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 usual determines which you end up choosing.
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 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. 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.
Some of the major players in this space are hosting companies like Bluehost which was the first host I ever used, and A Small Orange.
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.
Here’s my referral link for WP Engine.
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.
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 situation.
That being said, the one thing that you do not 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.