How We Choose the Best Web Hosting
Whether you receive 1,000 monthly visitors or 1,000,000, good web hosting is fundamental to strong site performance. You don’t need to break the bank to get reliable performance, but you also shouldn’t cut costs without understanding what you’re losing.
In preparing this article, we took a close look at some of the most popular Canadian web hosting providers in 2021. While there is a wide range of differences between various services, we primarily focused on three of the most important web hosting features.
The point of web hosting is to keep your website online, so the most fundamental feature we look for is dependable uptime. Fortunately, all the providers on this list provide at least 99.9% uptime—one goes even further by offering a guarantee of 100% uptime.
We also investigated further to look at user experiences with each provider along with looking at stated uptime. Regardless of what other features a provider offers, you don’t want to deal with a service that doesn’t give you perfect (or nearly perfect) uptime.
Most smaller businesses stick with shared hosting plans, but you may be interested in another arrangement, depending on your budget and needs. In a shared hosting plan, you’ll be splitting a server and resources with other websites, but you’ll also get lower prices.
The next step up from shared hosting is VPS (virtual private server) hosting, which gives each user a virtualized server instance on a shared physical server. This is a good option for organizations that need more bandwidth and reliability than they can get with shared hosting.
Dedicated hosting offers full access to a server’s resources along with more fine-tuned control over your configuration. Dedicated hosting arrangements tend to be substantially more expensive than either shared or VPS hosting.
In addition to these three main types of hosting, some providers also offer managed hosting for WordPress sites. These services are specifically designed for WordPress users, and they can usually be set up very quickly in just a few steps.
Finally, cloud hosting detaches your website from an individual physical server, instead allocating resources from multiple servers. Because your site won’t be connected to any particular server, cloud hosting is very easy to scale compared to other types of hosting arrangements.
Different providers offer different combinations of services—some only offer WordPress hosting, for example, while others also provide shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting. We’ll note the options available from each provider, so focus on services that support the kind of arrangement you’re looking for.
As mentioned earlier, pricing shouldn’t be your only consideration when you’re looking for a new hosting provider. Your web hosting provider will greatly impact your site’s speed and availability, so performance should always be your priority.
That being said, the web hosting environment is extremely competitive in 2021, so there’s no reason to overspend when so many other platforms are available. With that in mind, we’ll also go through the pricing plans of each provider to help you find a cost-effective option for your organization.