Before diving into the trove of benefits that accompany a dedicated IP address, it’s important to first have a solid understanding of what an IP address is. First and foremost, an IP (Internet Protocol) address is simply a series of numbers assigned to each and every device that accesses the internet. This unique label allows websites and the internet to identify your device. Even servers have a unique IP address.
A dedicated IP is an address dedicated exclusively to a single hosting account, something the majority of hosting providers offer. Another popular plan is shared hosting. So what’s the difference?
Shared vs. Dedicated
It’s inevitable that every website owner on their search for the perfect web hosting plan has asked themselves what the difference is between shared and dedicated hosting. With a dedicated IP, you can go directly to the domain or IP address in your browser to visit your site. You’re not sharing your IP address with anyone else. It’s fairly common, however, that the majority of websites share their IP address.
With shared hosting, you’re often sharing your address with hundreds of other customers with more than one domain. This can be perfectly fine and an economical choice if you aren’t expecting high traffic or future scalability to your site. The downside to shared hosting is that some countries, such as China, can censor websites based on an IP address. So if a website they decide to censor happens to be on the same server as yours, then your site and everyone else sharing the server would also be blocked. This happens more often than you may think. Again, this may not be a big deal for many websites, but if you are selling products globally, you might want to reconsider a shared hosting plan. A dedicated IP address helps separate your website.
Dedicated IP Advantages
Remember, while shared hosting is the most common hosting plan, this means a single server is sharing its resources with a number of different websites. Here are the top benefits of opting for a Dedicated IP plan and why it can help your business.
As already mentioned, with shared hosting plans, you’re sharing your resources with hundreds of other websites, all of which sit on the same IP address. If another website gets blacklisted for, say, spamming users, this means your website will also be blacklisted. This can spell disaster for companies that care about their reputation and selling products to a large base.
One of the most important benefits to a dedicated IP is that it helps provide stability. For full reputation and activity control, it’s always best to choose a dedicated hosting plan. This way you can focus on your business rather than worry about other websites running shady scripts and putting the whole server at risk.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The IP address tells the story of where a website is hosted. Websites hosted on a dedicated server have the advantage of also having their own IP address, whereas websites on a shared hosting plan will have to share their IP address with many others websites. This can lead to not only potential security threats, but also to search engine discrimination. The best SEO practices begin with a dedicated IP.
Sharing your IP address with hundreds (or potentially thousands) of other websites can slow your website down significantly. It can also rank your site lower on search engines than websites that have a dedicated IP.
If you have a business, SEO is incredibly important. It’s a viable marketing outlet that can bring your company leads and customers. Research shows that in today’s market, SEO can have a better return on investment than TV or print ad marketing.
- Less Downtime
Downtime refers to a website that is not available online or isn’t functioning properly enough for users to navigate the site or complete a desired task. Most web hosting providers strive for zero downtime—and get pretty close, too—but it’s sometimes inevitable. Even giants such as Facebook and Google experience the occasional downtime.
A great advantage of utilizing a dedicated IP is that it results in less downtime. Website servers can often experience downtime simply because IP addresses are constantly being refreshed, however this is significantly reduced with a dedicated IP. Keeping low downtime is crucial for any website that intends to gain viewership or sell products.
There are a lot great benefits to opting for a dedicated IP, and we’ve only touched on a few. At the end of the day, if all you want is a fun blog that shows the world you exist or a site that isn’t expecting spikes in traffic, you’ll be just fine with a low-cost shared hosting plan. For businesses, both big and small, it’s well-worth the investment to choose a dedicated hosting plan with a dedicated IP. Your company will experience less downtime, higher SEO rankings, and more stability. Dedicated IP addresses are often included with VPS, dedicated server and sometimes even shared hosting packages. However, you must always do some research in order to find out if the hosting provider actually gives you the opportunity of acquiring it. Internet is filled with web hosting reviews which allows you to easily research your preferred company before making a final decision.