slow first byte

When you see a slow first byte time like 8 seconds or more, are there any steps you should take before deciding that the hosting company is to be blame and switching hosts.

This relates to your hosting (runtime environment).

So your entire LAMP Stack… what’s required for your Linux Kernel + Apache + MariaDB/MySQL + PHP + OpenSSL + CMS (like WordPress, if you’re using a CMS) or your custom code if no CMS is being used.

Each of these layers must be at latest stable versions + configured/tuned properly for speed.

If your project is actually generating income, likely your first investment will be better hosting.
Also, post your site URL, so people can take a look.

Likely other optimizations will also stand out, if people can test your actual site.

You could measure how long it takes your server-side app to process a request for a web page and send a response.