Update: 7/22/2014: Use special coupon code 40OFFGEEKY for 40% off your plan. Buy 3 years up front to get the most savings.
Trying to find honest reviews of web hosts is next to impossible. Do a search on Google and you get a ton of spammy, referral sites. The Web Hosting Talk forum is probably the best resource for real reviews from actual users. A little research there found nothing but glowing reviews for StableHost and practically nothing negative. I thought I’d go for it since it would be hard to be worse than my previous hosts.
I opted for their middle hosting plan (5GB/100GB, free domain) which drops to $5.45 if you sign up for a year at a time. With the USYEARLY coupon you get 50% off for life which makes a whole year of hosting with domain name come out to $32.72. If you offered me hosting for $2.75 a month I’d probably ask what the catch is. Turns out there is no catch, just great hosting.
After signing up and switching over this site, I noticed an immediate increase in speed. Pages in the WordPress admin area would take a couple seconds to start loading and just seemed a little sluggish on LunarPages. The exact same install on StableHost is fast, really fast. I don’t think I’ve seen WordPress run this fast before. I attribute this to nice servers that have not been oversold. The middle hosting plan only gets you 5GB of space and 100GB of transfer, but that is more realistic than a host offering unlimited space and bandwidth for 5 bucks. That just leads to overutilization and slow servers.
Performance is also helped by the use of Lightspeed instead of Apache. Lightspeed is a commercial web server that offers improved performance over Apache, but the extra cost probably keeps it from being more popular on shared hosts.
I’ve only had previous experience with GoDaddy, ResellerZoom and LunarPages, but I would choose StableHost over them and any other shared web host in a heartbeat. Throw in the free domain name and the hosting technically only costs about $23 a year. The WHTUS coupon could end at anytime so I’d jump on it if you are considering a new host or moving hosts.