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Best web hosting Canada: should you go global or pick a Canadian web host?


In this article, we’re going to take a look at 6 of the best web hosting options for Canada, as well as what you should be looking at when choosing a provider. Pricing options by individual providers, performance analysis, pros and cons for each provider - you’ll find it all right here.

Canada is the most polite country in the world and the official home of maple syrup. But it is not a huge hosting supplier. So with the demand for website hosting in Canada (and around the globe) continually rising, finding the best web hosting in Canada is not an easy feat.

Fortunately, a lot of global companies can help you out if you or your audience is based in Canada.

I did good research to find these golden nuggets. Unlike many others, I actually went and bought the plans that the suppliers offer and set up websites on each and every one of them. I am not here to sugarcoat the truth about them either - what you’ll see below is what you get.

So let’s get straight to the best web hosting Canada options to help you find the right fit.

Best web hosting Canada: ranked

If you’re looking for a place to start using web hosting in Canada but don’t really even know how to choose a provider, I have prepared a quick info section to help you out.

1. Hostinger

Hostinger
Features:Free SSL, weekly backups, friendly support, fast LiteSpeed webserver
Uptime:100%
Speed:511ms
Best for:Both personal and business projects at affordable price
Current deal: 🔥Get up to 78% OFF Hostinger + 3 months free!🔥

Hostinger is definitely the king of cheap hosting, although it has a lot more to offer than just that. A simple and clean control panel, a friendly customer support team, good performance, and a choice of servers from all around the globe. That’s just part of what you get from Hostinger.

  • The customer support team is what really stood out to me when using Hostinger’s services. The agents are very friendly and unique, each showing off their personality while helping you out. And they really are helpful. While that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I really enjoyed that. You can reach them 24/7 via chat or email.
  • Another thing is that Hostinger focuses on performance a lot. So you get a broad server location choice and modern server technology such as LiteSpeed web server with its own caching engine for better speeds.
  • The control panel is also straightforward. It's custom-made by following the best cPanel practices. So you get a nice modern interface and all the essential and nice-to-have functionalities

As for everything else, there’s really nothing much negative anyone can say. The performance is good, the prices are as low as they get. What else can you need?

Hostinger pricing

The providers hosting plans start at a mere $2.69/month and go up to $8.09/month for the most expensive cloud hosting plan.

All plans have a free domain, SSL certificates, weekly backups, email accounts, and LiteSpeed Web Server and caching. Security features are also well rounded, covering firewalls, monitoring, and DDoS protection,

  • The Premium Shared Hosting plan at $2.69/month gets you a free domain, 100 email accounts, unlimited bandwidth, and 100GB of storage.
  • For $3.59/month, you can get the Business Shared Hosting plan which includes all of the benefits from the Premium plan, as well as daily backups, 200GB of storage, and more processing power and memory.
  • The Cloud Startup plan at $8.09/month offers 300 websites, 200GB SSD storage space, 2CPUs cores, 3GB RAM, cache manager, free daily backups, and CDN.

As far as prices and value for money are concerned, there are really not many better choices than Hostinger. Additionally, you can get your money back 30 days after the purchase.

Hostinger performance

With the focus on the latest performance improvements, Hostinger does deliver excellent results.

Over several months, the uptime stayed at the ideal 100%, while the guarantee is just 99.9%. It’s best to underpromise and overdeliver, right?

Hostinger uptime and response time

The response time had a couple of bumps here and there but averaged at good 511ms. This is better than the industry average.

Other performance metrics were even more impressive, and you can check them on the performance testing section in the full Hostinger review.

But let’s quickly discuss what makes Hostinger good in this department:

  • Server location choice. With servers in the US, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, France, India, Singapore, and Brazil, you can pick the one that’s closest to your audience. This way, the website will load fastest to them.
  • Latest technological improvements including a modern and fast LiteSpeed web server with caching. Other software upgrades such as the latest PHP version are there too.

So in terms of performance, Hostinger has little competition.

All things considered, you get an easy-to-use control panel, great performance numbers, a reasonable amount of features. All for a price that’s lower than pretty much anything else on the market.

2. HostGator

HostGator
Features:Free domain, SSL, cPanel, unlimited storage and bandwidth
Uptime:>99.99%
Speed:525ms
Best for:Beginner users and small business sites
Current deal:🔥Get HostGator with 62% OFF🔥

Another one for the beginner users out there, HostGator offers a user-friendly and affordable hosting option. The packages are okay without being spectacular. HostGator’s whole design is tailor-made for everyone starting out in the world of hosting. This definitely makes it an option worth considering.

  • Plans are affordable but they do include all the essentials. That is a free domain, SSL, and email accounts. For some, that's too minimalistic. Yet, nothing more is needed when you're starting out.
  • At the same time, you get a good user interface and cPanel integration. That’s a straightforward and easy way of managing your websites.
  • HostGator also has a great 24/7 customer support service. The agents are quick to respond and very knowledgeable, giving beginners yet another reason to go with this provider.

While I am able to see why HostGator can be less desirable for more experienced users, the fact that it’s so user-oriented kind of pays back for any flaws it has. It is a decent hosting provider that is more than worth looking into.

HostGator pricing

HostGator offers three different shared hosting plans that start at$ 3.75/month and go up to$6.25/month.

All of the plans include a free SSL certificate, a free domain, and free website transfer as long as your website was previously on WordPress and/or cPanel.

  • The Hatchling plan offers hosting for a single domain with unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage for $3.75/month. It really does not include any other features worth mentioning and is basically a bare-bones plan that is enough to get you started.
  • At $4.50/month, the Baby plan is not that much different from the Hatchling plan. The one key difference is that it includes hosting for unlimited domains.
  • The Business plan costs $6.25/month and gets you everything that the previous plans do, plus a dedicated IP, an upgrade to Positive SSL, and an SEO Tools package to your website.

Overall, these are great basic plans to start a blog or even a small business website on.

HostGator performance

HostGator's performance is both excellent and average, depending on what you’re focusing on. Reliability is great, while speeds are on the average side of things.

Talking of uptime, HostGator scored >99.99% result with just 3 outages that lasted 5 minutes.

HostGator uptime and response time

The response time averaged at 525ms, which is better than what the industry offers usually, but not by much. It had a couple of bumps too.

Other metrics were good, yet nothing unusual. You can check them out in the full HostGator review.

And, just like with many others, HostGator’s servers are in the US, catering for the whole North American market, Canada very much included.

At the end of the day, the target audience for HostGator is beginner users, and it definitely hits the bullseye of that target. It is very easy to use, has a great customer support team, and the plans are sufficient without being too much to handle.

3. Bluehost

Bluehost
Features:Functional interface, cPanel, WordPress staging
Uptime:99.63%
Speed:971ms
Best for:Shared, WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, and dedicated hosting
Current deal: 🔥Get up to 75% OFF Bluehost!🔥

Bluehost is one of the best hosting providers suitable for Canada. While it only has servers in the US, that doesn’t stop the service from offering solid results for customers in Canada. The service is primarily geared towards WordPress hosting, but you’ll have no trouble customizing the site to your needs using Bluehost’s easy-to-use interface.

  • Customers of all subscriptions gain unmetered bandwidth, a free domain and SSL certificate, and can utilize the in-house My Sites system for website management.
  • Our most recent Bluehost tests yielded an average uptime of 99.63% over one month. During this time, a fully-built site's average response time was 971ms, which isn’t particularly impressive.
  • Starting Bluehost plans include essential security features like SSL certificates and DDoS protection. Meanwhile, additional perks like daily automatic backups will cost extra.

Most importantly, Bluehost offers 24/7 live chat customer support should you ever encounter issues requiring urgent assistance. However, there’s no option to communicate via email, which some consider a downside.

Bluehost pricing

Bluehost prices start at only $2.95/month for the Basic plan, which is quite affordable if your needs aren’t particularly lofty. You’ll gain one website with 10GB of SSD storage and a custom domain, among other essentials. Naturally, the hosting provider also offers pricier and more feature-rich plans if you have more ambitious goals.

  • The second Plus plan costs $5.45/month and grants you the ability to host unlimited websites. Additionally, your SSD storage space will double in size up to 20GB.
  • Getting the Choice Plus option for $5.45/month once again increases storage space to 40GB. You’ll also gain domain privacy and daily backup features.
  • The final Pro plan costs $8.99/month and provides a staggering 10GB of SSD storage space. Besides that, you gain all the features of the previous plans and a dedicated IP address.

A 30-day money-back guarantee is included with all plans but only if you adhere to certain conditions. Plus, remember that these prices are valid only for the first year and will renew at the regular rate afterward.

Bluehost performance

We evaluated Bluehost by hosting a site with it for one month and monitoring some of the most vital metrics.

One of the most vital metrics is uptime, which was around 99.63% over 30 days of testing. This is quite impressive, considering that Bluehost doesn’t grant an uptime guarantee like many other hosting providers.

bluehost uptime and response time test results

Bluehost gave us 971ms regarding server response time, which isn’t particularly fast but good enough for a fully built site.

Finally, we conducted a stress test by bombarding the site with 50 virtual users. The site didn’t fail, which is an excellent sign. Naturally, response time spiked a few times, but that’s quite common and didn’t significantly impact performance.

4. SiteGround

SiteGround
Features:domain, WordPress staging, caching, Ultrafast PHP, backups
Uptime:99.99%
Speed:217ms
Best for:Small and medium business websites
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 83% OFF SiteGround + FREE TRANSFER! 🔥

SiteGround offers WordPress-focused features and blazing-fast speeds, and optimization tools. It’s also best suited for targeting visitors from North America (the US and Canada), as it has multiple nearby servers.

  • With SiteGround, you get all the basics first: WordPress installation, migration services, updates, and auto-setup process. All of these features help you take off with your website in minutes.
  • With a native control panel and a beginner-friendly interface, SiteGround caters to all kinds of users: beginners and advanced tech-savvies.
  • SiteGround also has many speed-optimizing features, including a pre-configured caching system and PHP setup (Ultrafast PHP).
  • Additionally, SiteGround offers reliable and helpful 24/7 customer support, which is available in all forms and shapes – live chat, phone, tickets, and knowledge base.

Considering everything that SiteGround offers, it’s truly one of the prominent options for use in Canada or nearby countries.

SiteGround pricing

This hosting provider is affordable and offers good value for money, considering that it’s a premium solution. Its prices start at $2.99/month.

All 3 premium plans include a free domain, free SSLs, native CDN, daily backups, and caching. There are additional features, too.

  • StartUp plan starts at $2.99/month and is a starter pack that comes with 1 website, 10GB SSD storage, and up to 10,000 monthly visits.
  • GrowBig plan (starting at $4.99/month) comes as the universal option for all websites. It includes perks like staging, adding collaborators, and Ultrafast PHP.
  • GoGeek plan (starting at $7.99/month) has a lot of extras, its server resources support unlimited sites and around 400,000 monthly visitors.

SiteGround comes with different but versatile plans that cater to different users and different needs. If you’re only starting your website or are more advanced – SiteGround has something to offer.

SiteGround performance

SiteGround is known to have some of the best performance results – we monitored it over 2 months and received impressive scores.

Over 2 months of testing with a fully built WordPress site (using tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix), SIteGround’s uptime was 99.99%, which is quite an impressive metric in the long run.

siteground-performance

Its server response time was around 217ms, which, compared to other leading providers for Canada, sets the standard.

Even though SiteGround doesn’t have a data center in Canada, it provides quite some nearby in the US (the closest ones are in Virginia, Texas Iowa). This is close enough to guarantee good speeds.

All summed up, choosing SiteGround for Canada is ideal if you want to have ensured speed and easy management. With its own tools and technology, SiteGround caters to users who are looking for a reliable and functional solution.

Read our SiteGround review to learn more about the hosting provider.

5. HostPapa

HostPapa
Features:Free SSL, domain, training session, cPanel
Uptime:100%
Speed:1.19s
Best for:Local business websites
Current deal:🔥Get HostPapa with 82%OFF🔥

You can’t talk about web hosting in Canada and leave HostPapa out of the conversation. It’s our only 100% Canada-based option here. The provider is popular amongst businesses due to the many resources and loads of features that it offers with its plans.

  • To start the list of HostPapa perks, the many resources would be ideal. Even with the entry plan, the provider gives more than others – 100GB storage for 2 websites is often more than enough to last a lifetime. Not to mention a free domain for a year and SSL – there are no other expenses.
  • Ease of use is also on the list – HostPapa uses the standard cPanel, which is as straightforward and intuitive as they get.
  • And to finish off, there’s a free one-on-one training session that you can book. Whether it’s a WordPress installation or on-page optimizations, you can ask the agents to help you out during this personalized session.

Overall, being one of the first and best Canadian web hosting companies, HostPapa looks like an excellent option. Especially for small businesses that need everything in one place.

HostPapa pricing

HostPapa has 4 different shared hosting plans to choose from that start at $2.36/month and range up to $10.36/month.

All plans offer a free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, a free domain, Cloudflare CDN, and numerous business email account.

  • The Start plan at $2.36/month offers to host 1 website, just like most other providers offer with their cheapest plans. It also gets you 100GB of SSD storage and 10 email accounts, which is more than enough for a single website.
  • The Plus plan is priced at $4.76/month and offers to host 10 websites with 100GB storage and 100 email accounts. Plus, it includes getting staging and a free 30-minute training session.
  • At the same 4.76/month, the Pro plan eliminates all restrictions on the number of sites you can host, as well as includes unlimited storage and email accounts. Additionally, you get Enhanced SSL certificates, and automated server backups and your site is hosted on servers with fewer accounts.
  • As for the priciest Ultra plan retailing at $10.36/month, in comes with everything from the Pro plan, plus an enhanced security Protection Power Pro package.

Keep in mind that even though the two cheapest plans are both priced the same now, their renewal prices are definitely going to be quite different.

HostPapa performance

The performance numbers for HostPapa definitely leave a bit to be desired. It’s very reliable, yet speed is not among the strengths.

While the 100% uptime backed by a 99.9% uptime guarantee is definitely excellent, the average response time of 1.19 seconds is pretty awful. There’s just no other way to phrase it.

HostPapa's uptime and response time monitoring

These are just not the type of numbers that you want to see, and search engines don’t want to see them either. That’s mostly why HostPapa is a better choice for people that do not seek to get traffic from search engines.

Fortunately, other performance metrics during the tests were good. You can check them out in the full HostPapa review.

On the more positive side, the provider does have data centers in Canada, though, which is great if you’re targeting a Canadian visitor base.

HostPapa is simply great for some people, while it’s not very good for others. You should weigh your options carefully, and you might be getting a great deal for an affordable package with loads of features. Just make sure everything meets your needs.

Best web hosts for Canada compared

ProviderHostingerHostGatorBluehostSiteGroundHostPapa
BrandHostGatorBluehosthostpapa
Speed511ms525ms971ms217ms1.19s
Uptime99.9%99.9%None99.9%99.9%
Data center locationYes, 7YesYesYes, 5Yes
Shared hosting
WordPress hosting
VPS or Cloud hosting
Control panelhPanelNative +cPanelcPanelSite ToolsNative
Free SSL
Free domain
Customer support24/724/724/724/724/7
Price rangeFrom $2.69/moFrom $3.75/monthFrom $2.95/monthFrom $2.99/moFrom $2.36/month
ReviewHostinger reviewHostGator reviewBluehost reviewSiteGround reviewHostPapa review

Best web hosting Canada: final recommendations

As you can tell, there’s plenty for you to choose from when it comes to web hosting in Canada. Each provider is very different and offers a unique package to the customer, which only means you should be able to find something that suits your needs to perfection.

Here’s a quick recap before you start making any final decisions:

  • Hostinger is very cheap and has great performance as well as a friendly customer support team.
  • HostGator is extremely beginner-friendly and includes all essentials to start a website.
  • Bluehost is heavily optimized towards WordPress and has a WordPress website builder.
  • SiteGround is a great all-around option with an intuitive interface and good WordPress features.
  • HostPapa is a Canadian hosting provider with plenty of server resources for local businesses.

Choosing the best provider for your site

There are several things you should pay attention to when choosing a hosting provider. Pricing and performance are definitely the king and queen of this business, although you really shouldn’t forget such things as customer support, ease of use, upsells, and more.

Pricing

The pricing is pretty much as straightforward as it gets. You want to get the most for the least money possible. However, make sure to check what you get for your money. A CA$6.00/month plan packed with useful features might be a better choice than a CA$3.00 plan that barely offers anything at all. And let’s not forget all the different options, including shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated servers.

For getting started:

You will find that the majority of shared hosting options are rather affordable with most providers. This is just what the market dictates, and paying more than CA$10.00/month for a shared hosting plan seems outrageous nowadays.

For first-time users, entry or mid-grade plans for CA$2-5/mo are absolutely perfect.

Hostinger is an ideal example.

Upgrading:

If you grow out of the shared hosting boots and need a VPS or a dedicated host – most providers do have that on offer. These will give you a lot more resources and upgraded performance. However, it all comes at a price. These plans can be as expensive as CA$500+/month.

At the same time, quality VPS for upgrading from shared usually starts at CA$15.00/month and can be scaled as needed.

Cloudways is a good example.

At the end of the day, just try to make sure that you get the best value for money and that the possibility to scale is there if you ever need it.

Performance

As far as performance is concerned, there are two extremely important numbers you should keep your eye on - uptime and average response time. You want your uptime to be as close to 100% as possible. An average response time up to 600ms is ideal, and anything above 1 second is really bad.

  • Uptime measures how much time (in %) a provider keeps your website live. You might have guessed, 100% is what we all should strive for. However, electricity and servers overall are a bit unpredictable, so most providers have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This is fine. But if you manage to find a provider that offers more – consider yourself lucky.
  • Response time is the initial server delay until it reacts to any request (to open a page, for example). So while this delay happens, your site is not yet loading. 600ms is the maximum that’s recommended.

These are the performance essentials you need to know when looking at all of the providers on the list. Keeping them in mind should help you with weighing in on your options.

Other features

It is easy to get carried away by pricing and performance and forget everything else. However, there are other features you definitely should think about when choosing a hosting provider. Customer support, upsells, and ease of use are probably the most notable.

Customer support

Make sure that the provider you’re looking at has at least a decent customer support team. A 24/7 live chat and phone call support has pretty much become the norm nowadays. Although not a dealbreaker, not having that type of customer support is quite a big con. A vast knowledge base is always nice to have as well.

If you are a beginner in this crazy world of website hosting, make sure that you pay extra attention to your provider having a good customer support team. Trust me, you will have questions, and you will have issues. Might as well choose a provider that will help you solve them.

For example, HostPapa even has a one-on-one training session (with all plans except the Start) that you can book for free.

Pricing tricks

The website hosting business is notorious for upsell attempts. Some are tolerable, some are terrible, and some are straight-up annoying. Knowing about them is essential if you don’t want your pockets emptied without even knowing about it.

Let’s just quickly run through what you see most often:

  • If you choose a shorter billing period, you will get a higher price a month;
  • Plan renewal prices are usually higher than the initial prices a month;
  • Some essential features may not be included in the plans and are only offered as paid extras;
  • Items may be added to your checkout cart without prior notice.

Upsell attempts aren’t something you can avoid. It is pretty annoying at the start but just becomes a part of the deal after a while.

Ease of use

You are going to be using the provider’s dashboard and control panel a lot, so it only makes sense to choose one that’s easier to use. Many providers offer a custom dashboard, cPanel integration, or both of these things nowadays, which helps a lot.

The cPanel is something that many people are used to, which is why they refuse to take custom control panels seriously. However, while cPanel is great, a custom control panel can definitely be as effective and even easier to use, all without any extra costs.



Web hosting Canada FAQs

Comments

Vincent Gauthier
prefix 1 year ago
I'm looking into migrating my business online store. With HostPapa, how much of an advantage is it to have servers in Canada if they have such a slow response time?
Cybernews Team
prefix 1 year ago
Good day, Vincent. First of all, thank you for your question. Now talking about servers in Canada, it depends on whether your audience is in Canada too. You should pick the server closest to the audience you want to reach, not your residential location. So if Canada is your target market, we'd strongly suggest choosing a server there too. As for the slow response, while the initial response might be slower, you can add a few additional speed optimizations that will help it improve immensely. Hope this helps!
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