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Solid State Drive (SSD) Web Hosting

Solid State Drive Web Hosting GuideMany web hosting companies, along with their customers, are discovering the benefits of solid state drive (SSD) hosting. You might think this is just another trend, but it’s actually a way to vastly improve performance. If you haven’t considered solid state drive web hosting before, you’ll be amazed at how different it is from hosting that uses traditional hard drives. With loading times being a major factor in whether visitors stay on your site, or choose the competition instead, site performance is vital to your site’s success.

SSD Basics

If you don’t know what a solid state drive is, then SSD hosting might not seem like much of a benefit. Regular hard drives locate data by spinning until individual pieces of a file are located. It happens quickly, but it does take time. SSDs are solid, as the name implies, and don’t need to spin or search for data in the same way.

SSDs use non-volatile memory when storing data, while traditional drives rely on volatile memory, aka RAM. This means solid state drives don’t lose any data, and can quickly pick up where they left off should the power be disconnected. Overall, they’re better at optimizing memory and storage in order to access files faster.

To get a better idea of just how much faster these drives are, consider that tests performed by Notebook Check showed file access times as much as 20 milliseconds faster than traditional hard drives. When performance counts, this is a noticeable difference.

SSD Hosting

Unsurpassed Reliability

Performance is important, but reliability even more so. SSDs offer superior reliability over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). As you might have experienced with your own computer, HDDs are easy to damage, and may even continue writing over and corrupting data as they die. This becomes expensive for web hosts, and they pass the costs on to the customer.

With SSDs, the lack of internal moving parts means they’re not as easy to damage by shock or vibration. They’re also more stable under a wider range of temperatures, preventing data damage due to temperature fluctuations. Plus, when an SSD fails, the drive prevents any more data from being written, leading to better data recovery rates.

What this means for you is a more reliable method of storing your website and less downtime with the short life span of traditional HDDs. Since SSDs often last for a decade or more, this hosting option makes your site far more reliable.

Performance Enhancements

The most obvious benefit is the performance. You might not believe it until you try, but sites hosted on solid state drives are as much as 20 times faster, depending on the host’s setup and the features your site uses. This shaves valuable seconds off page loading times, which leads to more visitors staying on your site. For E-commerce sites, these seconds are the difference between a sale and a lost customer.

Unlike HDDs, SSDs can read and write data at the same time. Usually, a visitor would have to wait for data to be read before anything could be saved or written to the disk. The mechanical pieces in the standard hard drive are only able to perform one action or another, which takes time.

Performance is even more noticeable when database queries are triggered. The longer visitors have to wait, the less likely they are to stick around. Instead of having to wait for the disks in an HDD to move around searching for data, an SSD finds the information almost instantly and returns it to the visitor.

Some web hosts might suggest numerous options for you to improve your site’s performance. From plugins to reducing the features on your site, you do have the ability to speed up your site. However, it still doesn’t compare to SSD hosting. It doesn’t matter what you do if the web host isn’t fast enough for your needs.

Environmentally Friendly

While it might not be on your list of top benefits, SSDs are more environmentally friendly than traditional HDDs. Web hosts use numerous drives to store data. The more drives they use, the more power it takes to run them. SSDs run at a lower temperature because they don’t have movable parts inside, thus require less cooling. Plus, no internal movement means it takes less energy to operate them.

When your web host saves, so you do you. With each gigabyte of data processed on an SSD, there’s approximately an 80% energy savings. Even with small web hosts, that’s extremely energy efficient.

The Pros And Cons Of Switching

If you think you’ll be charged exorbitant fees for SSD web hosting, don’t worry. Most SSD hosting is comparable to standard hosting plans albeit with less storage. SSDs aren’t able to store quite as much data as their HDD counterparts, but the performance more than makes up for this small con.

If you aren’t using all your space now, switching likely won’t cost you much more. You’ll instantly notice a performance upgrade and wonder why you waited so long.

Choosing The Best SSD Web Hosting

Three recommended SSD web hosts are A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting and GreenGeeks. Each offer high performance SSD hosting plans for individuals and businesses.

With A2 Hosting, you get the following features starting at $7.99 ($3.92 with discount) per month:

A2 Hosting SSD Fast Hosting
“Some hosts claim to offer Solid State Drive Hosting but only host your OS or MySQL databases, not your files. We use SSD for everything so you get the biggest speed boost possible” – A2 Hosting
  • SSD Speed Boost Solution which stores files, the operating system and database
  • Unlimited RAID-10 Storage
  • One-click setup with popular applications such as WordPress and Joomla
  • Page load speeds up to 20x faster than their standard drives
  • 24/7/365 Support
  • Dedicated IP address for $4 more per month
  • Developer tools – PHP, MySQL, SSH Access, Python, Ruby, PERL, Shared SSL certificate, FTP/SFTP

A2 Hosting also offers solid state drives on their Reseller plans, VPS plans and dedicated servers.

InMotion Hosting offers free solid state drives with their hosting plans which start at $7.99 ($4.19 with discount) per month and includes features such as:
InMotion SSD Hosting

  • SSDs with max speed zones
  • Shared, Reseller, VPS and Dedicated server hosting options
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • One free domain name
  • Free data backups
  • One-click setup with popular applications such as WordPress and Joomla
  • Developer tools – PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, SSH Access, MySQL
  • Premium website builder
  • 24/7/365 support

InMotion doesn’t require a specific plan for SSDs, which makes it a good choice for testing out the performance difference solid state drives make.

GreenGeeks adopted SSDs as a way to be more environmentally friendly and only offer a single, scalable plan that’s $6.95 ($3.96 with discount) per month. This one size fits all plan includes:
GreenGeeks SSD Hosting

  • SSD Powered RAID-10
  • Site building tools
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free domain name
  • One-click setup with popular applications such as WordPress and Joomla
  • Developer tools – PHP, Perl, Python, MySQL, FTP
  • 24/7/365 support

This plan is powerful enough for most individual and small to medium business sites, though larger businesses might find the need for more features which is offered as an upgradeable VPS option. With enterprise quality servers, you get the same performance with more security.

All three hosting companies provide the best hosting options for most users. Plus they have the added benefit of performance enhancing SSDs. You have nothing to lose by upgrading your site. All three make it easy to transfer your existing site if you’re using a different host. For less than $10 a month, you can finally give your visitors the page loading speeds they expect and retain the traffic your site deserves.

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