When it comes to hosting a website on a shared server, there is always quite a common controversial issue: Is it necessary to have a dedicated IP address for your website and why, if you just can use a shared one? Using a dedicated IP address provides with certain crucial advantages, but let’s start with the definition first.
What is a Dedicated IP Address?
IP stands for Internet Protocol and is defined as a unique address assigned to each computer that is connected to a certain network. Internet Protocol address plays the role of a unique identifier that is used to provide valid location of a machine or a website in a given network.
What is the difference between a Shared and Dedicated IP address?
The difference between shared and dedicated IP addresses is quite simple. A shared IP address is a single address used by multiple websites within one web server. In this case, the web server should do some extra work, parsing the user’s request to the correct website. Having a Dedicated IP address means that the website has its very own address, and you can use either this IP address or the domain name of your website to access it from the web. For a more obvious example, please check the diagram below:
Why having a dedicated IP address is beneficial?
There are a lot of reasons why it is recommended to use a Dedicated IP address for a website hosted on a Shared server, but we shall look through the main ones here:
Sometimes, it is quite necessary to check how the website is going to look before pointing the domain name to the server and launching your website on the web. A dedicated IP address will provide with the ability to access the server directly without changing DNS settings for the domain name.
It is beneficial for the email sender’s reputation
As it was already mentioned above, having your website run over a single IP address may cause unpredictable difficulties, and email service may also be affected in this case. There are some situations when some user, sharing the same IP address with you gets banned or blacklisted for spamming which may possibly affect your email service as well. Using a dedicated IP address for email isolates your service from the abuse consequences where others are at fault.
If you are going to host your own online store or other e-commerce related website, and you are not going to use additional third-party services for handling payments, it is quite necessary to grab a Dedicated IP address and an SSL certificate for the website in order to provide security for your customers’ data.
It is required for particular third-party applications/scripts
Sometimes, a particular application or script that you may wish to run on your server requires a dedicated IP address.
SNI technology and incompatibility with some old browsers
With a recent cPanel update, we started to support the SNI technology that allows installing multiple SSL certificates on a Shared IP address. However, having a few SSL certificates on a shared IP address may cause issues with older versions of some browsers. In this case, all the visitors of such websites will receive a message containing information about untrusted connection. A Dedicated IP address helps to avoid such issues.