HDD vs. SSD Hosting — How Performance Boosts Impact Your Business’s Bottom Line

HDD v SSD

No one likes going to the DMV. The Department of Motor Vehicles sometimes gets a bad rap for long lines, unhelpful service, and arcane policies. However, all it takes for me is one fast, efficient, and productive trip to crack through my hardened, jaded exterior and put a smile on my face.

Whether getting a new driver’s license or ordering a meal from your favorite restaurant, speed is a major contributor toward having a positive experience. The same can be said for web hosting services and a company’s online presence.

For example, Amazon has calculated that just one additional second of loading time could cost $1.6 billion in fewer sales each year. If Google delayed displaying search results by less than half of a second, it would lose more than 8 million searches a day.

Believe it or not, you can dramatically impact your website’s speed without diving into the nitty-gritty, technical details of your web server. Your choice of hardware, for instance, can dramatically improve load times, availability, and position in search results. Solid-state drives, like those installed in InMotion Hosting’s infrastructure, can make websites exponentially faster than traditional hard disk drives.

I have come to expect performance extras from the best SSD hosting services on the internet and have outlined the four biggest impacts these perks can have on your company’s performance and profitability.

1. Website Speed Sells: Fast Page Loads Increase Your Conversions

Although the almighty Amazon and Google measure the burden of slow performance in terms of millions and billions, small businesses and individual developers bear the brunt of sluggish sites, as well. On a smaller scale, page load speeds can impact a company’s conversions and profitability. Nearly half of web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and 40% of people have said they would abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.

Never fear, — there are many ways to optimize each step of your speedy success. First up, examine your hosting setup. Popular with many businesses for their scalability, Virtual Private Servers with SSD options are up to 20x faster than servers powered by HDDs.

Websites running a content management system, such as WordPress, are rife with opportunities for acceleration. For starters, be sure to keep your software and plugins up-to-date with the latest versions. Strong, modern code takes advantage of new technologies and protects your site from malicious code injections.

Continue lightening the load by optimizing images and videos for web publication. Heavy media files can chew up a lot of your infrastructure’s processing power. Finally, invest in upgraded services such as a content delivery network or a caching plugin. These services provide servers around the world that store website data for easy access by nearby visitors (as opposed to loading every image, JavaScript, and article from scratch every time).

2. Always Available: More Reliability Extends Your Website’s Uptime

How can you grow your business if visitors cannot reach your website? Downtime, or unplanned data center outages, can cost mid-size companies $1 million per year — and only 5% of that bill gets spent fixing the cause of the problem. Businesses lose money on lost employee productivity and sales opportunities every time a website goes offline.

In addition to choosing a hosting provider with at least a 99.9% uptime guarantee, SSD vs. HDD comparisons cite reliability as a key difference between the types of hosting hardware. Because SSDs have no moving parts, the storage devices prove much more durable and can maintain data integrity for more than 200 years.

Hard disk drives, conversely, consist of thin, metal platters that spin at 7,200 rotations or more per minute. A carefully placed read/write head hovers just a few nanometers away from the surface of the platter. As such, HDDs are more susceptible to failure, risking data loss. HDD failures can also create costly downtime while your disaster recovery solution (if you have one) restores your systems.

With equipment failures accounting for close to 40% of all reported data center outages and service providers responsible for a quarter of all downtime, business owners would be wise to align their company’s online presence with a reputable host with plans powered by all-SSD hardware.

3. Ranking Rewards: SEO Value Enhances Your Position

While strong keyword research drives so much of an organization’s search engine optimization strategies, Google values many other aspects of a website’s success when calculating its rankings. The search engine giant has included speed in its algorithm since 2010, and timely page loads impact other aspects of SEO and user experience, as well.

As discussed above, visitors quickly abandon slow-moving websites. That impatience contributes to higher bounce rates, lower conversions, and less-than-average time spent on each page. In addition, sluggish sites slow down the bots search engines send to crawl your pages, meaning fewer pages indexed.

Even though the mere presence of SSDs will not automatically get you a higher spot in search results, the increased traffic and user satisfaction will resonate greatly. The boost from the optimized infrastructure extends to performance improvements in mobile or responsive sites: another easily attainable SEO box for site owners to check.

4. Cost Consideration: SSDs Do Not Bust Your Budget

Yes, hard disk drives still hold a slight edge over solid-state storage when it comes to the upfront price tag. Instead of continuing to pay for that early investment decision with slower performance and SEO penalties, however, SSDs will pay dividends in the long run.

The slight price advantage HDDs have over SSDs is shrinking. Experts expect SSDs will start matching the price of old-school hardware between 2018 and 2020. This owes to the storage drives becoming increasingly popular in all types of consumer and commercial electronics.

In web hosting, the upgrade to SSDs may cost only $1 or $2 more per month. You will spend much more money on manually optimizing a codebase running on HDDs. So, why not grab the low-hanging fruit?

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Laura Stamey shows first-time site owners and experienced developers how to explore new technologies and find better ways to work with established platforms. Originally trained as a journalist, Laura has contributed to HostingAdvice, Sports Illustrated, and several of the world’s top hosting providers.

6 thoughts on “HDD vs. SSD Hosting — How Performance Boosts Impact Your Business’s Bottom Line

    1. Fortunately, every InMotion Hosting plan includes SSD drives. InMotion Hosting was one of the first hosting companies to move to SSDs.

  1. Great post. Just wanted to stress out how important is the uptime of the hosting company. As WebSitePulse say in one of their blog posts “Numbers like 99% or 99.9% per year look quite impressive. However, in the first case, your website is not available for 87 hours, and in the second case?—?for almost 9 hours.”

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