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Why Canadian Businesses Use CanSpace Solutions Web Hosting: Q/A with CEO Sunil Singh

Why Canadian Businesses Use CanSpace Solutions Web Hosting: Q/A with CEO Sunil Singh

Bethenny Carl
Website Planet had the chance to sit down and chat with CanSpace Solutions Founder & CEO, Sunil Singh. CanSpace has been trusted for 15 years by Canada’s largest Corporations and government entities for providing reliable and fast hosting services.

We looked closely at the key factors that make CanSpace Canada’s Leader in Domain Names, and his tips from 30+ years experience to build and optimize websites in 2023.

What’s your story? How did you get into the web hosting business?

In the late 90’s I started a blog about computer processors that was getting too much traffic for my hosting provider at the time. They essentially said that I had to find a new host. I spent days looking but couldn’t find one that met my needs. Every provider was either overpriced, never answered the phone, or just overall seemed uninterested in my business. There were also virtually no hosting providers in Canada. So I ultimately decided to start my own.

In the 90s almost everyone in Canada had their sites hosted in the US. But in the 2000s I realized that Canadians had a desire to bring their data back home. With bandwidth prices coming down in Canada and tons of new datacentre space coming online, I realized that it was time to start a Canada-specific hosting company, and so CanSpace was born.

At the time there was no one dominant Canadian hosting provider, so we were able to get off the ground remarkably quickly. We immediately offered the lowest prices in Canada for .ca domains, so this was a big draw and helped us to grow our initial client base quite rapidly.

What types of hosting plans do you currently offer?

We offer shared hosting services, including individual and reseller plans. We also offer dedicated servers and VPS services for clients who need more resources, and more control over their environments.

Our VPS services are elastic and can be extended on the fly, comparable to the best cloud solutions out there. As of a few years ago, all of our services are optimized specifically for WordPress since it’s by far the most popular platform in use by our clients.

We of course also offer domain name registration services, and we are the number one .ca registrar in Canada, and we offer related services such as SSL certificates, but most importantly…

CanSpace still has the lowest prices on .CA domains

How does your mission differ from the competition?

CanSpace is Canada-specific, and designed to meet the needs of Canadian businesses. All of our servers are within Canadian borders, and all data is always stored within Canada. All our employees are in Canada, and we bill only in Canadian dollars.

This allows us to provide services to entities that have specific data-privacy requirements, such as Canadian crown corporations or medical institutions. However we also provide services to small businesses or even individual blog owners who see the value of hosting their website with a Canadian company.

What makes people eventually choose CanSpace?

Our support team, period. While we do count some of the largest companies in Canada as our clients, we still go out of our way to provide the same level of service to all of our clients. We are not a large faceless company and know many of our clients on a first name basis.

Our support team is available 24/7, and we offer support via phone, support ticket, and live chat.

Virtually everyone who switches to our company is doing so because they had poor service with other hosting companies here in Canada or the US. We have one of the lowest churn rates in the industry because we always work with our clients to ensure they are satisfied, and that their websites are performing at peak levels. A bit of hand-holding initially goes a long way in the long term, so we go out of our way to onboard our clients to the best of our ability.

Some companies and government entities using CanSpace hosting solutions:
  • The Government of BC
  • Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada
  • Canadian Down Syndrome Society
  • Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association
  • Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family
  • Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
  • Construction Foundation of BC
  • Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Canada Institute of Linguistics
  • Ottawa Central Station Inc
  • Ontario Craft Brewers
  • McGill University
  • The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
  • The Corporation of The City of Brantford

What are the most common mistakes website owners make when choosing a web hosting provider, and how can they prevent them?

Choosing the cheapest provider they can find is the number one mistake. Is saving a dollar or two a month really worth having your website – the backbone of your entire business – down for hours or days at a time?

Beyond that, many of these cheap providers – or even the larger ones – use predatory pricing where the price at renewal time is much higher than the initial price. CanSpace charges the *exact* same price at renewal time for all of our hosting plans.

What are your suggested toolkit and best practices to start a new website and optimize it?

Again WordPress is by far the most used platform by our clients. Our servers are already optimized for WordPress performance-wise, and our included WAF (Web Application Firewall) protects against virtually all hack attempts, but there are some plugins that can enhance these aspects even further.

We always suggest clients install a WordPress security plugin like Wordfence for an extra level of security, and a caching plugin like WP Rocket or WP Super Cache to take advantage of some free performance improvements.

In terms of best practices, we of course always recommend clients keep their applications updated at all times. In terms of WordPress, this means updating to the latest core version when it becomes available, as well as keeping all plugins updated as well. Disabling unused plugins is also another best practice which can improve both security and performance.

We provide a free script installer – Softaculous – which allows clients to install WordPress with just a few clicks. The benefit to this is that it also automatically keeps WordPress updated at all times. We also include a free WordPress Toolkit with all our hosting plans, which automatically scans for any vulnerabilities.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in the future for you and your clients, and how do you plan to cope?

Climate change is a global issue and one that will affect every industry in the world. Power and heat are two of the biggest concerns when it comes to servers, which are of course the foundation of our business.

To mitigate this impact we have our servers hosted in the most green datacentre in Canada. The datacentre in which our servers are hosted is directly powered by the Beauharnois hydroelectric generating station in Beauharnois, Quebec.

Hydropower is a low-carbon source of renewable energy and a reliable alternative to burning fossil fuels for power. The same water that is used to power the hydrodam is directly used to cool the datacentre as well, further minimizing our carbon footprint.

Minimizing our carbon footprint has been a goal of CanSpace since the inception of our company, and we will continue to take steps to reduce our impact on the environment. We hope that other hosting companies in Canada and around the world will join us in this goal.

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