These are the services and products I rely on. This page contains affiliate links.
DreamHost has hosted the majority of my websites for the past 15 years, including this one right here! Their “shared unlimited” plan is a good starting point for a new website owner, and it’s super-easy to upgrade to their premium DreamPress plan when you start getting more traffic.
Siteground hosts many of my client sites and gets my second-highest recommendation after DreamHost. Their GrowBig plan is good value for money.
Domain Name Registration:
NameCheap is where I register any domain names that aren’t included in my hosting plans (both of my recommended hosts have plans that include one or more free domain registrations). I’ve been a satisfied customer for more than 10 years. All registrations include free domain privacy.
AWeber has hosted my email lists for the past 15 years. They have a free plan that’s legit (not a limited time trial!), and an impressive commitment to keeping up with changes in the industry.
Premium WordPress Plugins:
BackupBuddy is the plugin that handles the backups for my Peace of Mind Program clients. I used to say that BackupBuddy was worth its weight in gold, until I was reminded that software doesn’t weigh anything. It makes backing up (including scheduling automated backups and storing them off-site) a snap.
Gravity Forms has the most powerful and flexible form generator in the WordPress world. If you just need a basic contact form or two, you don’t need it (just install Jetpack and use its free contact form module), but for complex forms, up to and including sophisticated shopping-cart checkout forms, contracts, petitions, and more, Gravity Forms is the best.
Easy Digital Downloads is my shopping cart of choice (and it’s not just for downloads; I sell subscriptions and services with it as well as downloads). The base plugin is free, but paid add-ons provide most of the functionality that e-commerce sites need.