What is the difference between a budget host and a premium
Short answer a lot! Put another way Success or failure.
Many well made and well funded website have failed from day one because of poor website hosting. It is normally as simple as trying to run a $10,000 website in $80 hosting account. The logic dumb founds me sometimes.
A little background on how website hosting works
Often I am to technical so I will try not to go full nerd on you.
Simple put Website hosting is like the reverse of your home broadband plan. While at home you download content and the better your connection the more you can download and enjoy at speed. The opposite is true of your website, the faster and more compacity your web hosting plan has the faster you can send data our to your users.
Factors affecting performance
Location or latency: That is the time it takes for the signal or ping from your average user to reach you server and return.
Disk Speed: Just like on your home computer there are different quality disks and configurations. Normally with servers they are setup in RAIDS which is just a fancy term for how they function together. Raid 0 is the fastest, but the least safe as there is no redundacy RAID 1 and 10 offer the best performance and redundancy, RAID 10 being the better. Disk wise you have HDD, SAS, SSD normal and enterprise level. Enterprise is better though a normal drive will be okay if your running in RAID 10. HDD is the older style disk (like most home computers), SAS is a faster setup and often called high performance. SSD is the quickest offering 40x 100x more faster read/write speed. Awesome if you have something like a store or heavy user database system.
RAM: Holds the website data in quickly accessible memory, the more website the more RAM needed, the more users the more RAM needed. More RAM doesn't always mean faster speeds, but not enough does mean slower speeds and possible crashing if things get to over loaded.
CPU: CPU is the same as at home, but with servers you can have more CPU units. You have your quad core etc as well. More CPU means better processing power. Again great for large DB sites like e-commerce stores.
OS and Modules: This is were servers do get a little complicated. Servers run with an OS the website lives on the OS and you interact with it in the hosting account or deep still if you have a VPS or Dedicated server you may have a few layers. The interesting thing about server OS is it's not all the same its just as varied as your phone. Some are better than others; such as cpanel is more stable than Plesk. Additionally they have apps or modules and these do extra tasks like run fire walls, logs, bruteforce protection, cache the websites. Depending on how these are configured you can have average and awesome out of the same system.
Budget means death to your site
So the budget hosting plans are basically over sold on resources and running on old warnout equipment waiting to be scrapped. No care no attention little resources.
End result your site will run slow, it will load slow, it may go offline underload.
My users don't care about that and it's only a small site, so what?
Slow sites do not rank well in Google. Now if you site is loading in over 6-7seconds you might as well forget success. The whole purpose of a site is to rank well. That is were the expense and the value to your site is. For example a nothing page on a nothing domain that ranks well is actually work something. A great site with no ranking is worth next to nothing.
Pay the money for good hosting
Pay the money for good hosting it is well worth it. Make sure it suits your target location and make sure its atleast SSD now. It will pay for itself 10x fold.