What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows you to make your website available on the internet. This service is offered by website hosting providers. These providers place your website data on a server so that when internet users want to access your site, all they have to do is type your domain address into the browser. Their computer will then connect to your site’s server, and your site will be made available to them.
Does it Matter Where My Server is Located?
Do you need to host your Canadian website on servers located in Canada? The short answer is “yes.”
As a Canadian website, your target audience will reside in Canada. Therefore, you want your servers to be located in this country because the closer your site visitors are to your servers, the better their website experience will be.
This is because the nearer a person is to the server for the site they’re trying to access, the faster the website will load. When someone is close to the web server, there are fewer networks that the data has to pass through to reach them. For example, imagine if your site visitors are in the US and your server is in the UK. In order for the website to load on the US person’s computer, the data has to travel across the Atlantic Ocean. As a result of this distance, the web page will be slower to load than if you had the data on a US server.
Increased load time is a significant factor in improving the amount of time people remain on your website. Furthermore, when a website is slow to load, visitors are unlikely to wait, and you risk losing their patronage. Therefore, choosing Canadian web hosting ensures that your target audience in Canada will have the best experience possible.
Search Engine Optimization
Keywords and content optimization are crucial components of any SEO strategy. However, where your data is hosted also affects your search engine ranking. This is because you will get an IP address based on the country where your servers are located. Therefore, if you store your information on a server in Canada, you will get a Canadian IP address. This is beneficial because when someone in Canada performs a Google search, it will automatically load Canadian IP addresses near where they’re searching. As a result, your website is more likely to come up in a Canadian’s search results.
When you store your data on a physical server (as opposed to the cloud), it falls under the laws of the country where the server resides. For example, Canadian servers are governed by the Canadian legal system’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA strictly regulates the protection of sensitive and personal data. This means that federal agencies or governments can’t access your website’s information.
In the US, by contrast, the Patriot Act enables the government to legally access your data, block you from your data, and even monitor your communications. Therefore, even if you’re a Canadian citizen, your website’s data is subject to the Patriot Act if it’s hosted in the United States. Furthermore, if you host your site on Canadian servers, you’re not required to comply with DMCA takedown requests immediately. DMCA refers to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The purpose of the DMCA is to seize illegal sites. However, many legal sites often get taken down in the process. Fortunately, if your site’s servers are in Canada, the web host can review the DMCA claim and isolate the illegal site in question from its other clients. As a result, your site is less likely to be seized and shut down.
Canada has a surplus of electrical power, which they sell to the US. As a result of this excess, Canada doesn’t experience power outages and high energy costs like many US states like California and Texas. Therefore, if you use a Canadian server, you’re less likely to experience downtime from a power outage. Additionally, most data centers in Canada run on clean hydroelectricity.
If you target a Canadian audience, you would be remiss not to host your website on servers in Canada. By choosing a web hosting provider that uses Canadian data centers, you’re ensuring a fast page loading experience for your site visitors. Additionally, you get a Canadian IP address with a Canadian server, which helps with your search engine ranking. Canadian servers also ensure your website data remains private and protected from seizures from things like the DMCA.