One of the key factors of providing speed for your visitors is finding the right hosting for your website. These are your options:
I would say close to a 100% of free & shared hosting accounts share one server with tens if not hundreds of other accounts. This can make your website load slower at times (especially at peak times) because server resources are shared. Because the asking price of such accounts are lower a lot of hosting providers stuff the servers full with accounts close to the maximum capacity of the server. Providing there are lucky exceptions, if you are serious about speed for your visitors you should almost never choose this option.
VPS hosting accounts also typically share one server with several other accounts. However, the plus side of VPS hosting over shared hosting is that you share the server with lesser accounts and you also have much more flexibility and control over your account. You can install your own packages and you usually get your own unique IP address. However, if you’re serious about speed you, almost always, should not go for a VPS account.
Cloud hosting accounts use the resources of a network of multiple servers. This often provides a speedy experience and a very reliable host as you won’t be affected when one server out of the multiple servers has hardware failure or doesn’t respond. Cloud hosting accounts usually also provide a unique IP address as well as full server access, which means you have total control over which operating system (like Apache), software and packages you want to install. This comes in very handy when it comes to creating the best server set up for speed. Basically, it gives you the exact same features as when you rent your own server. Setting a server up by yourself of course requires some knowledge but therefore these unmanaged accounts are also usually quite cheap to rent. You can set up a cloud account for as cheap as $5-$20 a month, all with full server access and reliable speed. These accounts are perfect for small websites with low traffic. Usually $5-$20 accounts will not get you an account with the fastest hardware but don’t worry; when your site gradually receives more and more traffic and you need more resources you can usually upgrade to faster hardware with a simple click of the mouse. It is not recommended to use cloud hosting for websites with huge amounts of traffic though. It’s more meant for smaller and mid range traffic websites.
Also, if you don’t have enough server knowledge you can also choose a managed cloud hosting account where the hosting company will install and set everything up for you. Use Google as your friend and teach yourself how to set up a server. It’s really not that difficult, especially if you already have some technical knowledge.
You have total control over one or more server(s), depending on your traffic needs. This server is owned by your hosting company and you rent it, usually for a $100-$200 monthly price (depending on the hardware) per server. Nobody else but you uses this server and therefore, providing the server has good enough hardware, this is the best option when it comes to speed, especially for higher traffic websites. You can choose managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting. Managed means the hosting company will install your server and look after downtime and other issues. Unmanaged means you have to look after everything yourself.
You buy your own physical server, have it housed at a web host and you manage and take care of the server yourself. This can bring a lot of work and stress with it though and is not recommended for most users.
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