If you are an online entrepreneur running your own blog or your own e-commerce site over a shared hosting plan, then trust me: your site needs a dedicated IP address. Although your sites will run fine on a shared IP address, you would prefer having a dedicated IP for your online business.
Shared or Dedicated IP Addresses – Say What?
Most shared hosting plans from hosting companies by default offer shared IP addresses to run their customers’ domains.
To be clear, first let us determine the difference between a shared hosting plan and a shared IP address since these are two different things. A shared hosting plan is a hosting account that runs on a single, physical server shared by other users having similar hosting accounts – thus the word “shared.” A shared IP address, on the other hand, is a real address of a website or server. Instead of real IP addresses, a domain name is used for convenience to represent a website. Since a single server can handle multiple domains running on it, these domains could represent one shared IP address. By default, the domains of other users on same shared server are pointing to a common, shared IP address.
Domains hosted on a shared hosting account, however, are not restricted to use only a shared IP address. They can be as well configured individually to be assigned a static, dedicated IP address that is utilized only by a one domain.
For shared hosting plans, a dedicated IP address is usually a premium upgrade to most hosting companies which costs around $2.50 per month. Certain hosting companies like IXWebHosting and Top Hosting Center (to name a few), include dedicated IP addresses to their shared hosting packages which is excellent.
The Impacts Of Having A Dedicated IP Address
Acquiring a dedicated IP address for your domain brings the following benefits:
Scam and Spam Blacklist Protection – In a shared hosting environment, if someone you share with a common IP gets trouble for spamming or scamming, the shared IP address could get blacklisted or banned by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and it would affect all domains using the said shared IP address. When your shared IP address is banned or blacklisted on some ISPs, your website will not be accessible to some areas in the world and your emails get blocked. It would directly affect your online business operations, search engine ranking and reputation. Getting a dedicated IP address resolves this. A dedicated IP isolates your domain and protects it from being affected from the consequences of abuses done by other shared users.
Business Identity Support – With a dedicated IP address, online businesses can have the confidence of better identity. Customers feel unsafe doing monetary transactions on sites that use a shared IP address because of reliability and security issues. A truth about this is that security certificates like private SSL requires a website to run over a dedicated IP address before it can accept credit cards online. Although you can still run an e-commerce site using a shared IP address, through a shared SSL certificate, having your own dedicated IP will make things easier and convince your customers to avail products or services, and close deals.
Enhanced Search Engine Optimization – Search engines track websites through their addresses (domain name and IPs). It has been found that most search engines favor websites running over dedicated IP address. Sites with a dedicated IP addresses do better in ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). For online businesses, this concern is very important.
Extended Hosting Functionality – Certain functions on a shared hosting plan cannot be enabled if you are using a shared IP address. For instance, Anonymous FTP can only be enabled with a dedicated IP address. Anonymous FTP lets anyone using FTP client software to access the files in a special directory of your site. Also, having a dedicated IP allows access to your website by FTP even if your domain name is still inaccessible due to propagation.
Knowing the benefits of having a dedicated IP address, I strongly encourage you to have it especially when you are running business-related sites and even blog like this. John Raul dot Com just shifted from shared IP to dedicated IP with the coming of THC’s Speedy hosting plan – and it is great.