Thoughts on Canadian business using American hosting?

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Hi everyone, first post here. 🙂

I’m looking to start a web design business. I’ll mainly just be building and helping to maintain existing websites for small-medium businesses. I’ll be taking on WordPress projects but also probably a few custom sites for any customers who prefer to go that route.

I don’t want to take on the responsibility of hosting customer sites on my own hosting plan. I’m guessing it’s a tough sell to get a customer to use a web developer’s own hosting when they could cut out the middle man and pay for their hosting themselves and save some money.

If I did only the web development work and left my customers to handle their domain registration and hosting themselves (with my help if they needed it) – what would be a good recommendation for Canadian customers?

Here’s the twist: I live in Canada and many of my customers will be Canadian. I’ve read that there might be a small SEO benefit to hosting a Canadian website with a Canadian web host.

There’s also latency: performance will be better the closer the data center is to the customer’s target audience (although I’m not sure how noticeable this will be between the States and Canada).

Lastly, there’s the issue of privacy. Hosting a site on a US server means the US government can poke around any time it wants to – something that some Canadian businesses (such as law firms) would be wary of – a deal breaker for some businesses.

In spite of the SEO, latency and privacy issues I’ve outlined above, I am personally impressed with SiteGround and signed up with them for my own business’ site about a month ago (on their "GrowBig" plan, so I can host multiple sites for my own purposes, instead of just one). Their North American data center to me is Chicago (their only one in N. America). It’s 1,500 miles away from me (Calgary) but, in spite of this, loading times for me have been fantastic (around 500 ms, give or take), so I that only leaves potential issues with SEO and privacy. I spent nearly a week trying to find a Canadian host that I liked – it wasn’t a quick decision, going with one based in the US. Maybe there is a Canadian host that I would have liked but I haven’t heard about it yet – so please let me know your favorite Canadian host if you have one!

Are there any Canadians here using SiteGround? If so, what’s your experience been like so far?

What would be a good hosting provider for me to recommend to Canadian small business customers? I want to have a simple go-to recommendation that I can make for all my customers, so a Canadian host would be easier. I’m looking for something with excellent performance (fast load times), decent availability and priced competitively for a small business.

Any info would be much appreciated!

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