Domain names are easily read web addresses that talk to the server and ask for resources (files, images, etc) through page requests to display a web page. The real web address of a website or server is a long string of numbers called an IP address (e.g. 224.714.66.71). Domain names are much easier to read and remember. The IP address is essentially a location or address (think of your home address), and the unique number allows computers and devices to find one another on a network of multiple devices. Even your home printer and computer have unique IPs.
Signing up with a shared hosting service is a cost- and time-effective method compared to setting up and running your own server. Every domain has an IP address, and on a shared host, hundreds of websites stored on one server can share a single IP. In some countries, China for instance, some sites are censored. If your website happens to be on that same IP that was flagged as malicious or spammy, they would be blocked from seeing your site, too. Multiple websites also means high traffic and thousands (even millions) of requests for files and resources, which can decrease performance.
What is a dedicated IP address and do I need one?
Upgrading to a dedicated IP (or static IP) address ensures that a unique IP is only tied to your one account on the server. A shared host can affect your reputation, search visibility, and impact the quality of user experience on your site.
Pros of having a Dedicated IP Address
- Increased security
- Quality performance – avoid longer wait times and sluggish performance from the impact of high traffic from other sites on a shared server
- Provides higher stability – if multiple websites share one server and one of those sites is flagged as malicious or spam, the IP address can be blacklisted. Unfortunately, your website could suffer the repercussions.
- Allows additional web applications to work and features, such as the ability to open non-standard ports
- Allows SSL Certificates which are believed to improve search engine ranking
- E-commerce websites require a dedicated IP (and an SSL certificate)
- Access anytime – if your domain is propagating and temporarily unavailable, you can still get access to your site through the IP address
- Increased SEO – search engines prefer unique addresses, since your domain is not associated or confused with other domains
Leasing fee for a dedicated IP address
~$3.99 per month
SSL Certificates are small data files that encrypt information sent between the connection of a browser (user’s computer) to a server. SSL Certificates protect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers.
HTTPS for better ranking
Google announced in August 2014 that it would boost the search engine rankings of HTTPS sites to make the web safer for everyone. The signal only affects less than 1% of influence to the ranking, stressing that high-quality content is still the primary factor to ranking a site.