I've hosted some of my sites with WP Engine for years. If you want a hands off, experience for yourself or clients, they are fabulous. The security is so good you do not need any extra security plugins or services.
I use WP Rocket to speed up my site which currently enjoys a double A A rating on GTMetrix. The developers are constantly making this plugin easier to use and more functional. A great chance to speed up your site.
Fluent Forms has a Black Friday deal which is also a Lifetime Deal. So you pay once only. They are a keen development team and I hope that one day they'll be as good as Gravity Forms are. I think they are getting there.
If high-end keyword and competitor analysis tools are out of reach, then Mangools is a great alternative. KWFinder is especially good if you are doing local SEO. Not many keyword tools can help with that!
I use this wonderful software to write all the little bits of code I need to make my WordPress sites work. In my case this is CSS using SASS and PHP. It's easy to use and to setup and works straight out of the WordPress dashboard.
Protect your site while you are building it and start growing your list at the same time! A great way to create some buzz about a new website while it's being developed. Allow certain users to bypass the protection pages too.