By storing data in microchips, solid-state drives (SSDs) pack as much as 20 times the performance a traditional hard drive (HDD) can deliver. They made such a splash in the dedicated and virtual server spaces that many hosting... (read more)
By storing data in microchips, solid-state drives (SSDs) pack as much as 20 times the performance a traditional hard drive (HDD) can deliver. They made such a splash in the dedicated and virtual server spaces that many hosting providers have made SSD speed a standard across all plans. Our experts put the top SSD-powered shared hosting plans to the test — evaluating uptime rates, storage allowances, and compatibility with popular apps — and now give you the best of the best in SSD shared hosting.
Ready to get started with an SSD-powered shared host? Our hosting aficionados have compiled the following summary table to help you choose the best shared server SSD hosting service for your next site. As you review each provider, take into consideration storage allowances, uptime rates, and price, in addition to our expert ratings.
|Rank||Web Host||Price||Disk Space||Expert Rating|
|1||SiteGround||$3.95||10 GB - 30 GB||★★★★★ 4.9|
|2||A2 Hosting||$3.92||Unlimited RAID-10||★★★★★ 4.8|
|4||HostPapa||$3.95||100 GB - Unlimited||★★★★★ 4.6|
When I decided it was finally time (past time, actually) to switch my hosting plan to something better, there was one specific feature I wanted — SSDs. My sites were crawling along, and I’d had enough.
We write plenty about how speed sells and performance is pivotal, but I wasn’t practicing what I preached. I had prioritized price over performance when shopping for my last hosting plan and wanted more for my modest collection of websites.
SSDs, which stand for solid-state drives, are an improved type of storage device that copies, writes, and opens files many times faster than traditional hard-disk drives, or HDDs. As the name implies, SSDs contain no moving parts; data is stored in flash-memory microchips, meaning the drives draw less power, create less noise, generate less heat, and last much longer than HDDs.
Because SSDs are a newer technology (gaining traction and popularity in the early 1990s, as opposed to when HDDs were introduced in the mid-1950s), they are more expensive and typically have less capacity than HDDs. While that doesn’t directly affect your hosting experience, you’ll understand why plans with SSDs tend to be pricier, come with lower storage limits, and still appeal to more seasoned web hosting customers.
Although I was only looking for shared hosting for my personal sites, I’ve combined my research and experience with those of the rest of the HostingAdvice team to provide a full menu of options for the various levels of SSD hosting. Read on to learn about the differences, along with which hosting providers offer the best plans and services.
If you’re already forking over the dough for dedicated hosting, finding a provider with SSDs will boost performance without much noticeable change in cost. Frankly, if a dedicated plan is still using HDDs, it probably isn’t worth having. Your site or application needs performant infrastructure, so why not get the best?
Fortunately, many of our favorite hosts include SSDs as standard components of their dedicated servers. In fact, Liquid Web offers custom configurations around its SSDs, along with instant provisioning and automated migrations, backups, and monitoring. For those looking to unplug from the nitty-gritty, technical details, Media Temple offers white-glove treatment with various managed plans that all guarantee an incredible 99.999% uptime and come with 1TB of SSD storage.
At the other end of the spectrum, InterServer is a great choice for nerds who appreciate a host that operates its own datacenters. The company’s hands-on approach bodes well for customers, who can choose from a surprisingly affordable dedicated server for $40 per month to a configuration including up to 2TB of SSD storage.
If you’re not quite ready for a dedicated server but still need a ton of scalable computing power, storage, and bandwidth, a VPS hosting plan using SSDs will do the trick. The performant hard drives are a great addition for organizations needing a hosting plan that can rise to the challenge.
InMotion Hosting includes SSDs in all plans, but we’re particularly fond of the provider’s VPS options. For an affordable rate, InMotion packs an abundance of features into making customers’ sites and applications hum along 20 times faster than those hosted on HDD hosting. We appreciate the high levels of RAM and bandwidth InMotion allocates to VPS customers, in addition to free server management, live-state snapshots, and the company’s 90-day money-back guarantee.
For those looking to break outside of the norm, HostPapa offers a refreshing alternative for enterprise-grade managed VPS hosting. The out-of-the-box specs with regard to RAM and storage are a touch lower than those of competitors, but the unlimited bandwidth and fully managed support, coupled with incredibly affordable prices, make HostPapa a great bargain.
Speaking from experience, SSDs impact site performance no matter which level of hosting you’re at. Although price seems to reign supreme at the shared hosting level, more nuanced and experienced customers will understand and seek the value SSDs bring to users’ experience.
If you’re looking for the best of the best, consider Media Temple the luxury option — it’s noticeably more expensive, but the one-of-a-kind clustered architecture delivers faster, more scalable, and more reliable services to site owners and their visitors. Media Temple’s shared plans come with features typically reserved for power VPS and dedicated customers: DDoS protection, CDN, malware detection and removal, web application firewall, automatic backups, and scalable bandwidth and MySQL.
DreamHost resides in a comfortable spot in the shared hosting realm: much more affordable than Media Temple, but still able to offer opulent, lavish hosting features. In addition to an industry-leading 100% uptime guarantee and 97-day money-back guarantee, DreamHost offers unlimited storage, bandwidth, and domain hosting.
If you’re not quite ready to ditch the price-awareness mentality of many shared hosting customers, scroll down to see who we recommend as cheap SSD hosts and compare them to the rest of our top affordable hosts.
A cousin to VPS hosting, cloud plans offer more responsive computing resources. When combined with SSD performance, cloud hosting offers increased stability, speed, and scalability. For many of the same reasons as in the VPS section, werecommend InMotion Hosting for cloud hosting, as well. The company’s cloud-powered infrastructure is built for real-time redundancy, live-state snapshots, and high availability.
Liquid Web serves a refined palate of cloud hosting options, ranging from VPS or dedicated resources to the all-inclusive CloudSites platform — all managed by who the company calls “the most helpful humans in hosting.” Liquid Web leads the way in speed and customer loyalty and includes enhanced tools for security, CDN, and backups. Daily billing means customers pay only for the computing resources used.
Not to be outdone, 1&1 bills cloud customers by the minute. Customers can choose from seven different cloud stacks, automatically allocating the right resources to meet the demands of their project. Managed services include security and software updates, as well as 24/7 support. In addition to SSD storage, 1&1 prides itself on giving customers the ability to deploy a virtual machine in 55 seconds or less.
We’re hard pressed to think of a scenario where SSD storage can make more of an impact than when it comes to WordPress hosting. The incredibly popular content management system is everywhere, but it can be cumbersome and difficult to host exactly right. SSDs remove some of the computing burden and free up resources to deliver sites at optimal speed.
A2 Hosting boosts speed even more with the company’s proprietary Turbo servers, which provide a drop-in Apache replacement that loads pages 20 times faster and allocates more resources toward each user.
In addition to HostingAdvice, SiteGround gets a stamp of approval from the WordPress Core team for offering managed updates, a one-of-a-kind staging environment, three levels of caching, and git integration.
Also recommended by WordPress leadership, DreamHost offers WordPress users two choices, one of which is an affordable shared plan with easy setup, SSDs, automated updates and backups, 100% uptime, and no limitations on bandwidth. Where DreamHost really shines, however, is the fully managed DreamPress platform, which is five times faster than shared hosting. DreamPress allocates two VPS servers for each customer: one optimized for the frontend and the other for MySQL. Memory dynamically auto-scales to grow computing resources to meet traffic spikes.
One of the most common, and yet, most frequently overlooked, features when it comes to web hosting is the platform that helps users manage all aspects of their account. Although cPanel is far and away the most widely used control panel, hosting providers implement the administrative interface differently.
For example, SiteGround customizes the cPanel portal to maximize simplicity and user-friendliness. We appreciate the reorganization, as well as the added third-party and in-house tools to give customers even more flexibility and functionality when managing their hosting.
On the other hand, we appreciate how InterServer gives users more options for control panels. Depending on your hosting service and configuration, you can opt to use Plesk, DirectAdmin, or Webuzo. The company’s own management tools offer unique additional features such as reverse DNS, server monitoring, and domain registration.
Who doesn’t want a good deal? Although the biggest gripe about SSDs is the price tag, customers don’t have to break the bank to get a solid shared hosting plan powered by the performant hard drives. Hosts offering affordable SSD packages show a commitment to user experience by making performance an affordable, attainable goal.
As such, InMotion Hosting leads the way by offering SSD plans for only slightly more than the bargain-basement plans offered by HDD-based competitors. Even though plans start at less than $4 per month, InMotion doesn’t cut corners: All customers can enjoy unlimited disk space and email, as well as free backups, malware protection, transfers, and a domain name registration.
For only pennies more, A2 Hosting maximizes performance by including access to the Cloudflare CDN and an optimized plugin that preconfigures caching and compression options for WordPress and PrestaShop sites. A2 goes a step beyond SSDs with Turbo servers, which use fewer CPU and memory resources.
HostPapa is another high-value host currently upgrading all shared servers to SSDs. We appreciate a hosting company that continually reinvests in infrastructure to offer modern features to their customers. In addition to unlimited storage and bandwidth, HostPapa takes care of users by including free migrations,CDN, setup, and a domain name.
If you’ve got an entrepreneurial itch, reseller hosting is a quick, affordable way to pocket a few extra bucks. Resellers typically use VPS services acquired at wholesale rates and sublease the unused server space to others. White-labeled accounts mean resellers can conduct business under their own brand; providers maintain the infrastructure, but resellers run the business and are responsible for customer support and invoicing.
SSDs are just one of several perks InMotion Hosting offers to resellers. In addition to unlimited cPanel licenses, InMotion includes the WHMCS billing software for free to organize user accounts and payments. Resellers can even enable their customers to register domains through an included eNom domain reseller license.
HostPapa also offers a surprising reseller option with five levels of hosting that give users the power, control, and security to grow their business. Resellers can enjoy private nameservers and a WHM control panel while offering customers unlimited domains, intrusion detection services, CDN access, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
As SSDs continue to gain popularity with both hosting customers and providers, you can expect prices to fall and capacities to rise. Companies around the world are opting to deploy SSDs in increasing numbers to reach more people more quickly.
Beyond the type of hard drive, hosting customers can further boost their site’s speed or performance by selecting a provider that operates a datacenter near where the bulk of your traffic comes from. Content delivery networks help, but nothing beats a nearby datacenter that can quickly provide your users information without having to request the data from thousands of miles away.
Whether you’re looking for a datacenter on the east or west coast of the United States or in Europe or Asia, pay attention to where your data and SSDs will live. Milliseconds matter and speed sells, so nearby SSDs will spell success for your hosting endeavors. Happy hosting!