Do you know what makes a website host good?  For many things in life, excelling at one attribute is enough to get you by, but for a website host, you need to excel at a number of things.  What exactly does it take to be fast.

In tangible terms, hosting providers like to list processor speed, core count, memory capacity, and storage medium.  If you are running a small website, most of these with the exception of storage medium will make a huge difference.  You want to ensure your hosting provider is using NVMe drives which deliver top performance.  Once your site starts to grow, core count and memory are going to make a larger impact on the speed of your site, so you will want to find a hosting provider that can scale those two attributes dynamically where possible.  If its not possible to do it dynamically, it should be at the very minimum something you can do manually without too much intervention.

For example, Amazon Lightsail allows you to backup your existing site, and within minutes create a new instance with beefier processor  speeds and memory capacity.  More advanced options of lightsail offer you load balancing to dymamically distrubute the load.  How complext you want it to be may vary.

Another major component to speed is how fast the network is able to respond.  Having a server in a remote geographical location may not be ideal for websites targetting local customers.  By choosing a provider with data centers located across the globe, you can choose the server that best geographically serves your customers.

Moving beyond just speed, how reliable your provider is can be just as important.  Many service providers will offer geo-redundant services so if one datacenter fails, you can continue to server your customers.  Some of this reliability can be offset by a good CDN or Content Delivery Network.  These CDN’s are able to cache and serve your site even if its offline. 

Your website is the face of your business in todays evolving internet.  How much you pay for hosting will in some part determine how much you value your business.  Don’t be fooled by paying for the most expensive server, but be wary of the cheapest servers.  Make sure you have an upgrade route as you begin to grow your audience.