Some people are pretty vocal when it comes to certain hosts.
I've used all the major ones. Every service goes through rough patches every couple of years. I've rarely had any issues with hosting.
The main thing is to stay a long way away from the super cheap hosts. You can get hosting for $1 per month. Which sounds good... until you realise they have no security in place, nor sufficient staff if anything goes wrong.
There was even a host not too long ago that was hacked, the entire server deleted along with all the backups. Anyone who wasn't doing offsite backups lost had to rebuild their sites from scratch.
Honestly, decent hosting will only set you back a few dollars per month. If your business can't sustain that, it's probably best you wait a bit and build up some cash reserves.
Having said all that, here are my current favourite hosts. As my preferences change, I'll update this page.
These are my recommendations if you are just looking to host a "normal" site.
They're perfect for most local businesses, or when you're just starting out and don't expect to be bringing in hundreds of thousands of visitors a month.
I generally use these in conjunction with Cloudflare. The free version of Cloudflare will do pretty much everything you need. If you've got multiple websites, I prefer to setup separate Cloudflare accounts for each website. That takes care of IP diversity.
SiteGround is hands down my favourite host.
I love how easy it is to setup new websites, how fast it is to add an SSL certificate and how intuitive it is to manage your sites.
They have excellent support, but you rarely even need it.
I usually go with the GrowBig account and put a couple of smaller sites on it.
One of the tradeoffs for their fantastic features is that the plan is capped at 25,000 visitors per month. But that's a lot for most local sites.
By local site, I mean a local business, like a painter, floor sander or other trade.
If you've got a good marketing budget and expect to be getting more than a thousand visitors a day off the bat, I'd probably look at starting with HostGator instead.
The very first "proper" website I built (ie not GeoCities) was hosted on HostGator.
They had some teething issues in 2012 & 2013 when they were bought out by EIG. That's why you might see a fair few negative reviews. But my experience is that they've sorted those issues out and they're back in my recommended column.
Over the years, I've had a total of around 150 sites hosted with HostGator.
The only thing I don't like about HostGator is that they don't automatically include openSSL like SiteGround does.
They still give you free SSL certificates. You just have to put in a support ticket to get them.
Put it this way, the only reason HostGator doesn't get my #1 pick for "regular" hosting is because SiteGround is just so good.
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you have a bit more of a budget and want someone to just take care of everything on the hosting side, WP Engine is the gold standard.
They do what's called "Managed WordPress Hosting", which is as all-encompassing as it sounds.
You wouldn't build a throwaway site with them. This is for your top money sites.
If you're building sites for most types of client, this is the host you want to go with.
I've spoken at length with some of their developers and internal team. Everything that you could possibly need for a WordPress site is taken care of.
They even setup a Development, Staging and Live site for each website. So on the 5 website package, that's basically 15 sites.
You might not always need a staging site, but for every semi-important site, you're going to need a development site. You never want to be developing on a live site.
They also do things like automated daily backups. Which most hosts offer. But having talked to the team, they have redundancies upon redundancies. I came away from those discussions with complete peace of mind.
They also have some of the best redundancy architecture I've come across for rapid scaling of visitors. Where another site might crash on a deluge of sales, WP Engine will be fine. They integrate with Amazon's S3 servers.
Lastly, they're fast. Like really fast. Most of the time we speed up our sites as best we can, dealing with the server setup we have at hand. But WP Engine built their servers from the ground up to run WordPress sites.
Sorry for getting all fanboy, but I really like WP Engine.
Be aware tho, that this is for WordPress sites. They're not for sites where you're planning on doing custom programming.