Many startup business owners purchase a domain name and out of convenience purchase the hosting from the domain name registrar. They are not aware that all host providers are not equal and that host providers focus on different aspects of performance and service.
If the business startup will create a simple brochure or bio site, then performance would likely be considered. If the startup has a product that they will market nationally, then they will be concerned about the eCommerce aspect of their website, but may not consider that visitors from different parts of the country will have different response times for pages loading and completing transactions.
An eCommerce site will need to be particularly careful during time of high volume traffic and high internet traffic, such as Black Friday and pre-Christmas shopping, 4th of July Sales, etc. The internet still bogs down at these times of year. Many large retailers are still loosing millions if not hundreds of millions in sales due to abandoned shopping carts. At some times performance of sites like Target, Sears, BestBuy and Walmart cannot even serve up the page someone is trying to see.
With even the biggest players in the retail industry struggling with this topic, just think about how the SMB eCommerce market gets hit. Some sites may simply be unreachable and timeout due to DNS server latency.
The best answer is for the SMB Startup to correctly design their web asset distribution strategy. Before committing to a hosting provider, a performance study should be conducted, where latency and page load metrics are analyzed from key markets around the country. Find out the