UPDATED: July 2021
There is no one-size-fits-all solution and every host has their ups and downs and pros and cons, so depending on a client’s particular needs, I might recommend one host or another.
With that in mind, these are the hosts I end up recommending the most to clients (but I do reserve the right to change my recommendations based on how these hosts evolve and perform). In the past, I used to recommend some of shared hosts as well, but due to latest experience (and not the pleasant kind), I’m not longer recommending them.
Managed WordPress hosting
Managed WP hosting means the setup is optimized for hosting a WordPress site and the host takes most of the configuration load off of you. They handle security, speed, caching, backups, they have 1-click staging so you can first test things before going live and 1-click backup restore in case something went south.
Kinsta – plans start at $30 / mo
It’s a managed WordPress hosting based on Google Cloud Platform. Unlike WP Engine, the resources for each site are private and are not shared between sites or accounts.
Cloudways – plans start at $11 / mo for 1GB RAM and 25GB storage on a Vultr datacenter or $10 / mo for 1GB RAM and 25GB storage on a Digital Ocean datacenter. You could also choose Linode, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or Kyup infrastructure.
Discount coupon: 20% Off for 1st Month with coupon MMEDIAFEB20
Starting August 20, 2020, Vultr High Frequency servers are available
Starting August 15, 2018, Cloudways also introduced the enhanced Staging Environment feature.
WP Engine – plans start at $25 / mo.
Coupon for 20% off your first payment
It’s a managed WordPress hosting based on Google Cloud Platform and AWS.
None of these hosts offer email hosting, so in case you want to use emails with your domain name, I recommend specialized email hosting services such as GSuite ($5 per user per month), Zoho Mail (free for up to five users and 1 domain), Rackspace ($2 per user/month, already integrated with Cloudways) etc.