Best Web Hosting Canada (2019)

Reviews and Technical Comparisons

We examined the top 15 hosting providers for Canadians
to help you save time and money.

Best Web Hosting Canada (2019)

Reviews and Technical Comparisons

We examined the top 15 hosting providers for Canadians to help you save time and money.

Disclosure: Hosting Canada is community-supported. We may earn a commission when you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more.

Gary Stevens —

Last updated:

We’ve checked out dozens of host providers and used over a decades’ worth of data to build the most up-to-date ranking of the top web hosts in Canada. (Click to see the rankings.)

Since the summer of 2016, we’ve bought and tested every major hosting company in Canada.

…Including many household names like GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator.

In this guide we look at a host of factors to help you make a data informed decision to find best hosting company for your website.

We’ve spent decades working online online, and have been burned more than a few times by choosing a bad hosting provider. After much trial, error, and tribulation, we’ve conclusively found the best overall web hosting services in Canada.

RANKWEB HOSTPRICELOAD TIMERATING
1SiteGround$3.95/mo475ms★★★★★
2Bluehost$2.95/mo1.765ms★★★★★
3Hostinger$0.80/mo389ms★★★★★
4HostGator$2.75/mo657ms★★★★
5A2 Hosting$3.92/mo223ms★★★★

Who We Are


Before we get into the technical breakdown of different hosting providers, I’ll introduce the team behind this guide. We’re a three-man group, and we have a digital marketing agency called Castle Media. 💪

I’m Gary, the author of the guide and the guy who publishes most of the hosting reviews on this site. I’ve been a web designer as far back as I can remember, before Facebook and even MySpace.

I’ve hosted hundreds of websites across Canada and the United States, and during that time, I’ve seen plenty of hosts come and go.

Hosting Reviews – Our Tracking & Research Process


image of our live tracking via pingdomMaking informed decisions requires getting accurate data and the only way to do that is to measure results.

Which is exactly what we’ve done for the last few years.

We track uptime, downtime and latency on all our sites. If you take a look at the graph to the right you can see we’ve added our 10 host hosts. We use an advanced tracking software that pings each site 50X times per day from multiple locations. We’re notified of any outages or interruptions in service immediately.

We only added our top recommended services and hid the URLs as they’re active client websites but a quick look at the data you see which ones have gone down in the past and for how long.

You can see the live tracking here. Read more about our 4-step research process here.

 

How to Use This Guide

We wanted to provide plenty of valuable information while keeping things simple to understand, which is why we ranked our top hosts in numerical order.

It’s a standard ranking system with our number-one recommendation at the top, followed by number two and so on. To avoid unnecessary information, we’ve only included our top four choices. Those include three that made our cut for providing the highest quality, and one that is popular, but lacking in a few key areas.

Before we jump into it, if you have any questions don’t be shy and hit that Contact Us button. 🥰


The Best Web Hosting Services in 2019

Here are the 4 top Canadian web hosting reviews by cost, customer service, speed and uptime.

1. SiteGround: Best Overall Host

The Best Overall Choice with High Marks in Pricing, Speed, Support and Uptime


siteground-logo

Starting at $3.95 per month
Average uptime of 99.95%
Average load time of 475ms

Visit SiteGround.com

SiteGround is easily our favorite web host. We use it for just about every one of our personal sites, and most of our new client sites also use it. It’s costs just a tad bit more than some other providers on this list but the cost is well worth it, and it’s still very affordable and less expensive than many hosts.

SiteGround excels when it comes to customer support, which it has available around the clock to answer just about any technical question. Contacting their support team is like having an extremely helpful new employee pop out of nowhere for your website. There’s a reason SiteGround has multiple customer support awards.

Since it has data centers all over the world, speed and uptime is excellent on the hosting service. SiteGround offers one-click installation, allowing you to install WordPress with ease. It has free SSL, which you need if you’re doing any sort of eCommerce.

If you’re new at this, SiteGround is user-friendly. You can quickly launch a personal blog or website – just follow the steps in our SiteGround review.

You can take a quick peak at our image to the right and see our live 24/7 tracking of SiteGround. We monitor all data interruptions and outages.

For more tracking info check our hosting research link on the top.


2. Bluehost – The “Beginners” Host

First timer? Start here.


bluehost logo

Starting at $2.95 per month
Average uptime of 99.74%
Average load time of 1.765ms

Visit Bluehost
Bluehost packages

We aren’t going to mention Bluehost without giving you a fair warning: they are really good at marketing and advertising, so once you visit the site you will start to see their ads everywhere.

You may have heard good things about Bluehost. The truth is, many of the positive Bluehost reviews you’ll read online are spot on: it is one of the best web hosting services for beginners, period.

Why is it so good for beginners? Bluehost is the easiest to use and to set up, plain and simple. The company understands that hosting can be confusing for people who are just starting out so they make it as easy as possible. If you’re just starting out with a blog, Bluehost is a great choice.

The other aspect of Bluehost that makes it great for beginners is the price. You won’t break the bank with Bluehost which is fantastic for bloggers who might take a while to monetize their website.

On top of that, they have helpful customer support, a 30-day money back guarantee, and an easy to use interface. Newbies and beginners rejoice, Bluehost is here for you.

3. Hostinger – Best “Affordable” Host

Are you looking to save some money without compromising? Look no further.


hostinger-logo

Starting at $0.80 per month
Average uptime of 99.1%
Average load time of 389ms

Visit Hostinger
Bluehost packages

Promotional pricing is a rampant marketing tactic in the hosting industry. Hostinger has mastered this strategy and it benefits you just as much as it benefits them.

Hostinger’s price will fluctuate between $0.80 per month to $1.45 per month semi-regularly. You can lock this price for 48 months. That’s four years of hosting for under $70 any way you swing it.

Their service must be insanely slow and lousy! Wrong.

Hostinger is a relative newcomer and needs to go through more testing but initially, what we have found is that Hostinger really delivers.

This is a great option if you want all of the basic features that the other hosting providers provide. Full disclosure: you won’t get all of the bells and whistles with the all the plans. So review your feature needs before picking a package. Bottom line is, if you’re looking to save a lot of money when it comes to hosting with performance that delivers, Hostinger is a great choice.

Even with the lowest tier you still receive a 30-day money back guarantee as well as a free domain name.

4. HostGator Cloud Hosting – Reliable Hosting

Well established and reliable.


hostgatorStarting at $2.99 per month
Average uptime of 99.4 %
Average load time of 657ms

Visit HostGator.com

Free features – Email, SSL, site transfers, site builder, daily site backups

Websites and gators may not seem like two things that just go together, but HostGator has been making it work for quite a while. It’s the web host of choice for thousands of online businesses and blogs of all sizes.

HostGator is excellent in terms of uptime for a low price. It has helpful customer support agents, and it’s easily scalable, allowing your site to accommodate any level of traffic.

HostGator also recently launched a website builder which makes creating your own site a breeze for the hosting uninitiated. Combine that with a good base of global servers and HostGator is a good second option.

Check out our tracking on the right side. We monitor the Gator 24/7 to check speed, latency and any outages.


5. A2 Hosting – High Speeds

High speed and low load times.


A2 Hosting

Starting at $3.92 per month
Average uptime of 99.1 %
Average load time of 601ms

Visit A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting is a solid web host all around with extremely high uptime, excellent speed (some of the best in the business) and helpful customer support.

Founded way back in 2001 by a former Unix SysAdmin, A2 regularly makes PCMag’s ‘Best Web Hosting Service’ list year after year. And we’re inclined to agree that the title is well deserved.

We’ve chosen A2 Hosting as one of the top providers for many of the hosting packages reviewed on this site, ranging from basic shared monthly plans, all the way to dedicated service packages. With data centers in Michigan, A2 Hosting performs extremely well for small businesses across Canada.


What Type of Businesses Can Use These Web Hosts?


Any of the hosting companies listed can handle heavy traffic. If your site gets up to about 500,000 views per month, you’ll be fine.

Keep in mind that every web host offers scalable service plans, and you can scale up as necessary. The best web hosts in Canada all use wordpress based shared hosting plans to save customers cost and provide top tier service.

Web Hosting Canada Review Criteria – How We Choose

Reliability (Uptime and Downtime)

wordpresshosting canadaWebsite uptime and downtime determine how reliable a host is. This is obviously a key consideration for any business, as downtime can be a major issue. It looks unprofessional and can be highly detrimental to your brand.

When you’re looking for Canadian web hosting reviews make sure to consider only services with very little downtime, and on those rare occasions when they do go down, it’s typically planned to fix something.

This means that you get advance notice, and a quality host will also try to have this downtime at the most convenient time of day.

Speed

loading speed of hosts comparedSite speed is another factor that is important for your professionalism, as well as your search engine optimization (SEO). We’re used to fast loading speeds, and most people aren’t going to wait longer than a couple seconds.

Our metrics from the previous decade gave us plenty of data to compare the average loading times across all the largest cities in Canada, including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. We then checked these results next to the average U.S. speeds. The top recorded load times we found were just 226ms, whereas the slowest were over 2,850ms.

Customer Support

Customer support gets overlooked sometimes with all the attention paid to the features web hosts offer, but it’s an important item to consider, because there can be a big difference in support quality from one host to the next. When trying to find the best web host, you’ll need to seriously consider customer support as part of your evaluation.

One may answer your questions in less than a minute, and others may keep you waiting for a day or more.

Fortunately, the three web hosts we recommend all provide prompt support and have representatives who are so polite that they could be from Canada.

Our top choice even has some customer service awards to its name. Yay! 🙂

We were able to rate customer support without any tests since we’ve used these hosts for years. Here are the signs of topnotch customer support:

  • Support available 24/7
  • Live chat service
  • Agents who are native speakers of your language, friendly and can solve technical issues
  • A fast response time without any outdated ticket systems

Luckily for you guys we have actual footage of some of the leading hosting companies customer service. Watch and behold…

Best Web Host or WORST Hosting?


When it comes to web hosts, never go with the cheapest option.

You definitely get what you pay for with web hosting.

There are all kinds of scams in the web hosting industry, as companies offer low rates to get customers who don’t know any better.

These hosts often make millions while using very low-quality servers, which leaves them vulnerable to security breaches.

It would be easy to say this, and then move on without mentioning who to avoid. But we’ll tell you two of the worst offenders:

slimy salesman selling hostingGoDaddy – Don’t let the marketing fool you. GoDaddy has low-quality service but doesn’t mind charging you a premium for add-ons that would be free with other hosts. Often touted as the best web host in Canada, we may as well call them ScamDaddy.

Network Solutions – Poor service and low-quality servers combine to make Network Solutions a terrible choice in web host. Regardless of whatever Canadian web hosting review you do read, Network Solutions is a bad pick.

If you go with a cheap web host, you may save money initially, but you’ll either have far fewer features or you’ll need to purchase all kinds of upgrades and end up paying more anyway.

When you decide to switch to a better provider, it will be a hassle and you’ll wish you had gone with a quality provider from the beginning.

Canadian Web Hosting Reviews – Things to Avoid

I know keeping business spending to a minimum is important, but saving a few bucks on web hosting isn’t worth the issues you’ll experience later.

Here are the significant problems you’ll have with a low-cost web host:

  1. Potential Security Breaches – One self-proclaimed “free” web host called 000Webhost had 13-million user names and passwords leaked.
  2. Everything Costs Extra – A typical discount host could charge $80 for SSL, $30 for your domain registration and $30 for basic privacy protection, which comes out to $140 per year.
  3. Poor IP Neighbourhood – This makes your SEO more difficult.

It can be tough to judge different hosts because of all the different options and prices available. Some cost costing just $1 or $2 per month, and there are even some free web hosts available. As we mentioned, you don’t want to go too cheap on your web hosting, but it’s a waste to get a powerful hosting package you don’t need.

We advise keeping it simple to start and upgrading as necessary. The most popular web hosting service is by far shared hosting, a topic which we will cover below. Let’s take a quick look at our reviews below.

Top Hosting Types for Canadian Businesses


Most hosting plans fall under one of five categories, which are shared,  virtual private server (VPS), cloud, dedicated and reseller. Let’s review each kind of hosting plan in detail.

What is Shared Hosting?

shared hostingShared hosting is undoubtedly the least expensive option, and with this type of hosting, you’re essentially renting space that you share with other sites. The cost of getting such inexpensive hosting is that this is the least powerful hosting option.

Shared hosting works because most sites get small amounts of traffic, which means they can share server resources without facing performance problems. Setup is simple when you get a shared hosting plan.

What is VPS Hosting?

vps hostingThe next step up from shared hosting is a VPS, which costs a bit more but also has more power. Even though you don’t need to pay for your own server, a VPS host functions similarly to one, and you have full control over it. This does make the setup and management process more involved.

What is Cloud Hosting?

cloud hostingOne option that has been growing in popular in recent years is cloud hosting. It has some similarities with a VPS, but the key difference is that the server gets distributed over a large number of computers instead of having its own dedicated physical address.

For the user, that means loading times are very fast and this is easy to scale. If you need more speed or disk space, you can instantly upgrade through your hosting company. Overall, this is an excellent option for business sites.

What is Dedicated Hosting?

dedicated hostingIf you want the best of the best, then dedicated hosting is the way to go. As the name suggests, you get an entire server to call your own, and its only job is keeping your site performing smoothly.

This is the most powerful option, but it also can be difficult to set up and manage, and it will also cost you the most.

How Reseller-Based Hosting Works

Reseller-based hosting is a bit of an offshoot instead of a completely different type of web hosting. How it works is one party controls the server, and another party sells hosting as if they owned the server.

It’s compatible with any of the types of hosting mentioned above. For example, you could choose a reseller that offers a dedicated server or cloud hosting.

It’s common for resellers to buy in bulk and get many high-capacity servers. After that, they provide parts to individual sites. If you’re planning to go with this option, you’ll need plenty of technical knowledge.

What Determines Hosting Speed? (Fast Hosting)

The fastest web host is one that uses a dedicated IP or a super high latency datacenter. When looking for reviews of Canadian web hosts it’s important to remember this simple rule.

It’s important to understand that datacenters are like the heart of a hosting solution, the faster the heart can pump out blood (in this case bandwidth) the faster your site goes.

Sorry for the graphic analogy.

Web Hosting Comparison – Which CMS Should You Use?


Your content management system (CMS) is what you use to handle all the content on your site, including making modifications to published content and uploading new content. Each CMS has its own interface, with certain CMS working with specific hosting options or being ideal for specific types of websites.

WordPress


benefits-of-wordpress-hostingIf you only knew about one CMS, it was probably WordPress, as it’s easily the most popular choice. Although it came out way back in 2003, the last few years have seen it rapidly increase in popularity, and it’s now the CMS of choice for blogs and small business sites. Most website hosting reviews you’ll read will involve WP.

WordPress has many benefits, with perhaps the most significant being its range of customization options and tools. It’s very secure, installation is a breeze and it’s easy to find support when you need it. If this is your first time creating a site, I’d highly recommend you choose WordPress when looking for the best web host.

There is a bit of a learning period, but that’s true of any CMS, and the popularity of WordPress means it’s wise to know how to use it.

  • PHP

    PHP has been around a long time, and it originally stood for personal home page. It uses server-side scripting, and many popular CMS, including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, use this PHP script.

    Although you don’t need to understand PHP to set up a site in your CMS of choice, you will need a PHP developer if you have some very specific apps you’d like your site to run.

  • Java-Based Sites

    You may know Java as that thing you need to update every now and then. Its main function is web apps, and if you’re on a site with impressive graphics, you can bet that it’s using Java. Java used to be much more popular on smaller sites.

    Even though its popularity has declined a bit, it’s still all over some major e-commerce sites, including Amazon and eBay. If you want the most high-end visuals and features on your site, then Java is just the ticket.

  • Joomla

    When it comes to CMS options, Joomla is likely the second biggest behind WordPress, although there’s still a large gap between the two. One reason Joomla isn’t nearly as popular is because it’s not particularly user-friendly. Unless you love Joomla, I’d advise going with WordPress, which is also what I tell all our clients. You’ll get up and running faster and I think it’s also a better choice from an SEO perspective.

Choosing Between Windows-Based Hosts or Linux-Based Hosts


windows vs linux host-minYou may remember a section about dedicated servers in our hosting review. Hopefully you do, as it wasn’t that long ago. Well, every server needs an operating system (OS), and the two options here are Windows-based hosts or Linux-based hosts.

Here’s what makes them unique. The best web hosts out there all generally opt to use Windows based servers. For cPanel goodness, check out this comparison of Plesk vs cPanel.

  • Windows

    Windows has been Microsoft’s OS for decades, and if you go with a Windows-based host, that means you can use Window’s databases and apps, along with ASP.Net and other complicated scripts. PHP and MySQL are also options. You’ll typically pay a bit more for Windows-based hosts than Linux-based hosts, and even though crashes don’t happen often with either, they tend to occur a bit more when you choose Windows.

  • Linux

    Microsoft may be a giant in the computer industry, but Linux is what most servers use, because it’s the industry standard. You can run almost any application on Linux, the servers are super reliable, and you’re good to go with most of the modern programming scripts. You may see the term “LAMP” when researching Linux-based hosts, and that stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.

How Does “Unlimited” Hosting Work?


It’s common to see providers offering unlimited plans, with the word “unlimited” possibly referring to storage, bandwidth or email. Make sure you check the fine print on these, as that offer can be a bit deceiving.

What it usually means is the provider hasn’t set resource limits, and that unlimited offer applies to reasonable situations. It’s not intended if you’re getting a million pageviews per month. The offer is basically a way to bring in customers. Just check the speed and don’t get drawn in by an ad. Unlimited bandwidth doesn’t mean much if you need to deal with slow speeds. In these web hosting Canada reviews we have omitted any hosts that claim to offer unlimited hosting.

Wrapping It Up – Finding the Top Best Web in Canada

That’s a lot of information to process. The best way to use this guide is to reference it as you evaluate web hosts, keeping your specific needs in mind. Most importantly, don’t shop entirely based on prices. Quality is always most important, especially with something as important as your website.

That does it for our reviews. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer anything that comes up.

Best Domain Hosting in Canada


You want a website, right?

Everybody does, but if the thought of trying to understand how to actually get one out of your head and onto the internet for others to see sends you to the ground in a quivering fetal position, take heart. We’re here to help.

Things like domain hosting, registrars, name records, and hosting packages are not as complicated as you might think, even if you have a vivid imagination. Stay calm. Keep reading.

Domains

Even the most clueless among us probably realize that it all starts with a domain. Before anything else, if you want a website, you need one. An example of a domain would be BestWidgets.com (written out completely as http:// www. bestwidgets. com). It makes no difference whether you type or write in capital or small letters.

what is domain

By the way, a quick check revealed this domain is currently for sale, so…if you sell widgets and they’re the best. Just saying – you might want to get your offer in.

Back to the idea of a domain. Once you have a domain registered (stay tuned, we’ll talk about this process in a minute) and under your control, you can add as many pages and subdomains as you like. Want to blog about widgets? Create a subdomain at  blog. bestwidgets. com.

Eager to wax rhapsodic about yourself and your love of widgets? Add a page like www. bestwidgets. com/about.

The basic idea is that securing a domain creates the foundation of the entire website to come.

To learn more about this read our guide to the best domain registers.

Registers and Registrars

At the risk of making your eyes glaze over, you should understand how domains are sold and accounted for. Don’t worry. There won’t be a test. Just like when your parents made you eat carrots, this is for your own good. 🥕🥕

TLD stats registrations per TLD typeA register is an organization designated to maintain a list or registry of those who own a Top Level Domain (TLD) like .com, .net, and .org. Obviously, with more than 644 million active website online, it takes more than a haphazard note scribbled on the back of an envelope to keep everything straight.

Originally, there were only a handful official registers that kept track of everything but, along the way, a few enterprising entrepreneurs figured out they could contract with these registers to sell domains, turning it into what is today a thriving industry. The bottom line is that registrars sell domains and registers keep track of them.

Popular registrars include GoDaddy, NameCheap, and many others. Note, however, that most good hosting companies (like the one’s we recommended) will provide you with a free domain when you sign up for a new hosting plan

A free domain is a great way to save a few bucks at the beginning of your website building journey and one of the key things we included in our Canadian web hosting reviews.

What is a Domain Name Record?

Another term you might run across is domain name record. This is reference to the way the internet works. The domain you just bought is not actually how the internet servers find and display your website.

Instead, they take a user’s request and match up the domain to a sequence of numbers in the registry, called an IP address, and send over the associated files – which just happens to be your website.

Web Hosting Explained for Beginners

Now we’re getting down to the good stuff and the reason we’re all here in the first place, web hosting. Once you have a domain and are ready to build a website, how do you actually get it online for servers to find and display?

Good question. You need a web host.

how web hosting works

Since you can’t just throw your website’s files on the kitchen table and expect them to magically end up on the internet, another industry has grown up selling online storage space where your website will live.

Some of these companies you’ve likely heard of thanks to a ridiculous level of advertising — somebody’s making serious money in this game — but we digress. We’re talking about names like GoDaddy, HostGator, and Bluehost.

So you have three choices when it comes to choosing a web host:

  1. Visit Namecheap.com, buy a domain, and hope you set the nameservers to point correctly to your web host, OR…
  2. Setup an account with SiteGround, get a free domain in the process, and let them do the hard work for essentially the same price.
  3. Or use on of our recommended best website builders, such as Wix and Squarespace. These guys take care of all the registration and hosting for you.

Website Hosting Reviews – 4 Worst Mistakes


There are a lot of ways to screw up the process of choosing a good web host but here are the four most common we see.

Hey, don’t blame yourself. They don’t teach this stuff in school. Or maybe they do but you were snoozing in the back row.

#1. Going With the Absolute Cheapest Host You Can Find

pros and cons of free web hostingWe’re not going to be the bad guys to tell you that cheap is always bad but by the time you’ve lived a certain number of years on this planet you should probably realize on your own that the tradeoff for going with the lowest cost is often a crappy product, bad service, limited features, and a dedicated “we don’t care” approach to customer service.

When it comes to bottom-feeding web hosts (some of which are literally free), you can add another item to the litany of repugnance. They will upsell you like crazy.

True, you technically receive storage space at no cost but you will receive little else unless you pay extra.

Need more space or bandwidth? Gotta upgrade.

Want backups and a control panel? Gonna have to upgrade.

Don’t know what you’re doing and need to talk to someone? It costs extra for tech support.

You get the idea. The basic point is that the free package you get is almost non-functional. For function, you have to pay more. Sometimes a LOT more.

Good thing you’re reading our web hosting reviews 🙂

#2. Choosing Any Platform Besides WordPress

cms distribution chartThe WordPress content management system (CMS) powers more than 33 percent of all websites. That in itself should be enough to sway your decision.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what kind of website you want to build — ecommerce, blogging, online newspaper — WordPress is the easiest to use and comes with a built-in thriving community of developers and mentors.

Before the advent of CMS platforms like WordPress (other popular ones are Joomla and Drupal), web design was restricted to those who could wrap their head and fingers around HTML code.

Building and designing a site of any substance was not something you could knock out over a long weekend. Things changed in a hurry when the first version rolled out in 2003, and it’s been getting more powerful and user-friendly ever since.

The bottom line. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Pick WordPress, especially if you aren’t a coder. 🤓

#3. Ignoring the Fine Print in Your Hosting Package

The first time a new domain name owner heads online to pick a web host, the first thing he or she looks for are the usual suspects for comparison shopping — disk space and bandwidth. Left unsaid is the reality that these constraints last mattered about two decades ago.

That’s a bit of an exaggeration but you should know that a monumental shift in the nature of websites is underway and the factors that hosts use to reel in unsuspecting rookies aren’t the ones that really matter.

storage vs bandwidth

Here’s the lowdown. As the design shift continues from static to dynamically generated pages, the chances are that you’ll run up against a trio of limits which have nothing to do with storage space or bandwidth long before you push those boundaries of your plan.

We’re talking about CPU usage, RAM usage, and database connections. Many web hosts, even some of the good ones and definitely all the cheap ones have limits on these factors that are detailed in the fine print under the term “resources.”

Our advice. Check out the storage space and bandwidth allotments but locate and consider what kind of resource limits might be at play as well.

#4. Paying for SSL

how ssl works

This one is short and sweet. If you’re thinking about paying for a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate — don’t. Legitimate hosts will give it to you for free.

You definitely need it, though, because Google has already started the process of degrading search engine rankings for those that don’t, but no need to pay to get one. Make sure you read reviews or detailed info from your hosting company before signing up.

Why We Don’t Recommend Hosting Companies Based in Canada

Here’s the problem with most Canadian hosting companies. The majority are simply resellers who don’t own their servers or have an actual physical presence within our borders.

Don’t think we’re not proud Canadians who support God and country because, by gosh, we are, but your national loyalty is somewhat misplaced if you think you’re directly helping a “local” business when you’re not…

Since there is no patriotism card to be played, you might as well find the best web host you can, geographical location be damned. There are a few other reasons we don’t suggest you do business with these providers – let’s take a look…

How Reselling Works

Don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing inherently wrong or unethical about being a reseller. It just doesn’t make much sense for the consumer when you can just as easily go directly to the seller and skip the middleman markup charges. Here’s how it works…

money profitThat “Canadian” web hosting company has gone into business by essentially subletting an entire business from a larger — much MUCH larger – hosting operation. The parent company provides all the equipment and maybe even customer and technical support. “But wait,” you say. “How can they make any money doing this? Don’t they have to charge more than the original company for the same service?”

Well, you’re a bright one, aren’t you? They absolutely do.

Economy of Scale

Since your “local” Canadian company piggybacks his or her entire business on the resources of a larger, more distant company, they obviously won’t have anywhere near the same number of customers.

Let’s think about that for a minute… Fewer customers but providing the same service. Won’t they have to charge more? They absolutely will! Welcome, my friend, to the economy of scale.

It’s like when your local mom and pop grocery store goes to Walmart for their products. They have to mark them up in order to make a profit, so the customer is better off to just go to Walmart and get the same product cheaper.

So it is with you and choosing a web hosting service.

Bad or Nonexistent Support

customer support vector imageLet’s say you have made the pitiable decision to go with a “local” web host and, horror of horrors, something goes wrong and you can’t find your website on the entire internet. What are you going to do?

You could contact the parent company’s support line either by chat, email, or phone — that might actually be best — but what if you really really really want to communicate with the person whom you actually pay for web hosting?

Good luck with that. Most don’t maintain a chat services of their own and you might even have trouble finding a phone number, email address, or physical location in order to speak to a live human.

And even if you do figure out how to contact them, they likely have neither the knowledge or the access to the actual servers to help with your problem. It’s not sounding promising, is it?

It gets worse.

Introducing the Wild World of Upselling

In case you need another reason to avoid these reselling rascals, here’s one. We’re talking about an annoying little sales habit called upselling or upcharging.

Whichever way you look at it, the result is the same. It goes something like this:

  1. Customer ignores online web hosting reviews and signs up for three years with the lowest-cost host around, El Cheapo.
  2. After the website is online, he quickly realizes that storage space, bandwidth, and dedicated resources (CPU, RAM, database connections) are entirely inadequate. Unfortunately, he didn’t read the fine print and it costs more for additional resources. A LOT more.
  3. Customer angrily demands his money back and threatens to take his business elsewhere.
  4. El Cheapo says No problemo! No refunds. See you later, hombre.
  5. Customer begins the search for a different web host, lesson hopefully learned but out of luck for three years of hosting already paid for.

That, friends, is upcharging. Don’t let it happen to you. That’s it an all, sorry for the final rant.