I will update this post with my thoughts in the future.
I use now HostRush: https://www.hostrush.com/web-hosting.html
I'm their client for about one year and everything works: php, mysql, https, wordpress, blogger (redirect), htaccess, ftp, email, cpanel, customer support is fast and helpful. I think this is the fastest shared host I've had so far. You can head over to my main website to check it yourself: pallkris.com I get 10 seconds for a page with 17 medium size photos.
Shared hosting is ok for any small / medium websites. The shared hosting from HostRush is fast, it almost feels like a VPS (virtual private server - a step up from shared hosting). I haven't used vps from them but I'm confident is pretty good. I had a big website many years ago (50GB) and used without any issues vps from theprimehost.com
I'm using various web hosting services for more than 10 years, so I have a bit of experience. In general I avoid offers with "unlimited" disk space because everything has a limit and I want to be able to monitor my usage. I'm not going to name the providers that disappointed me over the years, but I will mention some of the problems I had:
- too slow;
- usage counter working 10x faster than it should. When this happened they reset it but the problem persisted so I preferred to switch instead of chatting with the support twice a month;
- htaccess not accessible or only visible on web, not on ftp;
- they closed doors. However they honored the contract period and announced this 6-12 months in advance;
- frequent website down (weekly).