Guide to Web Hosting Services and Plans for Canadians
After buying your domain name, find a web host for your Canadian website is usually the second step in creating a website. Whether you’re thinking of taking on the Internet as a successful blogger, a business owner in Canada, looking to establish a web presence for your brick-mortar business, or a new web entrepreneur looking to set up your online business, you’ll need a web hosting service to host that future website of yours.
Definition of Web Hosting
In simplest terms, your web site is simply composed of interactive data files that users from around the world can open up and read. You need a computer on which to store these files so that users can access them. Web hosting supplies that computer. You upload your pages to the computer, also known as a server, and from there anyone anywhere can open your files and see your information, i.e. see your website.
Registering a Domain Name
In order to find your website, Internet users need an address of sorts. When you first establish your own web site you purchase a domain name which is then assigned an IP address by the company that hosts your domain. That IP address is published on something called the Domain Name Servers (DNS), which your web browser searches when you type in a web address. The browser looks up the IP address and then goes to the web site.
- Get a Free Domain with a Hosting Plan on WHC.ca
- Get a Free Domain with a Hosting Plan on HostPapa.ca
- Buy a Domain on GoDaddy.com
Shared hosting utilizes a very large server which can host thousands of individual websites. Shared hosting typically offers a wide variety of features and services designed to help you create your website and get it online easily. Sometimes, shared hosting is sold to the marketplace by resellers rather than by the owners of the server. Under this arrangement, the server’s owners make money by renting server space, while leaving all the sales and marketing to the reseller. It’s the most affordable hosting option, and usually the recommended choice for a small business website, a blog or a personal website, especially if it’s your first time hosting a website.
Dedicated Web Hosting
With dedicated web hosting, the site owner typically controls a single server free from any other users. This dedicated server may or may not be owned by the site owner, but typically it’s rented from a hosting service. The main advantage of dedicated hosting is that it allows the site owner full root privileges to control all the data, applications, and information contained on the server. However, it is much more costly than its Shared Hosting counterpart, and is usually recommended for very large website, with a lot of traffic, and heavy on resources use.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
The VPS is one of the newest technologies being introduced to web hosting services. With VPS web hosting, the customer is given full control of a virtual private server running on the main server. Think of it in terms of a virtual computer inside of a real computer. The virtual computer exists only in software, but it is isolated from everything else running on the physical server.
The VPS option allows customers to set up their own servers inside a virtual machine that’s insulated from all other operations being done on the physical server. As long as that physical server remains in operation, the VPS also remains in business regardless of what happens to any other sites hosted on the server. For security and efficiency reasons, VPS hosting is quickly becoming a popular option; it is intelligent compromise between Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. For example, this website, WebLegal.ca, is hosted on a Virtual Private Server managed by Liquid Web.
Top Recommended Hosting Companies for Canadians
On WebLegal.ca, we recommend three specific web hosting companies: Host Papa, Liquid Web and WHC.ca. We’ve tried each of them, and they all offer great customer service, excellent up-time, and affordable rates.
At the moment, if we had to choose one hosting service for Canadians, it would be WHC.ca because:
- They are based in Canada
- They offer excellent customer service and hosting features tailored for Canadians
- Amongst other things, you get a free domain with your hosting plan