When is having a Dedicated IP beneficial for your website?
If you've been researching web hosting recently, you may have come across the two different types of Web hosting that are currently on the market - with a shared IP and with a dedicated one.
In this article, we are going to explain what are the differences between these two shared hosting configurations and in what aspects they may affect the performance of your website, SEO and email delivery.
What is an IP Address?
The abbreviation IP stands for Internet Protocol. It can be defined as a unique address, similar to the phone numbers we use but with more digits and some dots in between.
IPs are used by machines (mostly computers), to establish a connection when sending information through the Internet or through a local network. It is due to these unique numbers that the machines which receive information know exactly from which device it comes from. Additionally, machines that are sending information also know the address where it should be delivered to, again because of the IP address.
Domain names were invented as it was much easier to remember a domain with words rather than a random sequence of integers. These domain names, however, are only used by people as machines still use the traditional IP address configuration to access resources across the Web.
Domain names are mapped to IP addresses using a DNS (Domain Name Server), which is essentially the phone book of the Web, containing each website’s IP address and its domain name.
We will give you an example with Google’s IP address, which without a DNS translation looks like this - 126.96.36.199, making it much harder to remember.
To summarize, when a user searches for a particular website inside of their browser, a DNS query is performed by the ISP to request the name server associated with that domain.
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What is a Dedicated IP Address in the context of shared hosting?
Having a dedicated IP address for your shared hosting plan means that your website’s domain is associated with your own IP address rather than the IP address of the server on which it is hosted on.
More simply put, a dedicated IP address is used exclusively for your domain, instead of having to share it with all websites hosted on the same shared server.
Shared vs Dedicated IP address
Shared web hostings usually offer shared IP addresses to their users. This means that the IP address of the server is shared between multiple domains. Cheaper service providers often host thousands of websites/domains on the same server with one IP address.
This can result in problems with performance and privacy, which is something that can damage your website if the IP gets restricted or banned. This is similar to how VPN servers usually offer clients access through the same IP address, meaning that if one person makes a mistake and gets the IP’s access restricted, all others will also not be able to utilize the account any longer and would have to change to a new one.
How can a Dedicated IP address benefit your website?
There are a number of different reasons why you might want to choose to get a dedicated IP address with the following being some of the most important ones.
Email Capabilities - better reputation, no mail blacklists
Using a shared IP can potentially negatively affect your email reputation. This is because when sharing an IP with thousands of users with potentially spammy activities, that IP can be blacklisted even if you do not perform shady practices yourself. You can easily be affected by other users’ actions because your domain is associated with the same IP.
This is a very common problem and the best solution for preventing any harm to your email use and reputation is to get shared hosting with a dedicated IP address. This will allow you to remain in charge of the information and traffic that goes through your website.
We at VPSBG constantly strive to provide high-quality services which is why our shared web hosting plans include a dedicated IP address.
Security & SEO - protect your rankings
While there is still an ongoing debate about whether a dedicated IP address can be beneficial in terms of your website’s SEO, the evidence goes to show that it can indirectly be helpful as it provides better information security and data privacy for your website and your users.
Additionally, having less downtime due to a shared IP being removed from the index is also an advantage. There have been multiple updates over the recent years focusing on user experience and website loading speed, meaning that a dedicated IP address can help your website perform better when it comes to Search due to the fact that such an IP can guarantee better uptime.
Business identity and brand awareness
Having a Dedicated IP address should be a part of your brand identity. The same way you use your own domain name, business email, social networks and other channels that might be associated with your brand, you should think about having a unique IP address, associated exclusively with your business domain name used to identify your website.
This will not only help build your brand, but will also allow you to gain more exposure online.
How to check if your website uses a shared or a dedicated IP address
If you don’t have any prior technical experience or you are just unaware whether your website uses a shared or a dedicated IP, there are many websites that you can use to manually check the type of the address such as ViewDNS.
Simply enter the domain name of your website and press go. You will receive information about the number of domains associated with the IP address. If you see only one IP linked with the domain, this means that you are using a shared hosting plan with a dedicated IP. If not, you can contact your provider and check whether they can offer you such a feature as a part of their hosting service plans.
Even though there are conflicting opinions when it comes to the usefulness of having a dedicated IP address, there are clearly some benefits to having a dedicated IP address over a shared one.
If your hosting provider does offer this as a feature make sure to take advantage of it as it can bring some advantages to your business.