Is SSD a Must in Shared Hosting?

Is SSD a Must in Shared Hosting?

An SSD is a solid state drive, one of the kinds of hardware that you could get for your shared hosting service. Is it a must? Well, for a short answer, no. There are 2 main types of drives that you can get for hosting–SSD and HDD. SSD are solid state drives, which are clearly better than HDD, or hard disk drives. 

But just because an SSD is better than a HDD doesn’t mean that you need it for shared hosting. If you’re going for shared hosting, you may have priorities other than simply getting the most powerful server you can find. Let’s explore the issue a bit more in depth:

Do Shared Hosting Plans Use SSDs or HDDs?

Most commonly, VPS plans come with a solid state drive. If you are paying for something even better than a VPS plan, then you are probably getting a solid state drive. The tricky plan to analyze is a shared hosting plan. Because shared hosting exists to maximize cost-effectiveness, some shared hosting plans will use the cheaper and older hard disk drive to save you and them some money.

Shared hosting companies generally are trying to keep costs as low as possible. This isn’t just for themselves, it is to attract customers. The shared hosting customer is looking generally to put up a website on the internet that handles only a little bit of traffic but does it as cheaply as possible. Because solid state drives are still way more expensive than hard disk drives, there is not a high incentive for most hosting companies to offer shared hosting plans that carry the power and speed of a solid state drive.

Because of these considerations, shared hosting plans will be split between higher end shared hosting plans that offer a solid state drive and lower end shared hosting plans that will only offer a hard disk drive.

How do I Know If My Shared Hosting Has an SSD?

Simple answer here: if they advertise it. Because a solid state drive is clearly better than a hard disk drive, most companies will happily tell you that you are paying for an SSD in a situation where you are. “Solid state drive” even sounds better than “hard disk drive!” If your potential hosting provider offers their hosting on solid state drives, they will definitely tell you about it.

Should I Be Looking for Shared Hosting with an SSD?

Nope. Not really. Yes solid state drives are better, but no they probably aren’t something that you need to be looking for. If you are in the market for shared hosting then we can assume that there are a few things true about the kind of hosting that you are looking for:

  • Something cheap.
  • Something that isn’t built to handle a ton of traffic, because you don’t expect to get a ton of traffic.
  • Something simple, because this may be the first site that you’ve run or built.

If all those things are true then there are far more important things to look for in a potential hosting company than the type of drive that they are using. Yes it can be up to 20 times faster and handle data in high stress environments 95% better, but that certainly doesn’t mean that your website itself will be 20 times faster. Or even if it were, a website that is 20 times as fast might not be what you need. 

Great shared hosting plans have excellent customer service, reasonable prices, decent amounts of data and traffic handling (unlimited, usually), good CPU cores and good storage. You might also care about email and quality security plans. Those are the things that you should be looking for with your shared hosting plan, not the kind of drive that your shared server is going to operate on. All of those specs will probably affect your experience of the website more in the long run than the kind of drive that you have.

All Things Being Equal, Should I Get a Solid State Drive?

Yes. In a wild scenario where you are comparing two completely different hosting plans that are totally the same in every category, but one offers a solid state drive and the other offers a hard disk drive, then you should definitely go for the solid state drive. The bottom line is this: the solid state drive is far superior to the hard disk drive. This doesn’t mean that it will necessarily create a hosting experience that is far superior to an identical hosting experience that leverages a hard disk drive instead. Try to get a solid state drive on your shared hosting plan if you can, but don’t make sacrifices or pay too much more in order to get it.