It took several hours to complete but regenerating the thumbnails seems to have fixed some of the errors with feature images. There are several thousand images in the database and a few are used more heavily. Large numbers of images are slides from various dog and pony shows from the AMD, Intel and others. This is why a larger SSD is being contemplated.
The way WordPress handles images is complicated. Instead of using HTML code the images are stockpiled in various sizes to use 3x more storage. Many webhosts are tight on the storage allotments so this results in far less content per tier than otherwise cpld exist.
Some sites use several posts to display content, that is an options with WordPress but most articles are not that long.
GoDaddy is offering low cost WordPress but usually these get expensive fast. So self hosting is the option that seems to be the most affordable.