Part of this thread wants to test out this poll feature that I just discovered thanks to @Jeffro.
I also wanted to get your thoughts on WordPress hosting. Note I'm not saying "managed" WordPress hosting, just anything that is capable of hosting a WordPress website.
- WPEngine, Pressable, ZippyKid, Kinsta, Flywheel, DreamPress, GoDaddy (managed WP-specific)
- Custom setup on an unmanaged cloud server provider (Digital Ocean, Linode)
- AWS and other pay-as-you-go "IaaS" services. (using a static WP page generator on S3 perhaps?)
- Shared hosting (HostGator, BlueHost, other EIG-owned brands, Media Temple, GoDaddy)
- Colocation? Dedicated servers? Clusters?
- Other (please reply below with what "other" is)
I've been using a HostGator reseller for the longest time, but eventually phasing it out because I don't necessarily trust who bought it out (they own pretty much any big name brand host you can think of too). And I just don't like not being in control of what server-level stuff is installed on it.
Recently I've been using Digital Ocean to set up my own custom hosting platform for my sites and my clients sites, running Nginx, HHVM for PHP execution, Varnish caching, SPDY protocol (for my one SSL site). I've yet to experiment with other caching techniques, but It's insanely fast as-is.
I've found managed WordPress hosts to be too expensive, especially for "agency" style set ups (i.e. 100+ sites). And too restrictive (the limits on pageviews just make no sense to me). If I had to choose, I'm really impressed with what I've seen from Kinsta and their cutting edge use of technology, their lack of pageview limits, and freely sharing knowledge with the community.
Shared hosting tends to cram you on servers with a bunch of junky sites. Plus you don't have control over the server stack and other software installed. It's designed to support a wide variety of PHP-based applications. But WordPress has the advantage of a lot of performance research already gone into it.