A dedicated IP address is a unique address that is specifically signed to a single hosting account. To be eligible a dedicated IP, there must be a business hosting account. Shared hosting accounts share the IP address of the server, which means a dedicated IP is not possible.
IP stands for “internet protocol.”
When there is a dedicated IP address, you can view the website from the IP address instead of the domain name. You’re able to use FTP to access your account, even if the domain name happens to be accessible. During periods of high traffic, it can even maintain the speed of the response.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of going with this setup instead of using a shared hosting server.
List of the Advantages of a Dedicated IP Address
1. It improves your reputation.
When your website is operated with a dedicated IP address, then your reputation is in your hands. That is useful when sending emails to others from your website, as the reputation of the IP address is a screening factor for public email providers, such as Outlook or Gmail. If your IP Address is associated with spam, your email could be filtered out. On a shared server, someone else may be spamming people, reducing the reputation of the address, which would affect your emails as well.
2. It grants access to the website at any time.
When you have a dedicated IP address, then you are provided direct access to your service without requiring a change to the DNS settings for the domain, which can take it offline for up to 48 hours. That makes it easier to check on the performance of the website, improve the speed of the site in some instances, or correct issues which may be preventing visitors from accessing your information.
3. It provides extra security.
With a dedicated IP address, you’re able to obtain SSL certificates which enhance the security of your visitors. From a secured site, you’re able to protect user data more effectively, which is necessary for processing payments and personal information from an e-commerce platform. Not only does this further the reputation of your business, it may be a requirement in some jurisdictions to process payments online.
4. It is required by some third-party applications.
If there are some scripts or apps from third-parties that you wish to run on your site, then they may require a dedicated IP address to operate. It is not always a requirement of the third-party provider. When shared hosting relationships are used, space on the server can be limited. Excluding third-party apps and scripts is an easy way to maximize space, allowing for more sites to be hosted on the same address.
5. It allows you to take actions immediately.
If something does occur with your email service provider or your ISP, then you can proactively monitor the situation and take immediate action if needed. Deliverability issues often occur when you first get started with a dedicated IP, especially if it hasn’t been warmed up over time. Try setting a maximum number of emails per day, then only email one group per day, underneath your maximum amount, to begin establishing your reputation.
6. It gives you a chance to protect your critical email streams.
With a dedicated IP, you’re able to protect multiple forms of information that may contain transactional information. You’re able to manage your cart abandonment notifications, shipping confirmations, receipts, and certain customer service issues effectively when this asset is part of your organization.
7. It provides an option for multiple domains.
You’re not stuck with a single domain on your dedicated IP if you’re looking to create a network of potentially profitable businesses. Hosting plans which offer a dedicated IP often provide a series of different dedicated IP hosting plans which permit you to have between 5-15 domains that are under your direct control. Each domain benefits from the reputation that you work to build, allowing you to reduce the risks of outside influences creating a negative impression on your network.
8. It can handle higher traffic volumes.
If you have a website that is rather popular, then moving to a dedicated IP can help you manage that high traffic volume more effectively. Should that high traffic site be the only one on the server, the overall load on the server will be reduced. That will give the website a better performance, which means it will typically load faster. With SEO based on value and user experience today, a faster site might rank better, which create even more opportunities for your business to expand.
9. It allows you to visit your site before you launch it.
Instead of dealing with a dashboard preview, a dedicated IP gives you the ability to view your website before you officially publish it. Although you can also do this by modifying your hosts file locally, using the dedicated IP is a lot easier for the average person.
10. It provides a layer of protection against IP banning.
If another website on a shared server manages to ruin the reputation of the address to the extent that networks ban it, then your site would be affected by those actions. Your website would be blocked along with the offending website. Moving over to a dedicated IP would give you protection against such an action.
List of the Disadvantages of a Dedicated IP Address
1. It requires you to manage your volume spikes.
When there are spikes in email volume with your dedicated IP, it can result in a negative outcome for your reputation. You must manage your volume carefully, keeping a careful eye on what is occurring. Sending multiple emails through a new dedicated IP often creates issues with your email service provider, which ultimately defeats the benefits obtained from having this structure in the first place.
2. It forces you to look at your volume history.
Many internet service providers tend to throttle the IP addresses which do not have a volume history. Reputation standards are often strictly enforced when you first begin to use your dedicated ID. That means you’re forced to build up your reputation over time. If you can make that kind of investment, then many of the advantages of having a dedicated IP will provide tangible value eventually. If you need to get started immediately, then a different option may be a better solution.
3. It comes at a higher cost.
Having a dedicated IP is more expensive than shared options that are available. There are budget-friendly options available from providers like BlueHost, which begin at $79.99 per month, providing 5 TB of bandwidth, 500 GB of mirrored storage, and free SSL. For a scalable option from WP Engine, the monthly price is as high as $290 per month, offering up to 400,000 visitors per month, starting with 15 sites and 30 GB of local storage. For a shared address, plans at BlueHost begin around $5 per month instead. Monitoring and whitelisting come at higher costs too.
4. It is something that is in short supply.
Dedicated IPs are not always available through your preferred host. That means you may be forced to port your website to a new hosting provider if you wish to take advantage of this option. For larger websites, that process can be time-intensive and costly. The best option is to find a provider for a dedicated IP before going through the website building process. That way, you’ll be able to secure this valuable resource that is in short supply.
5. It does not work well for low-volume situations.
For a dedicated IP to maintain a trustworthy reputation, you’ll need to send around 200,000 emails per month once you get warmed up. If you’re sending less than that, it can be difficult to maintain enough history for the ISP to consider you a trustworthy source of content. If you’re still small in size, it may not be the right time to invest into this asset right now.
6. It only works if you work.
You are the director of your success or failure when using a dedicated IP. If you are not invested in the process, or if you are not using industry best practices to grow your reputation, then having a dedicated IP could be something that hurts you. If you’re not willing to work at the correct volume levels, then you may find that the many benefits available to you will become further out of reach.
These dedicated IP address advantages and disadvantages show that sites can gain reputation advantages over time with fewer risks and greater overall access. They also show that these benefits only come when you’re willing to put a larger investment down on your online presence. For that reason, each key point must be considered carefully before making a decision on which structure is right for your needs.