TL; DR: In the early 2000s, Emil Falcon couldn’t help but notice the severe lack of reliable, local hosting providers on the Canadian market. So, in 2003, he put together a team of IT experts and founded Web Hosting Canada. Fueled by a passion for innovation and helping businesses succeed on the web, the host has been delivering a uniquely personalized approach to hosting since it inception. Based in Montreal, Web Hosting Canada provides the technology and infrastructure that more than 20,000 worldwide organizations — large and small — rely on daily to power their web applications. We recently caught up with Emil, who told us how his company’s hands-on support and high-performance web solutions are helping customers turn profits in the increasingly competitive online business landscape.
In such a highly saturated market, hosting providers must make every effort possible to stand out from the competition. Surprisingly, a large segment of the industry’s hosts still relies on template-based email responses and slow ticket systems. As a result, many hosts are rightfully opting for a hands-on approach that boasts lightning-fast support and direct involvement from staff to attract and retain customers.
Today’s site owners are looking for value and proximity from a provider. But, for many years finding a host that delivered all three was a significant challenge — especially in Canada.
Fortunately, Web Hosting Canada hit the scene to address this and changed the landscape for hosting providers in Canada. Founded in 2003 by Emil Falcon, the Canadian hosting company’s team has since grown into an industry powerhouse, repeatedly ranked as the top Canadian domain registrar by CIRA, the .CA registry.
“Web Hosting Canada was actually spurred out of a specific need to find a Canadian hosting provider able to provide services in both of Canada’s official languages,” Emil said.
Web Hosting Canada, which partners with cPanel, Cloudlinux, and SpamExperts, provides fast, reliable service to upward of 20,000 customers throughout North America.
In addition to its 100% Canadian infrastructure, one of the host’s unique selling points is its personalized support available in English and French, 24/7.
Web Hosting Canada’s CEO, Emil, will even occasionally be found fielding customer calls or personally responding to customer questions.
“One thing I think all founders have in common is their passion about their business and technology,” Emil said. “Speaking to clients regularly allows me to share that passion while giving me crucial insight on both the quality of our operations and the evolving needs of our client base.”
Building on 15 Years of Experience in the Hosting Industry
Before launching Web Hosting Canada, Emil specialized in computer engineering and web development. Early in his career, he ran into a problem while working on a handful of sites that needed hosting.
“I’ve been in this industry for 15 years, going back to 2003,” Emil said. “It all stemmed from the fact that I was looking for a hosting solution for some of my clients’ projects.”
With very few localized providers in Canada, Emil decided to start his own company out of Quebec. By jumping in early, he was able to tap into the niche market of French-Canadian hosting.
Not only did Web Hosting Canada become an early pioneer in the Canadian market, but it was also one of the very first bilingual providers, originally run under a French brand.
“We were providing shared web hosting services almost exclusively to French-speaking Canadian clients until 2007, at which point we branched out to English to meet the growing demand,” Emil said. “It was an easy switch for us, as our team was already bilingual. It made sense for us to reach out across Canada — coast to coast.”
While branching out to other market sectors, Web Hosting Canada has maintained a strong focus on Canadian SMBs.
Providing Localized Security and Privacy from Quebec
Web Hosting Canada was launched to address the lack of reliable Canadian web hosts in the early 2000s. Its founding has since enabled many other Canadian entrepreneurs — especially those who primarily spoke French — to succeed in online business.
“We have a unique situation in that we originated from a specific geographical and socio-political context — Quebec, with a population around 8 to 9 million, likes doing things its way, and particularly likes dealing with other Quebec businesses,” Emil said. “We decided to focus on our niche market before reaching a critical mass and expanding to the rest of Canada.”
Localized infrastructure and support allows Web Hosting Canada to be more hands-on with its target client base and leads to reliable performance with minimal server lag.
In addition to its local market, Web Hosting Canada serves many clients beyond Canadian borders. Many of these clients are US-based and prefer non-US hosts for privacy reasons.
“We are noticing a lot of American businesses coming to us, specifically out of privacy concerns,” Emil said. “We’ve found a lot of success by providing security and privacy for those wanting to escape the broad reach of the Patriot Act.”
The Patriot Act — enacted as an anti-terror measure in 2001 — has garnered significant controversy due to concerns regarding NSA snooping. While some provisions have expired, a few are still active today, prompting many US webmasters to opt for Canadian hosting.
More recently, Web Hosting Canada has expanded its reach into Europe.
“We’ve also had success with French-speaking European countries that wish to tap into the North American market,” Emil said. “We have a good reputation and a highly-regarded support system.”
Emil also proudly acknowledged Web Hosting Canada’s average 4.9 rating on Google, and attributes its expanding reach to the quality service and peace of mind it provides.
“Whenever I need to cheer myself up, I’ll just read over our latest reviews,” he said. “We do what we do because we love making a positive impact on these small businesses.”
Helping Customers Through Hands-On Education and Direct Support
With locally managed datacenters, Web Hosting Canada can provide hands-on support when it comes to equipment troubleshooting and upgrades.
“People love personalized support,” he said. “In fact, informing and educating our clients is part of our day-to-day. The standard entrepreneur won’t necessarily know the intricate details as far as what they need for security or which CMS would better fit their needs. It’s such an integral part of their online presence that it’s worth having a conversation about.”
Web Hosting Canada’s solutions specialists engage in daily conversations with clients to walk them through the setup process and helps them decide on the best path to success.
Web Hosting Canada is unique in that it is the only full service Canadian hosting provider with true 24/7 support in both French and English.
“We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that our infrastructure is blazing fast, that everything is always up and running, and that we have excellent support to back it up,” he said. “Unlike many of our competitors, we have 24/7 bilingual phone and chat support. Your website doesn’t sleep on weekends and evenings so neither should the team that keeps it running.”
A Company Culture Focused on Innovation and Client Need
Web Hosting Canada sprung from Emil’s passion for web development and promoting Canadian entrepreneurship, and this focus continues to drive the company today. In such a rapidly changing industry, Web Hosting Canada has kept pace with shifting customer needs and continues to offer highly-tailored support.
“Our mission has always been to help small businesses get online and thrive by providing expertise, infrastructure, and tools to help make that happen,” Emil said. “One of the things I’m especially proud of recently has been the explosive growth of our team and client base, while maintaining or improving the overall service quality. We’ve grown faster in the last 14 months than we’ve had in the previous 14 years.”
Web Hosting Canada’s company culture revolves around embracing innovative technologies and using them to achieve the greatest business potential. The company’s team of 30 employees is very enthusiastic when it comes to helping others.
“We go to great lengths to ensure that everyone has the same basic knowledge set when they start out, regardless of what role they have in the company,” Emil said. “We also encourage constant training and hold weekly team meetings to ensure everyone’s aware of new technologies or issues client are dealing with so that they’re equipped to provide quick and effective answers.”