There are a lot of things you need to consider when selecting a web host provider. One thing that often gets overlooked is your server’s data center location. This is the place where your server hardware is maintained and stored. A server’s location can affect your site’s latency and speed. The closer your server is to your users, the less distance that information and data have to travel and, therefore, the faster your site will be.
Accordingly, if your website is in Canada and you expect most of your visitors to be Canadian, it’s probably a good idea to host your website with a provider, like GreenGeeks, that has data centers in Canada.
That being said, you don’t necessarily have to have your Canadian site hosted in Canada. In some cases, depending on where you are in Canada, a U.S. data center might be closer to you. However, there are other advantages to hosting your website in Canada.
Advantages of Hosting your Website in Canada
There is a significant difference in how privacy gets handled in the U.S. and Canada. Your websites, databases, and emails fall under the country’s governance where your server is located. This means that Canada’s servers fall under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). This act regulates private information on hosted servers with laws intended to protect personal and sensitive data.
Servers in the U.S., by contrast, fall under the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act lets the government legally access any data. It also allows them to monitor your communications if they believe your activity is suspicious and block you from accessing your data. Even Canadian citizens are subject to these laws if their site is hosted on a U.S. server.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is not just about keywords and content optimization; it’s also about your server location. If your target audience is in Canada, you will want to increase your presence in Canadian search results. A Canadian based web host provider will give you a Canadian IP address. Search engines, and Google, in particular, prioritize search results based on the searcher’s location. So if someone from Canada searches for one of your keywords, the search engine will automatically load Canadian IP addresses near the searcher’s location. This means that having a website hosted on a Canadian server will increase your search relevancy for Canadian searchers and increase your Canadian traffic.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is American legislation that has led to many FBI raids on data centers. The purpose of these seizures is to take down illegal sites. However, many legitimate sites often get taken down in the process. Canadian web hosts don’t have to comply with DMCA takedown requests immediately. They can take the time to review the claim and isolate the site in question from other clients. This lessens the chance that your site might be seized and shut down.
Canada produces an excess of electrical power, which they sell to the U.S. This surplus has ensured that Canada hasn’t had to suffer the type of power outages and high energy costs California, Texas, and other U.S. states have. Furthermore, most of the power in Canadian data centers is clean and reliable hydroelectricity.
While it’s not necessary to host your website in Canada, there are many advantages. The primary benefit is proximity. The closer your target audience is to your server, the faster your site will load, and the better their experience will be. Therefore if you are in Canada, targeting Canadian customers, or are targeting customers close to a Canadian data center, you would benefit from hosting your website in Canada. Additionally, Canadian servers offer privacy, improved SEO, protection from DMCA, and reliability. All good reasons to choose to host your website in Canada.