Best Dedicated Web Hosts
For the average blogger or small business owner, upgrading to an expensive dedicated server is the ultimate exercise in futility.
It’s like making a new year’s resolution to get in amazing shape, then cancelling your gym membership in February and blowing $2,000 on the latest muscle growth or fat loss supplements. 🤦
You aren’t going to make any progress and you’re just going to lose a bunch of money in the process.
However, if you run a website that generates a significant amount of traffic (say more than 50,000 unique views/month) a dedicated hosting service can be the difference between running a lightning fast, user-friendly, and wildly profitable site… or suffering from so many issues with your website’s load time and security that your users bounce faster a movie star with an invite to one of Harvey Weinstein’s parties (too soon?)
If you run a highly traffic’ed business website, then dedicated hosting isn’t just a good idea, it’s all but mandatory.
The right dedicated hosting service will ensure that your website remains safe from hackers and guarantee that your viewers will be able to access the content they need in time every time.
(For those of you who are just starting out and are looking to purchase entry level hosting for your blog or freelancer website, you can check out our recommendations for the top low-cost web hosting services.)
I’m going to take a few minutes to explain how we reviewed these hosts and what you should look for in a dedicated hosting service, but before I do, here’s a quick PSA for those of you in a hurry…
I get it.
The average adult now has an attention span that’s around 8 seconds (less than that of a Goldfish) and you’ve probably got places to be and Tweets to twit (or however the kids say it these days) so I’ll just cut to the chase.
If you’re looking for the best dedicated web hosting service, then you’ll want to go with Kinsta. The service is set up on the Google Cloud Platform which allows for blazing speeds and absurd optimization. This is for business owners who want the best for their company.
If you want to save a few bucks then the best option is SiteGround. The reason is simple, they have the fastest data centers, a metric boatload of free upgrades that can save you more than $300/year compared to other hosts, impeccable 24/7 support, and FREE transfers, backups, SSL certificates, and hacking protection.
HOW WE REVIEWED OUR HOSTS
We thoroughly test each and every hosting company, looking at everything from uptime to speed to security to support. To get a sense of our top-to-bottom testing process, check out the rest of our Canadian web hosting reviews.
To give you the Cliff Note version, we run a development team that builds and maintains client websites and, over the last decade or so, we’ve built more than 900 websites for which we still manage hosting today.
With the longevity of our projects, we have unique access to data and uptime records for a wide variety of hosts that most review companies simply don’t have. You can see the live tracking here. Read more about our4-step research process here.
The math wizards here have been kind enough to put together some graphs and statistical analysis for us so that we can share all of that information with you to help you definitively decide on the right hosting service for your needs.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD DEDICATED HOSTING SERVICE
Whether you run a full time blog, large eCommerce store, or high-traffic business website the marks of a good dedicated hosting service are all the same (not to worry, all of our recommendations pass these criteria with flying colors)
Namely, you want to look for a host with:
- 🔒 Free SSL (secure socket layer)
- 🖥 Free Backups
- 📶 Strong Uptime and Low Downtime
- 🙋 24/7 Customer Support
- 🛡 Security Features and Bonuses
I’ll briefly dive into each of these and explain in detail at the bottom of the review.
Best Dedicated Web Hosts in Canada
BEST PREMIUM HOSTING OPTION FOR BEST IN CLASS SPEED ($30-60/month)
Load time: 520Ms
Support: Live Chat
SPEEDKinsta is obsessed with creating the fastest hosting architecture for their customers. They use top-level technology to make sure your webpage loads at ridiculous rates.
They use a next generation infrastructure – from server hardware to the software they use.
Google Cloud Platform powers the whole operation and they have 19 data centers around the world. Everything is on their premium network which is specifically designed to minimize distance and hops.
NO WORRY HOSTINGThe best thing about Kinsta besides their speed is their ridiculous security processes. They check the status of every single one of their websites every two minutes. Your website will be checked 720 times every single day to make sure it is up and running.
Kinsta backs up your website every single day and has the capability of backing your website up every six hours. They also have a hack guarantee with constant monitoring. If any attack does happen they guarantee a fix with immediate priority.
CUSTOMER SUPPORTWhen paying for a premium service you better receive premium support. Kinsta delivers to the extreme with 24/7 support no matter where you are, WordPress experts, an 100% solve rate, and fast response times.
Kinsta uses Intercom which is the best support platform to ensure you get help with what you need help with. If your website is down for whatever reason they might even have it back up and running by the time you message in.
BEST OVERALL HOSTING FOR PRICE/SPEED/UPTIME & UNBEATABLE SUPPORT ($269.00/month)
Load time: 475Ms
Support: Live Chat
If you’ve perused some of the other reviews on our site then you probably know that we are BIG fans of SiteGround.
We’ve been using them for more than 7 years and during that time, we’ve witnessed the company’s evolution from your average “ho-hum” hosting company into one of the highest level services on the market.
Unlike some of the more well known names (cough Bluehost cough) they don’t rest on their laurels and are one of the only companies that regularly upgrade their datacenters and servers to ensure the highest levels of speed and security.
GREAT UPTIME: 99.95%Coming in hot with a 99.95% uptime, SiteGround will ensure that your website stays up and running (almost) every minute of the year.
FREE SSL AND BACKUPSA great bonus that will save you $60/year (minimum) and ensure that you can rest easy knowing that your website is completely secure and regularly backed up in the unlikely event of a breach.
UNBELIEVABLE CUSTOMER SUPPORTIn an industry that is notorious for for providing shoddy customer service and half-assed support, SiteGround stands heads and shoulders above other hosting companies, providing some of the most responsive and efficient customer service on the planet.
Seriously… We aren’t impressed by much, but SiteGround’s customer support damn near blew our socks off.
3. A2 HOSTING
Amazing Value for the Price You Pay ($141/month)
Load time: 601Ms
Support: Live Chat
SUPPORTAfter sending a slew of complicated support tickets and inquiries, we were impressed (to say the least) by how quickly and efficiently A2’s customer support was able to handle our “issues”.
While they aren’t quite as responsive as SiteGround, the difference is nominal (it might take you an extra 20 minutes max) and their support is top notch.
GREAT SECURITY & FREE SSLLike SiteGround, A2 hosting comes armed to the teeth with an abundance of security features and (of course) a free SSL certificate.
With a free Cloudflare CDN, New Relic Server Monitoring Setup, and ‘Perpetual Security’, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more feature rich hosting service for the price you pay.
GREAT UPTIME & LIGHTNING FAST DATA CENTERSWith 99.91% uptime and 601ms site speeds, A2 Hosting provides some of the fastest and most reliable dedicated hosting services at the most affordable prices. Dedicated hosting is expensive, there’s no denying it.
But at only $141/month (more than $1,200/year less than SiteGround) A2 provides some of the best bang for your buck. Their speeds and uptimes aren’t quite as impressive as SiteGround; however, considering the price you’re paying, you’d be hard pressed to find a provider that offers more value.
Super Affordable Service with Great Features and Uptimes
Load time: 601Ms
Support: Live Chat
GREAT UPTIME, WICKED FASTAs with every host we’ve recommended so far, HostGator offers customers impeccable 99.99% uptimes with wicked fast load speeds. At only $119/month, they are, by far, the cheapest (high quality) dedicated hosting service on the market and they will ensure that you get the most value for your investment.
GOOD SECURITY & FREE SSLAlthough they don’t have quite as many goodies and free features as SiteGround or A2, HostGator still provides a plethora of advanced security features including: a free SSL (duh), DDoS protection, a fully redundant network, and 3-5 dedicated IPv4 IPs.
SUPPORTLike SiteGround and A2 hosting, HostGator offers some of the best customer support in the business. Even when we reviewed their more basic hosting services (which you can check out here) the customer support was top notch.
But with a dedicated hosting package, their customer support is next level. In the unlikely event that you have any issues with your service, their effective support team will help you get back up and running in no time flat.
SSL – SECURE SOCKET LAYER PROTECTION
I know this sounds like some futuristic Star Trek crap but an SSL is actually a pretty simple concept.
An SSL, or secure socket layer, creates and encrypted “tunnel” from your visitor’s computer to your server. Inside of this tunnel, all communication and data is safely protected and free from prying eyes.
It’s kind of like writing a letter in a coded language before sending it to a friend.
If you wrote the letter in plain English, anyone who intercepted the message could easily see and use what you wrote. However, by “encrypting” your letter, you guarantee that no one on the outside will be able to decrypt and understand your message.
With Google’s recent updates, these certificates are all but mandatory if you want to stand any chance of ranking your website for competitive keywords. And if you process payments on your website, this is an absolute MUST (most reputable processors won’t even accept payments without an active SSL certificate).
Luckily, with a high quality web host (dedicated or otherwise) an SSL certificate comes free of charge. If a company attempts to have you pay for your certificate (like the disreputable GoDaddy) then you should run for the hills.
There’s absolutely NO need to pay for an SSL certificate and any company that pretends otherwise is ripping you off like a bandaid. All good web hosting companies will offer to set up your SSL for free using a service called Let’s Encrypt.
Cyber attacks are on the rise and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
However, by using a web host that offer daily backups, you can ensure that, even if your website is targeted by a ransomeware attack, you’ll be able to quickly get your content back online without missing a beat. (Trust us, you do NOT want to manually backup your website everyday.)
UPTIME AND DOWNTIME
Uptime, as the name implies, is simply a measurement of the amount of time that your website is online. Anything above 99% is decent, and, ideally, you want a hosting service that can provide 99.95% uptime or better.
Downtime (again, as the name implies) is a measurement of the amount of time that your website is down or unable to be accessed.
If you want to maintain a professional appearance with your users, this is one of the biggest things that you’ll want to avoid. Luckily, if you opt for one of the services we’re about to recommend, this will be a thing of the past and you can enjoy lighting fast speeds, high security, and nominal downtime.
Data centers are the physical location of the server you’ll be using. The closer the data centers are to your end users, the less distance the information will have to travel and the faster your website will be.
As such, it’s important to ensure that the data centers you’ll be using are close to your end users (e.g. in Toronto or Montreal).
World’s Largest Data Centers
Unless you happen to be a coding wizard or technical genius, you’re going to need amazing support to ensure that your website stays up and running and avoids any potential hiccups.
For those of you who don’t have 22 years to comb through FAQs or watch lengthy YouTube videos, this means you’ll want a hosting service that provides high quality 24/7 customer support. You’ll want to avoid any companies that outsource their support to India or who only offer their users online tickets or email support.
A dedicated server is going to cost you a pretty penny so you want to make darn sure that you have access to chat or over the phone support so that you can get your money’s worth.
If you’re the type of person who thinks that using a wide variety of strong passwords for your online activities is “Unnecessary” then this part if for you.
High quality server level security will greatly reduce the risk of your website being breached by a DDoS or brute force attack and will help ensure that your own lackadaisical security standards don’t result in the abject destruction of your entire online infrastructure.
Be sure to opt for a web host that provides you with DNS protection, active website monitoring, and other advanced security features.
With all of this out of the way, let’s dive into the three best dedicated hosting services of 2020…
Although dedicated hosting certainly isn’t for everyone, the above services will help you stretch your budget and maximize your investment so that you can rest easy knowing that your website is operating at peak capacity.
While there are plenty of other dedicated hosts that are ‘good’, at Hosting Canada, we prefer to recommend only the greats.
We hope this guide has been helpful and, as always, if you have any questions, concerns, or snarky remarks (actually, let’s leave that to the American hosting review sites )… feel free to drop them in the comments section below!
What is the best dedicated server hosting company?
The best dedicated server hosting company is Kinsta due to their best-in-class speeds as well as their top-notch security and customer support.
What is dedicated web hosting?
Dedicated hosting is when one server is devoted to a single website or company. This enables all the server’s resources to be available for that one company.
What is the difference between dedicated and non-dedicated servers?
A non-dedicated hosting server means that the resources on the server or servers your company is utilizing are shared. A dedicated server allows all the resources on a server to be available for one company or website.
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