What makes the best Canadian web hosting?


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This post was provoked by constant reminder of how “top 10” web hosting lists are not only creating a marketing problem, but how disruptive they are at educating the market about the standards and expectations. I’ve recently made a post about how even respectable legacy media has fallen to lying about what’s supposed to be an easy and transparent technology article, especially when talking about a specific geographical segment of the business—Canadian in this case.

We know the tactics are dirty. In fact, they’ve been dirty for so long that publishers have founds ways to take advantage and make them even dirtier, to the point that some brands are starting to pull back and impose all kinds of restrictions on publishers in respect to their own policies.

Because of constant advertising domination by American brands, I find that most Canadians aren’t fully aware of what to really look for in a purely Canadian hosting company in order to yield the most benefit for their personal or business website. For Canadians, or foreign clients looking to host their website in Canada, who may come across this post: I’d love for you to at least walk away with a better idea of requirements to ensure the best Canadian web hosting experience:

.ca domain. A .ca domain is the best signal to the visitors that a product or a service is intended for Canadians. If you are a Canadian web hosting company and promote .ca domains to potential clients, I don’t know how you can run on anything but .ca domain yourself.

Canadian datacenter. Not only you are keeping your files in Canada, but your website will be closer to your own clients. In most cases it means your website will be much quicker to load to other visitors from Canada than if your website was hosted in a datacenter located in the United States, Europe or elsewhere in the world. Look for a hosting company with datacenter(s) in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal.

Office in Canada. A company that is not only incorporated, but also has a physical presence in Canada, is not only supporting Canadian economy, but is playing by the same rules as you.

Canadian employees. Having Canadian employees shows stability, commitment and better understanding of your business needs as a client.

Pricing in Canadian dollars. I don’t know many Canadians who enjoy paying for services in U.S. dollars or other currencies. The exchange rate is usually not in your favour, so stick to a company that sells hosting services in Canadian currency and protect yourself from currency fluctuations.

CIRA certification. If you come across a hosting company that is actively pushing .ca domain registrations, having a provider that is certified by CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority that manages .CA internet domain) provides an extra layer of security.

I welcome you to add point(s) if you think that I’ve missed something of value. My primary objective is that people start looking beyond top lists and begin reading between the lines of articles such as the one in Forbes, which that link above is about. It’s very easy to get distracted by publisher’s credibility or sense of authority, but it’s actually the time to do the opposite — start paying attention to what is being sold and how.

Have any members here outside of Canada had an experience hosting in Canada? Would love to gather feedback on who it was with, which DC location you went for and what was the reason that made you go for Canadian hosting in the first place?

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