3 Best Web Hosting Choices for Canada

3 Best Web Hosting Choices for Canada

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. HostPapa and GreenGeeks are good conventional choices that top our list while Shopify is simply too powerful to be ignored.

Three Top Canadian Web Hosting

Web HostFeaturesOrder
HostPapa
  • Multiple Canadian data centers - Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver
  • Good product range to choose from
  • Excellent customer support
  • Hosting plan starts at $3.95/month
Visit HostPapa
GreenGeeks
  • Canada and North America servers
  • A fully committed green web hosting company
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Hosting plan starts at $2.95/month
Visit GreenGeeks
Shopify
  • Excellent website builder for eCommerce
  • No coding needed
  • Extensive app ecosystem
  • Retail integration with POS system available
Visit Shopify

* Scroll down for each hosting performance stats and reviews.


1. HostPapa

HostPapa - Top Web Hosting Choice in Canada

HostPapa

A home-grown Canadian web hosting company, HostPapa has a reputation for good performance as well as customer service. These two critical factors make them the recommended web host choice for Canada.

Visit HostPapa

HostPapa HQ: 115 George St #511, Oakville, Ontario L6J 0A2, Canada.

Born and bred in central Canada, HostPapa is perhaps the biggest name in web hosting for the area. Yet this local Canadian company has grown to such an extent it serves a wide international clientele.

Why HostPapa for Canadian Websites?

With close to two decades of experience in the web hosting business, HostPapa has established a reputation for performance. Their product range stretches the entire gamut in web hosting, making them a suitable choice for personal, small business, or even enterprise websites.

No matter which of their products you choose though, there are two things that come to the fore. The first is good performance, and the second is great customer service. These are two very critical elements that will work in your favour.

An even bigger consideration that comes into play is the fact that they have servers located in multiple locations. If you’re hosting a purely Canada-centric site, HostPapa has multiple points of presence in the area – Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. These are further backed up by a number of other facilities in America.

HostPapa also has an excellent reputation of excellence in customer service. Once you put all of that together, there’s really no better choice in best web hosting for Canada.

Key Highlights with HostPapa

  • Multiple Canadian data centers available
  • Good product range to choose from
  • Excellent customer support

HostPapa Ratings & Performance

HostScore
81.92
Response Time
126.93ms
Uptime
100.00%

HostPapa Pros

  • Free domain name
  • Comprehensive knowledge base
  • Website builder with free templates
  • Cheapest green hosting around
  • Free white glove site migration

HostPapa Cons

  • Steep renewal fees
  • Very limited developer tools
  • Server location in North America only

Learn more about HostPapa from our review.

2. GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks - Web Hosting Choice in Canada

GrenGeeks

Fully committed to green hosting, GreenGeeks is suitable for those based in Canada hoping to meet international needs. Their data centers are located in Europe, US and Canada.

Visit GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks HQ: 5739 Kanan Rd Suite 300, Agoura Hills, CA 91301, United States

Although GreenGeeks is technically an American web host, they make a strong case for use if you want to host a website in Canada. The company has a large international client base and has the experience in catering to a diverse market.

What Makes GreenGeeks Ticks for Canadian Websites?

Performance-wise, you can expect low latency operations for the area if you decide to choose one of their closer-by data centers. These are available in Chicago, Phoenix, and most importantly, Montreal in Canada.

For those based in Canada hoping to meet international needs, you can also opt for their Europe location in Amsterdam.

GreenGeeks also has a very unique characteristic. As the name implies, they are a fully committed green web hosting company. They put a lot of thought into making their operations carbon neutral and as such, are an option if this is part of your requirements.

Key Highlights with GreenGeeks

  • Canada and North America servers
  • Powered by renewable energy
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

GreenGeeks Ratings & Performance

HostScore
82.00
Response Time
145.84ms
Uptime
100.00%

GreenGeeks Pros

  • Returns power consumed with renewable energy credits
  • Unmetered resources
  • Free domain name for the first year
  • Free Wildcard SSL
  • Choice of five server locations
  • Free white glove site migration
  • Complete SSD solution and HTTP/2 enabled
  • Free drag and drop website builder
  • All plans support Perl, Python and Git
  • Automated daily backups
  • Account solation and Secure vFS
  • Premium plans have one dedicated IP
  • Root access, control panel and cPanel/WHM included

GreenGeeks Cons

  • Slightly lacklustre customer service
  • Relatively low VPS uptime guarantee
  • Non refundable setup fees

GreenGeeks Tested Performance

Average aggregate response speed for GreenGeeks is 145.84ms. GreenGeeks shared hosting response time is checked every four hours from ten locations.

Read our GeenGeeks review to find out more.

3. Shopify

Shopify - A Canadian company

Shopify

A reputable site builder originating from Canada. Although Shopify is centered around a website builder engine, it is so powerful and simply can't be ignored especially if you are focused on eCommerce.

Visit Shopify

Shopify: 150 Elgin Street, 8th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P 1L4

Although not a web hosting company per-se, Shopify is a brand which I simply had to include on this list. There are so many reasons for this, but perhaps the most impressive of all is that they are a Canadian company that has really made it big.

Why Shopify?

Shopify is centered around a website builder engine, meaning it allows users to quickly develop and launch websites – with little to no coding necessary. This rapid deployment works with either standard websites or even online stores.

Because of this powerful ability, it has become a premier name in the web hosting community. Everything about Shopify simply screams out to be loved. Of course, the downside is a slightly higher cost.

The ability to use multiple ‘plug and play’ features is another aspect of the Shopify appeal. It can make a big difference in some cases – for example, localization. There are multilingual tools you can use to translate your site or shop into any nearly language.

Key Highlights with Shopify

  • No coding needed
  • eCommerce capabilities
  • Extensive app ecosystem

Shopify Ratings & Performance

HostScore
82.00
Response Time
36.96ms
Uptime
100.00%

Shopify Pros

  • Unmetered storage and bandwidth
  • List an infinite number of products
  • Multiple online sales channels
  • Website builder with free templates
  • Multiple discount code formats
  • Fraud analysis with Shopify payments
  • Unified dashbaord with finance reporting
  • 24/7 Support via chat, phone, and email
  • Lite plan allows easy sales on existing websites
  • Integration with Facebook and Google ads
  • Retail integration with POS system
  • Access to discounted shipping rates
  • Discounts for annual and biennial plans.
  • Free trial available

Shopify Cons

  • Multiple fees and commissions payable
  • No free domain name provided
  • Limited SEO options

To learn more about Shopify, read our review here.


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.

Building for Performance

Getting a website up and running may seem like something quite basic to many. In fact, those thinking this way would be correct. Yet there is a notable difference between up and running as compared to performing well. For that, your choice of web host can play a bigger role than you imagine.

There are many contributing factors to website performance. While not all of these are under your control, some of your choices will matter. Take for example the type of hosting plan you choose. 

Shared hosting will offer you a much lower cost of entry and operational costs, but come at the price of lower security and performance. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) accounts on the other hand will boost your performance for a slight premium in price.

Why this Affects Your Choice of Web 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.

We’ve taken into consideration multiple factors including location, product range and quality, features, and more. What are the other factors you should look into when seeking for Web Hosting in Canada?

What Else to Seek for Canadian Web Hosting

No matter the reason you want to build a site for Canada, there are both specific and very general things that need paying attention to.  While some of them can be shrugged away and simply lived with, other areas may affect you in pretty significant ways.

Customer Support

Even if you plan to use a website builder like Shopify, there will be an inevitable time you require some help. In situations like this, the support team that comes attached with your host plays the pivotal role.

Not only should help be readily available, but look for a hosting company that offers assistance through various channels. While some people may love to get in touch with human support staff, don’t underestimate the use of an extensive knowledge base.

Ideally, the host you choose should not only have diverse channels available but also work them well. Fast turnaround times, good solutions, and often even simple courtesy can go a long way to reducing your frustration.

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 Germany or Switzerland, is less than optimal.

If you need good performance for a site for Canada, look towards a host with a data center locally – or possibly nearby in the US. Every single bit of extra speed counts when it comes to site performance and your visitors will be happy with it.

Conclusion

Desite 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

Map of Canada (source)
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 38 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 (source).

Web Hosting Buyers FAQs

What makes a good web host?

Performance, security, support and cost are the four main factors to consider when it comes to choosing a web host. Server response speed, reliability, scalability, backup and recovery capability, and website migration support are some key consideration factors.

Visit this page for our 16-point web host checklist.

Web hosting vs website builder: What are the differences?

A website builder bundles different services into one platform where users get to create, manage, and host a website in one place. Typically a website builder allows you to create a website with pre-built templates and implement advanced features (ie. processing payment) with ready-made plugins.

What are the biggest names in green hosting?

GreenGeeks is by far the most recognized name in green hosting. Their 300% renewable energy return is significant, plus their web hosting plans are generally strong in terms of performance.

Which type of hosting is right for me?

If you are unsure – just start with a shared hosting plan. You can always upgrade to a higher package (ie. VPS, dedicated) later with the same provider.

Are domain name and web hosting the same?

Both are two different things. Domain names are the addresses of websites used by browsers to locate them on the Internet. Web Hosting is the service that allows you to store files where they can be served up as web pages on the Internet.

More Web Host Buying Guide

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Author Profile

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.