre, just for a date.
Better make damn sure that date is worth it!
Best suited for large enterprises or successful sites with consistently high daily traffic, dedicated web hosting users will have full access to the server, with the ability to configure it to support the exact amount of web traffic required to keep the site running.
Its uses include being able to install alternative operating systems for the webserver, or running performance-enhancing utilities like advanced page caching systems which require specific server hardware that only dedicated servers can provide.
With its superior speeds, reliability, resources, and most importantly, customizability, they are typically used to support extremely high levels of traffic for ecommerce, media, or publishing sites.
However, be prepared to get your kidney familiar with the black market to pay for its services. Dedicated Web Hosting does not come cheap and rightly so, considering you’re literally renting out an entire server for yourself.
It might even come with unexpected expenses too, such as licensing for software that are required to get the server running, i.e. Windows, or maybe even cPanel.
Managed WordPress hosting is just the bees knees of… well, hosting WordPress sites.
If you’re running an enterprise site based on WordPress (and if your wallets are deep enough) we’d always recommend using managed WordPress hosting services.
It has all the benefits of WordPress Hosting, but MANAGED!
Okay, I realize that doesn’t say much. Let me elaborate.
First up, Managed WordPress Hosting isn’t all that much different from regular shared hosting, except that you’ll get to enjoy all of the perks and none of the drawbacks – always fast, backed up, and secured!
All you have to do is sort out the initial set up, and since it’s literally managed, you can just kick back and sip on a cocktail while the experts work on keeping your site well oiled and running smoothly.
You won’t need to worry about WordPress updates, because they’ll manage that for you. Security concerns are forgotten because, well, they’ll manage all your security updates. You won’t even need to lose sleep over optimizing your site because it’s… managed!
If something goes wrong, don’t panic – these services usually will have WordPress experts as support to sort everything out for you because… managed!
You get the idea by now.
The only note about managed WordPress hosting is that you might not be able to install the plugins you want, and it’s kinda damaging to the ol’ wallet.
So, we’ve covered how to determine a good web hosting service, the types of web hosting available, and the benefits of picking a provider with a data center in Canada.
Before you go bragging to all your friends about your newfound expertise in web hosting, let us do you the favour of stopping you right there, cause we’ve yet to talk about which type of web hosting is suitable for YOUR website.
First up, you’re going to need to know what kind of website you’re looking to build. By doing so, you’ll know what sort of features you’ll need, the amount of resources required, and all the little extras that are required to run your website.
Decide if the website you want is going to be a:
So, which type of web hosting is best for you?
Quite frankly, we don’t have the answer to that. Each one of these services serve a different purpose, and there really is no “best” web hosting service, only the one that works better for your business or website.
For those that are just starting out or are looking for an affordable option to host your website, you just can’t go wrong with a shared web hosting plan. Just make sure that the service comes with good features, knowledgeable support, and is able to handle the traffic you’re expecting for your site.
Let’s recap our top 3 host picks for Canadian websites:
Remember the things we said were worth looking out for in a host?
However, at the end of the day, the ‘best’ host is the one that best suits your needs and priorities as a user.
Figure out the purpose of your website, and find out which kind of web hosting would be best to fulfil that purpose. Generally, for small business or personal sites, shared web hosting should be enough to cover all the bases. If it’s for a large to medium website, best not cheap out – go for something that provides you with more resources like VPS hosting.
If you’ve got the right server software, hardware and technical expertise, yes you can. Though your website performance will most likely be nowhere as reliable as those hosted on professional web hosting services. Hosting your own website is generally not worth the effort for the average user, and you’ll be better off just hosting your site through web hosting companies.
Shared web hosting can cost CA$28 to CA$520 per year – excluding domain and SSL. Domains would typically cost you CA$15 – CA$100 a year, while SSL can cost anything from as little as CA$15 up to CA$240 per annum. These can build up to cost quite a bit, so we highly recommend a web hosting service that offers both domain AND SSL for free, like Hostinger and HostPapa.
If you’re building a WordPress site targeting the USA, Bluehost would be the preferred web hosting choice. If it’s a non-WordPress site with a global audience, it’s better to pick GoDaddy. Note that Hostinger would be a great choice for both. They’re optimized for WordPress and have 7 data centers worldwide.