Your website is more than just a name. It’s a curation of all your information: text, pictures, videos, charts, etc. All of this material needs a place to live. That place, your website’s home, is referred to as website hosting.
There are two main types of hosting, shared and dedicated. Depending on the size of website you plan on building and the budget you have to work with usually determines which you end up choosing.
Let's take a look at the differences between the two options.
If hosting is your website’s home, shared hosting is like an apartment building. Everyone has their own door to their apartment, but they all have to go through the same general door and entryway to get there.
What does that mean for you if your site is using shared hosting? It means your website will typically load slower than those that have their own dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting is considerably cheaper than dedicated hosting for this reason.
For some sites, it’s manageable. In a perfect world where budgets don’t exist, everyone would prefer dedicated hosting, but smaller sites can usual manage to get by with shared hosting.
If you decide to go this route, there’s another decision that needs to be made.
You can go with a big blogging platform like Wix that will host your site on their servers. This is a very beginner friendly method to get a blog up and running. Most of these platforms have their own very simple content/webpage builders too.
There are some pros and cons of course.
Overall, if you are very new to websites, these aren’t a bad option, but they are very limited and actually a bit more pricey than taking more of a DIY approach.
This type of hosting is a little more customizable. Basically, the hosting company sets you up on one of their servers that’s shared with other customers (remember the apartment building analogy?). You get access to your little corner of the server (your apartment) through a control panel or cPanel.
Tons and tons of sites use this type of hosting and it’s really not that hard to set up. The fact that it’s infinitely more customizable than the first option makes it extremely popular.
Different hosts offer different options, but many of them allow you to quickly install the WordPress content management system, which is what most small websites and blogs are built with these days.
Many of the more well known shared hosts, such as Bluehost, are owned by one very big company, Endurance International Group, or EIG. I used some without problems, but in total transparency, I have used an EIG owned host called HostNine I would not recommend.
If you're looking for a non-EIG hosting solution, a very popular choice among Internet marketers is SiteGround due to their fair pricing, solid hosting options, and very good service.
While I list SiteGround in the "Shared Hosting" section, they are much more than that. They offer basically any type of hosting solution you might need, which makes them great for both small and large sites, and for small sites that hope to grow into a large site.
If shared hosting is an apartment building, then dedicated hosting is a single family home. That’s right, you get your own juicy dwelling.
With dedicated hosting, you get benefits such as:
Dedicated hosting can be too expensive for smaller sites, but for larger sites that get tens of thousands of visitors a month, this is really your only option. Shared hosting won’t do in that type of situation.
One of the most popular dedicated hosting services, especially in regards to sites that plan of using the WordPress content management system, is WP Engine. But, a lot of companies that offer shared hosting offer some sort of dedicated hosting plans as well.
If you have no idea how to start a blog and are a complete beginner, if might be best to start with one of the all-inclusive options like Wix and get used to setting up a site with their website builder before moving on to something that requires a little more skill.
Get your on-page SEO right each and every time you write a new blog post, product review, or anything you publish on your website.
However, if you are aiming high from the start and have a nice budget, the faster load times you get from dedicated hosting is extremely nice for both SEO and reader/customer retention. It’s more expensive for a reason.
I however generally used shared hosting, because my sites are not massive databases of info with constant unrelenting waves of traffic. Maybe that will change some day, but for now it seems to be the best choice for my situation.
And that is your answer. That’s the best website hosting: whatever is best for your particular situation.
With all of that being said, the one things you don't want to do is opt for discount uber-cheap shared hosting. Avoid the bottom-of-the-barrel $1/month type hosts like the black death. They are by far the worst option in regards to SEO, and overall to be perfectly honest.
Note: If you are interested in setting up an e-commerce site, there are all-inclusive hosted platforms like Shopify that are perfectly fine for SEO and make setting up a shopping cart and payment system super easy.