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Recommended Host for SSD
What is a Solid State Drive?
SSD hosting plans run on servers that store your data on solid-state drives (SSDs). SSDs are the latest big advancement in data storage technology, resulting in faster and more reliable hosting for your website than servers with traditional hard-disk drives (HDDs). Compare hosts offering SSD plans, and learn the benefits and pitfalls of SSDs:
SSD stands for solid state drive, which is a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data. SSDs can replace traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), which store memory using electromechanical magnetic disks with spinning drives and movable read/write heads.
Unlike HDDs, SSDs don't have any moving parts, and can access their stored data completely electronically instead of electromechanically. That means they work faster and more efficiently, and are less prone to mechanical failure. And because they use the same interface technology as hard disk drives, it's easy to upgrade from HDD to SSD.
Benefits of SSD Web Hosting
SSDs have a host of benefits over HDDs, mainly due to their superior speed and lack of moving parts.
Compared to HDDs, SSds:
- Are more resistant to physical shock
- Run almost completely silently
- Don't get as hot
- Have lower access time
- Are less prone to mechanical failure
- Use less power
- Have no need for defragmentation.
Do You Need SSD Hosting for Your Website?
Do you want the fastest loading website possible? Tests on web pages hosted on SSD servers typically load 300% faster than those hosted on hard drive servers. That's because whenever an HDD needs to access its stored data, it needs to physically spin around to locate the information it needs to read or modify. This usually adds just a few milliseconds to its access time, but those milliseconds add up quickly depending on the amount of traffic your website gets, or the data that needs to be accessed.
When your website traffic spikes, that additional loading time gets noticed by your visitors. Most web users expect a page to load in 3 seconds or less, and when it takes longer they're quick to hit that "back" button.
The additional speed granted by SSD hosting is especially critical for ecommerce websites, whose bottom lines are hit when they slow down. Even just a 4-second load time results in 25% fewer sales, according to KISSmetrics.
If your website gets a lot of traffic, or you want it to be able to handle big traffic spikes without slowing down, SSD hosting is the way to go. Dynamic websites driven by databases will also benefit from SSD drives, which are much faster to access all the information they need in your database, shaving critical seconds off your page load time.
The only downside to SSD hosting can be the price. Though the price of SSDs has gone down in the past few years, they're still about seven times more expensive per gigabyte of storage than HDDs, and that's typically reflected in SSD hosting plan pricing. So if you're on a tight budget and your site speed isn't critical to your success, or if you place a higher priority on storage space than speed, you may want to stick with HDD hosting.
Another option for those on a budget who still want the advantages of SSD hosting are plans that use hybrid drives, also called solid state hybrid drives (SSHD). SSHDs combine features of SSDs and HDDs in one drive, so you get the large storage space of HDD, and some of the improved performance of SSD in the form of an SSD cache for frequently accessed data.
Choosing an SSD Host
Many hosts provide SSD hosting for their VPS and dedicated hosting plans. If you have the budget and want the fastest, best-performing hosting you can get, look for a VPS or dedicated SSD hosting plan.
If you're on a tight budget, another option is SSD shared hosting. Be sure to research the hosting company before you purchase a shared SSD hosting plan. If the host oversells shared hosting, or you get a neighbor on your server that hogs all the resources, you won't see any of the benefits of SSD hosting.
SSD Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is an SSD?
SSD stands for Solid-State Drive. It is system that stores data on programmable memory that is read from and written to electronically. Because there are no moving parts as in a hard disk drive (HDD), SSDs are very fast.
Why do people prefer SSDs for web servers?
SSDs are great for hosting a website because, generally speaking, they are more efficient than their alternatives disk storage options. By more efficient, we mean they don't get as hot, have lower access times, and use less power.
If those reasons aren't good enough, they are also more resistant to physical shock, less prone to mechanical failure, and have no need for defragmentation.
And while it won't have any impact on you, they run almost completely silent — which should make the men and women in the datacenter performing your managed services happier!
Are there any reasons not to use an SSD?
Cost. SSDs cost roughly five times more per gigabyte than hard disk drives (HDDs). While you may not see that cost directly, it will be reflected in higher hosting costs. If you are looking for hosting on a budget, disk storage with SSD may not be the best hosting solution for you.
How do SSDs compare to HDDs as data storage?
SSDs are roughly 2-4 times faster than HDDs in terms of reading and writing. They are also faster at simply opening files.
In addition, SSDs are more reliable. They last longer than HDDs. Finally, they produce less noise and vibration, although these are not issues that will directly influence web hosting customers.
What are the alternatives to SSDs?
The main alternative is the hard disk drive. HDDs are the traditional form of data storage, and they are cheaper, but slower.
Do I need to be concerned about installing an SSD on my server?
No. SSDs will be pre-installed by most of the hosting providers that offer hosting. SSDs are more and more common, even on shared hosting plans. So your main concern will be whether you want to pay slightly more to have it.
Can I use the SSD on a shared hosting plan?
Yes. There are many hosting providers who offer shared plans with SSD storage. There are also providers who only provide SSD storage.
Do I have to know how to program to use an SSD?
No. Unless you are developing a very specialized application at a very low level, a solid state drive will be just like any other storage device.
What is a SSHD?
SSHD stands for Solid-State Hybrid Drive, generally known simply as a hybrid drive. They combine an SSD and an HDD. Basically, the SSD acts as the cache for the HDD. They work very well, being much faster than HDDs but not all that much more expensive. However, they are not widely available in web hosting plans.