This website, and all my blogs, are hosted by Liquid Web, a US web hosting company. They were recommended on an industry mailing list about six years ago, and so when I decided to switch to a host independent of my connection ISP, I signed up with them. They aren’t the cheapest option available (with the discounts, the basic package works out to about $12.50/month), but they’re also not ridiculously expensive. One reason I’ve stuck with them for about five and a half years is inertia, of course.
The other reason is that, most of the time, everything just works. I get very little downtime (in fact, I don’t think I’ve noticed any), and I can install the latest version of WordPress, run dozens of low-volume mailing lists, and do just about anything else I might want to do.
More important, when something does go wrong, the email support system is extremely effective. The technicians the emails go to actually fix the problems. Most recently, I needed a newer version of MySQL to keep WordPress up to date, so they migrated my account to a newer server, which had a sufficiently new version. When there was a problem with one of the blogs (Tamao), they worked out how to fix it with no intervention on my part. It took less than 36 hours to go from my reporting the initial problem to everything being fixed. Bear in mind that 24 of those 36 were New Year’s Day, and that there was quite a lot of them waiting for me to confirm things or spot problems. If I ever had a problem that needed to be fixed now, I’m confident that they would manage it, although I’d probably have to phone. I suppose I could also hover over the keyboard.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable web hosting provider, my experience of them has been entirely positive, even though Japan is a very long way from their location.