When someone wants to visit your website, a computer known as a server is used to deliver your website’s content to the user. And while it is possible to host a WordPress site on your personal computer, most WordPress administrators choose to have their website hosted on a server operated by a company that specializes in this service known as a web host.
The server operated by the web host can either be exclusively dedicated to delivering content from one website or can be set up to simultaneously deliver content from many different websites. If the server is hosting multiple websites, this is known as shared hosting, and if the server is exclusively dedicated to one website, this is known as dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting is the most affordable option for operating an internet-connected WordPress website and what most administrators choose when first starting out. But if you find that the shared web host server is struggling to keep up with demand from the large numbers of users who are visiting your site, it may be time to consider upgrading to dedicated hosting, which can be between 10 to 30 times more expensive than shared hosting.
The exact price for dedicated hosting depends on a number of factors, including the company’s pricing structure, the amount of bandwidth, the amount of RAM, the amount of storage space, and any special software or coding needed to deliver your website. If there are licensing fees involved for things like using the Windows operating system for the server, these too might increase the cost. Other extra fees might include administration software for managing the server.
Unless you’re operating an extremely popular website, it’s usually best to begin with shared hosting instead of direct hosting.