Where in the world do SAAS NORTH attendees store their data?

We found out!

Do you know where your data lives?

It's a simple question, but one that many people don't know the answer to. It's generally understood that although data is stored "in the cloud", at the end of the day, this data is still being stored in physical locations via servers.

Pinpointing exactly where the servers are that store your data (your website or app) can have a big impact on performance. Plus, every country has their own privacy laws, so this should be taken into consideration when choosing where to host your data.

We took a survey of SaaS North 2018 conference attendees to find out where their websites are hosted. Read on to see the results!

We also analyzed:

Performance

Site speed can be measured in many ways. Performance is the average score of a variety of different website speed tests.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

SSL is the technology that creates an encrypted link between a browser and a web server (this keeps your data safe). If you don't have an SSL certificate, some browsers will show visitors that your website is "not secure". Don't want that to happen? Get an SSL certificate now.

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

CDN is a set of servers that are distributed around the world that work together to help Internet content load faster (thanks to caching). Geographic location affects speed, so loading cached content from a nearby server ensures faster loading times. Need CDN? We can help with that.

Asking the big questions:

1) Where is my data?

Your data is stored in your web hosting company's datacenter. Web hosts typically have many datacenters, so you might have to ask them where your website is stored. If you can't obtain this information, you may want to consider changing hosting providers so you know exactly where your data is.

2) Why is my data there?

Sometimes web hosts don't allow their customers to choose where their data is stored, and sometimes a default location is pre-selected. Web hosts' datacenter offerings can even change over time, so you may have access to more options than when you first set up your account.

3) Will I benefit from hosting in Canada?

If your company is Canadian and your customers are Canadian, the benefits of hosting in Canada are huge! Even if you and/or your customers aren't Canadian, you can still take advantage of the privacy laws Canada has in place. Learn more here.

Site loading times can depend on the geographic distance from their storage point. This is why hosting closer to your audience is beneficial, and why CDNs are a must for quick delivery of Internet content.

5) Why should I care about any of this?

Where your data lives matters because performance and privacy matter. The web is paramount to business growth—slow sites can slow your sales and frustrate potential new customers or audience members. Consumers don't have much patience, and things move faster than ever. Any increase in speed you can provide will positively benefit your users' experience. Besides supporting the national economy (if you're Canadian), Canada has privacy laws that have benefits hosting companies outside of Canada can't provide. 

The results are in:

heatmap-results

A) Geographic Location

%

Less than a quarter of surveyed attendees host their data in Canada.

%

Majority of surveyed attendees host or use a CDN based in the U.S.A.

%

The remaining surveyed attendees host their data outside of North America.

B) SSL Usage

%

Over three quarters of surveyed attendees use SSL.
There are still many surveyed attendees whose web visitors are being told their site isn't secure.

C) CDN Usage

%

Very few of those surveyed take advantage of CDN.

Conclusion + Final Thoughts

Although most of our survey participants work in Canada, their websites are not living here. More can be done to improve performance of sites across the board, but the "optimal" website can be a moving target. Set goals for reviewing your website or app on a regular basis so you can make improvements and adjustments as need be. Every bit helps!

Contact us to chat more about hosting in Canada and taking advantage of SSL and CDN. Check out our blog post for more thoughts from the team on our experiences at SaaS North!

Proudly Canadian.

We have partners and customers all around the world, but our roots are here in Canada. We have datacenters in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Not from Canada? You can benefit from hosting here, too!

 

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Content with a global reach.

Have customers outside of Canada? With datacenters and private clouds across the globe, you’ll be able to reach your audience with ease. Plus, your Cloudflare Pro account ensures that your content is being delivered safely and efficiently.