Performance-optimized web hosting is the single most important factor in determining site speed. Without that, your site is going to be slow no matter what other optimizations you make. But although good quality web hosting is a necessary component of a low-latency site, it’s not sufficient. The fastest web hosting can’t accelerate a badly coded site with huge unoptimized images and a ton of social media widgets. A decent optimization strategy can fix all of those issues, but there’s one thing no amount of on-site optimization can improve: the round-trip time for geographically distant web clients.
Many people are under the misconception that Internet communications travel at the speed of light. Sometimes they do, but only if they’re traveling over radio waves to satellites or other wireless communication scenarios. In fibre optic cables, signals travel less quickly than the speed of light in a vacuum—the reason is complex—and in copper cables they are significantly slower.