Dedicated server is a physical server that you can lease from the hosting provider. This allows you to have full control over the server including the choice of operating system, hardware etc. You DO NOT need a dedicated server if you are just starting out. Once your site is receiving a significant amount of traffic, only then you should consider upgrading to a dedicated server. WPBeginner runs on a dedicated server by HostGator. If you do not employ a system administrator or have no experience with servers, then we recommend that you get a managed dedicated server. WordPress hosting providers who offer managed dedicated servers employ full-time system administrators that maintain your servers. Along with doing software updates, they also do server monitoring, offer phone support etc. Most top websites use clusters of dedicated servers.
Shared hosting is by far the most popular type of WordPress hosting used by beginners. It is the most affordable and quite frankly a good starting point for new users. Shared hosting is where you share a large server with a lot of sites. By having multiple sites on the same server, hosting providers can offer the service at a more affordable rate. The biggest catch that we see with shared hosting across all providers (including the ones we recommend below) is the unlimited resources. There is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, they will politely force you to upgrade your account. If they don’t take this action, then it can have a negative effect on the overall performance of other sites hosted on the same server. It gets back to conventional wisdom. As your business grows, so will your overhead cost.
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