I'm looking to find a Canadian alternative to Dreamhost. They've provided very adequate service for most of my needs for several years. But there are also a few really annoying "features" that have been making client relations strained for nearly a year now. I need to find a new host. I'm constantly looking, but never looking very hard. Maybe you've got some recommendations?

The hosting provider that I switch to needs to:

  • be carbon neutral/green powered (if this doesn't mean anything to you, check out David Suzuki's Carbon Neutral page)
  • offer the equivalent of a reseller program where I can have "unlimited" domains and databases
  • not throttle outgoing emails (my clients currently can't get their Web based email newsletter sent in a timely manner)
  • have reliable cron (DH keeps killing cron jobs on me)
  • have some kind of control panel to administer things (I'm too old to run my own server from the command line)
  • perform security updates for me (i.e. some kind of "managed" hosting environment, not a true VPS where I also have to apply security patches and act like a system administrator)
  • optionally provide root access (if it's available I'll look into using Aegir on my server; if it doesn't, I won't)

Ideally the company will also be Canadian owned with the data centre in Canada. There are a lot of US-based companies that come close to the list above that I would be delighted to use; however, they aren't green facilities. The company needs to be green. I know how to buy carbon off-set credits for my own server but I want this to be important to the hosting provider as well.

Does this sound like a company you know about and/or use? Tell me about it!

http://www.ecologicalhosting. - they're british owned (rather than canadian), really renewable energy powered (i.e. not just relying on somewhat doubtful "offsets") but are rather expensive and don't appear to offer managed hosting but I'd be inclined to contact them as they tend to be helpful and quick to respond (and are small enough that they might be flexible with their plans).

It really depends on what you

It really depends on what you want to host, and the level of control you want to keep. I run my own (Ubuntu!) server on a Linode VPS. So far (two years), it have been great with the exception of a single major outage which lasted almost 6 hours. I am connecting by ssh once in a while to run an update, but otherwise, it just keep chugging. You can read my experience here:

If you are looking for something "managed", obviously this would not be the right choice. But for someone who wants the ability to tweak its stuff at will (that's me!), a VPS is invaluable.

If you do choose to go with Linode, I invite you to use my referral code:


Who knows, if you do, maybe the karma will come back to you in the form of a beer at a UDS!

I would heartily second

I would heartily second Etienne's recommendation of Linode. I've been a happy customer of theirs for a few years and they've been great.

Thank you for your

Thank you for your recommendations. Linode does not meet many of my requirements including: I would have to act as system administrator to the machine and it is not carbon neutral. I'm sure they are a great service. They have been recommended to me many times; however, they do not meet my requirements at this time. Other companies that come highly recommended and that I have worked with in the past and which do not meet my requirements include: Rackspace (and Slicehost), Linode, The Planet, Hosts of America and Network Redux. All of which are excellent companies, but do not offer carbon neutral/green powered hosting.

I did look into the UK-based Ecological Hosting. They are indeed very expensive. They appear to be in the range of five times more expensive than what I'm currently paying (and twice as much as when I leased my own bare metal server) and I would be charged a set-up fee. And  the data centre is in the US. meets at least some of your needs; not sure if all.

Quite a few seem to have

Quite a few seem to have green programs, though unfortunately Dreamhost seems to be one of the more popular and open about it.

Thinkhost says they are carbon neutral[1]. Their plans claim to be somewhat permissive (a lot of "unlimited" points). They also seem to have a "100% uptime guarantee[2]" which is somewhat curious. They could either be really great or a complete disaster with claims like that.


You dismissed Rackspace above, but they do have a Green initiative[3]. I'm not sure if it they are carbon neutral, but they were (at least) planting a tree for every server as of a 2007 writeup[4]. Contacting them for more information might be worthwhile (unless you already looked into their current initiatives and found them lacking).


Be sure to follow up if you do find anything.

Emma, my sincerest apologies

Emma, my sincerest apologies for not reading your question properly in the first place. I blame either caffeine overconsumption, or ADHD. Or both. Actually, probably both. :)h

Have you looked into

Have you looked into I know nothing of their reliability or stability but they are green and have servers in Canada. I really don't know if they would meet all your technical recommendations. Perhaps they're worth looking into?

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