This has always been a question of a shared IP or a Dedicated IP address is apt for my business and a debatable one too. We have noticed it is one of the most discussed topics. There is a lot of outdated and wrong information floating across the web related to dedicated IP addresses and their functionality. We will address some myths that many have heard with regards to the effect dedicated IP addresses have on emails, SEO, SSL and more.
- IP Address
- Dedicated IP Address
- Shared IP Address
- IPv4 Address
- Dedicated IP Address vs. Shared IP Address
- SSL Certificates and Dedicated IP Address
- Advantages of a Dedicated IP
- Dedicated IP Address – Do I need it?
- Dedicated IP Hosting – The Right Choice?
It’s essential that we have a clear understanding of an IP address. The full form of IP is Internet Protocol. On the web, there are various domains. Every domain is given an IP address, like; 188.8.131.52.
They use the DNS to map it to the domain name. DNS is similar to that of a phone book; only it saves all addresses that are on the web. When you type msn.com in your address bar, your ISP performs a DNS query to get the nameservers that are linked to your domain.
The IP address is then mapped, the server gets all this done backstage. This action allows us to use the respective domain name, which in turns gives us access to it.
Without DNS, your work would get very complex; instead of msn.com, you would then have to type a complex address like 184.108.40.206 in order to get to MSN. I don’t know how you feel about it, but that is definitely not my definition of ‘keeping it simple’.
Today, the web and local ISPs are using two kinds of IP Addresses; IPv4 and IPv6.
An IPv4 address looks somewhat like this – 220.127.116.11,
and an IPv6 address looks like this – 0:0:0:0:ffff:c39a:d9ec.
We don’t need to dig deeper into this; we can save this topic for another day. However, I would like to point out that the internet has grown so quickly that it was in need of an address space that’s big enough to hold all of it.
To ensure that as the web expands, new IP addresses are assigned to users, IPv6 was developed. But, when you need to make a decision of whether you need a dedicated IP address or not, everything will apply to IPv4 and IPv6.
Dedicated IP Address
Let us understand what a dedicated IP address is. It’s exactly what the name suggests – dedicated. The user’s domain gets an IP address that will not be used or even shared by other domains. This will be home for your domain on the web.
It is just like you have a private phone number. It is yours, not shared or used by anyone else. Your WordPress hosting provider assigns your domain a dedicated IP address. This is also an add-on that you can get with an additional fee.
Let’s take a look at what a shared IP address is; it’s just like its name. Yes, you guessed it right, it is shared. It’s not dedicated to you; it is shared and used by various domains.
Today, many are using shared IPs, as it is common with WordPress hosting providers. This is mainly because the most configuration doesn’t have a requirement for a dedicated IP address. We will get into detailed reasoning behind it.
At our place, all our WordPress hosting plans are with a shared IP. Your WordPress IPv4 address can be found on your dashboard. You will find it in the Info tab of your site.
I would like you to know that even if you use a shared IP, you would not have to use shared hosting.
I trust with the above explanation, we have got a clear understanding of what a dedicated and shared IP is. Let’s compare the two.
Let’s look at it from a hosting point of view. Many hosting companies offer their users dedicated and shared hosting. With a shared hosting service, your space in the server environment is rented. Here there are various users with whom you will share resources. This is apt for users who are trying to cut cost.
On the other hand, using dedicated hosting is not having to share it with anyone. The server is entirely rented by you. All the resources of the server are at your disposal. A dedicated server gives you access to a higher degree of security, bandwidth, performance and storage.
Both the IPs have similar functionalities.
If you’re using a shared hosting plan along with you, multiple sites will also be using a similar IP address as you. Whereas if you have a dedicated plan, you will not be sharing the IP address. Your server will have a single IP address.
SSL Certificates and Dedicated IP Address
If you wanted to get an SSL certificated, the requirement was to have a dedicated IP address. Today, with Server Name Identification (SNI), you can get an SSL certificate, even if you don’t have a dedicated IP address. With this new technology, the IP name doesn’t have to match the SSL certificate; server names need to match it.
If you have a dedicated IP address, you can obtain an SSL certificate. However, it is not a requirement. Your hosting provider may have a stringent policy for the kind of IP address needed for the certificate.
If you wish to enjoy the benefit of better security, adding an SSL certificate is required. If you have an online ecommerce store, then it is essential to have an SSL certificate. This is applicable to any site that asks clients to enter their sensitive information.
The latest Update by Google chrome allows your site to upgrade to HTTPS secure connection, provided your site has an active SSL certificate. On the search engines, your site will rank higher, and your site will not display to your guest a “Site is not secure” message.
Advantages of a Dedicated IP
There are various reasons why a dedicated IP can be beneficial to you and your business. We don’t say it is good for all styles of sites. But we will mention a few points below of the benefits of a dedicated IP. You can read on and decide for yourself as to what is apt for your business.
1. Easy Access to Websites
Sometimes via FTP, you may want to have direct access to your website. You can access your website from a remote location if you have a dedicated IP. You might find yourself in a situation that would require you to access your website using your IP.
For example, you want to preview your site before you launch it.
You have direct access to the server with a dedicated IP and that too without changing the settings of your domain DNS.
2. Requirements of a Few Applications
If your server has a unique setup or your website has a requirement for a particular type of application or script for it to run, then your website needs a dedicated IP. Most applications work well with a shared IP due to the increased use of shared IP.
However, if you are planning to run server scripts and unique apps, we recommend you check if having a dedicated IP is a requirement or not.
3. Benefits your Email
If your email address is domain branded, then your host could be sending your emails. If your website is running through a shared IP, then it is a possibility your emails could come across issues. There is also a possibility that another shared user is using a similar IP as you are and manages to get it banned or blacklisted. This will have an effect on the capabilities of your email and even on the deliverability and send rates.
To avoid such incidents, we recommend opting for a dedicated IP. With this, you can isolate your site and emails associated with it. This protects the credibility of your website and your emails too.
If you plan to send a high volume of emails, we recommend a third-party provider for your emails. These hosts are set up in a way to increase your deliverability rates. It’s like a skilled team working around the clock to make sure blacklisting is kept at bay.
4) Server Control – Higher level
A lot more can be done with the help of a dedicated IP. You can do a lot in terms of customization abilities. It gives you a lot of freedom. It all depends on the technical skills you have to support it.
You can have an IP-based server environment with a dedicated IP. In order to do so, you will need permission from your host. For this degree of control on your online projects and website, dedicated IP is essential.
5) Requirement for an SSL Certificate
As we discussed earlier, this used to be a requirement in order to get an SSL certificate; it no longer is a requirement. But, some host does have it as a requirement. Some servers use SNI to install the SSL certificate for a host that’s shared.
You receive a boost in security and performance when using dedicated IP. Usually, this is expected if your using a low-grade web host. The low-grade host does not ban spammy websites or websites with that kind of behaviour. Many times, we have noticed that domains have been blacklisted but do not rule it out; they can blacklist an IP address too.
Dedicated IP Address – Do I need it?
Not all websites require a dedicated IP. If this is your first website, then you might be comfortable with a shared IP. A dedicated IP service can be used later as well.
You should consider getting a dedicated IP for the following reasons;
a) The traffic on your website is very high.
b) Your website requires frequent FTP access.
c) Your website has a huge volume of email deliverability.
In some instances, we have noticed it has a minute impact on the SEO. With a dedicated IP, the speed of your site will always be high because you are not sharing the IP with multiple other sites. When you share your IP with other sites, it begins to lag. This can be avoided with a dedicated IP. When you move to a dedicated host, it will upgrade your IP and do much more.
Getting a dedicated IP and a dedicated host are two different things. You can use a shared server and have a dedicated IP. You can also have a dedicated server and have a shared IP. One of the main reasons to opt for a dedicated IP is when the site needs an SSL certificate. As we discussed earlier, not all providers of SSL certificate and not all host have a requirement for a dedicated IP.
Dedicated IP Hosting – The Right Choice?
We trust that by now, you have a clear understanding of what a dedicated IP address is, the advantages it offers and the difference with a shared IP. It all depends on the requirements of your website. If your website is young and doesn’t demand much, then a shared IP will work just fine.
But if your looking for improved security and speed along with access to the server, then you must consider a dedicated IP. It will be worth the investment and an excellent add-on to your current hosting package.
If you want to improve your site benefits, then we recommend that you get a dedicated hosting environment that will include an IP address that’s dedicated.
We trust that this article has given you clarity of Dedicated IP Address, and it helps you to choose the right service for your website. You can also check our article on 4 Fantastic WordPress Form Plugins.