If you’re new to website hosting and have very little to no knowledge about how they work, you might ask questions such as, “What does my IP address have to do with my website?” or “Don’t all servers come with IP addresses anyway?”
You’re asking the right questions, by the way.
After all, if you want your website to run without any hiccups or downtimes, you need reliable hosting in place.
Hosting solution providers mostly offer two different types of IP addresses: shared and dedicated. Each type comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Before exploring the benefits of a dedicated IP address, let’s take a look at its difference between shared and dedicated types.
Shared IP Address vs. Dedicated IP Address
A shared IP address is more common than a dedicated IP address. That is why it’s also cheaper. Just like shared hosting, multiple website owners use one shared IP address.
Because different websites are “renting” space on the same server, they use the same IP address to direct their visitors to the same location.
The websites that are “renting” space on the same server use the same IP address. The server phrases incoming visitors and directs them to the right website.
Imagine a large apartment complex. The entire building houses multiple renters under the same address. The only difference is the room or unit number, which identifies a specific renter.
On the other hand, a dedicated IP address is reserved for one user only. It is typically packaged with a dedicated hosting service.
That means your IP address directly ties your server space and domain together. However, it is more expensive than a shared IP address as you have exclusive ownership of the server resources.
So, why should you consider a dedicated IP address if a shared IP address is much cheaper?
1. Greater Control Over Resources
In a shared hosting plan, the service provider controls the allocation of the server resources, including server space, computing power, and IP address.
Consequently, there is a limit to what you can do with your server assets. For the most part, this is enough for a young company’s website.
However, an exclusive hosting plan with a dedicated IP address comes with more freedom.
If you have technical skills, it is easier to customize how your website or web application uses the server components. Depending on your service provider’s agreement, you can even allocate computing resources wherever you see fit.
Instead of using server interfaces such as cPanel, you can directly access your server through your computer’s command prompt. You can remotely upload files, share server resources, create files, and more.
Additionally, scaling your online business is seamless. For example, setting up a gaming server is relatively effortless when you have a dedicated IP address.
You can play online games with a high level of performance, develop custom gaming environments, and even host online games on the server.
Some applications also require a dedicated IP address, such as a virtual private network (VPN) or an internal project management platform. Your remote workers or clients can easily connect without worrying about their security.
An exclusive IP address makes web app development faster, especially during the testing and deployment stages. Running scripts, allocating computing resources, and other development activities are smoother when using a dedicated IP address.
2. Enhanced Email Delivery
Branded email addresses that use your domain name typically come with hosting packages. Using an email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org is definitely more credible than a generic Gmail account.
Running into email issues is inevitable on a shared IP address. Because the solution provider controls what goes in and what goes out of the server, you are uncertain if your email actually ends up in your recipient’s inbox.
Also, the behavior of the other website owners on the server affects your website, too. For example, if another user sends an unnaturally high volume of emails, they can be classified as spam.
Because you are under the same IP address, your emails will be categorized as spam as well. This will hurt your business as your emails are more likely to end up in your clients’ spam folders.
A dedicated IP address eliminates such risks. There are no other users to worry about. You will be less likely to be tagged as spam unless you send massive amounts of emails.
3. Easy Access to Your Website
If your product or service primarily involves developing software solutions, then a dedicated IP address is a must.
Uploading digital assets, scripts, and other files is much easier through FTP using a dedicated IP address.
Instead of dealing with browser-based cPanel, a direct FTP connection to your server is more seamless. This is especially true if you are developing multiple software products.
On top of that, an FTP connection lets you download and upload files anonymously. You can even collaborate with others by sharing your FTP credentials. However, be mindful of your server security when you do this.
Furthermore, if you are on a shared IP address, your website will likely run into speed issues due to other sites using the same IP address. If the service provider is doing a poor job of equally allocating server resources, your growing business will suffer due to a slow loading website.
Is Dedicated IP Address Right For Your Business?
Not all websites need a dedicated IP address. In fact, if you are still establishing your online presence, you may not need a dedicated IP address yet.
However, as your business expands, you need to consider the benefits of a dedicated IP address. It eliminates security and speed issues, especially when your business is attracting high website traffic. It is also needed when you launch different business ventures from the same server.
Additionally, a dedicated IP address provides better resource allocation in your server. Since it is often paired with dedicated hosting, you enjoy more flexibility in using your server assets.
Lastly, your email delivery is more consistent with this type of IP address. You no longer have to worry about getting tagged as spam due to other users’ behavior within the server. That means connecting with clients through email is more reliable.