WordPress Plugin recommendations
Based on this - thought it's a good idea to open a separate topic:
What basic plugins do you guys normally recommend?
I wrote an article about how to choose a high-quality WordPress plugin.
(desperately needs an update for the plugin recommendation list though)
Updated... for the most part (testing Cloudflare APO and its plugin)
And here's a more up-to-date list - BikeGremlin website plugins.
That too needs a minor update.
I can't tell you which hosting to buy, but I've written in great detail about the providers I've used so far:
BikeGremlin web-hosting reviews