Benefits of Dedicated Internet Protocol (IP) Address Hosting: Is it Worth it?

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With so many web hosting options on the market bundled with IP addresses, choosing between a dirt-cheap shared IP and an expensive dedicated IP address can be challenging. This is particularly true if you are a small business owner launching your first website.

The benefits of a dedicated Internet Protocol (IP) hosted subscription is worth paying for. It is particularly beneficial if you have a lot of website traffic, need faster loading speeds, or send many marketing emails. However, a dedicated IP address hosting subscription is more expensive.

While shared IP addresses make business sense from a cost perspective, they can be costly in the long run when your site attracts a lot of traffic. So, if you want to find the most beneficial IP address for your business – read on!

Shared vs. Dedicated IP Addresses

Let’s start with the basics before we delve into dedicated IP addresses, as it's essential to first understand what they are and how IP addresses function.

IP is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol, a distinctive range of numbers that acts as your web domain’s address mapped to DNS, a website phone directory of sorts. It means that you don’t have to type in long IP addresses to find a specific website.

So, what is the difference between a shared versus a dedicated IP address? The most straightforward answer is that, like your home computer, your hosted website’s server also has an IP address.

A shared IP address comprises a wide range of bespoke numbers typically used by several hosted websites. They are mainly used by WordPress and shared hosting service providers, who predominantly use more affordable cloud-based technologies. On the other hand, dedicated IP addresses are not shared with others. They are unique and only used by a particular website. So, if you search online for your website, your dedicated IP address will grant you instant access, even if you don't search for your domain name.

Benefits of a Dedicated IP Address Hosting Package

There’s no doubt that a dedicated IP address is preferable to a shared address, especially if the following benefits are crucial to your business.

  • Enhanced website speed. As we all know - time is money, so it's vital to have a website that operates efficiently without any frustrating lag times that might drive away business. A dedicated IP address is not the only contributor to a super-fast site. Still, it can make a massive difference as the host's server can instantly find your site without searching. Those few seconds make an enormous difference in traffic on your site.
  • Constant access to your website. Another great advantage of having a dedicated IP address is that you can access your website even when the Domain Name System (DNS) is down. Unfortunately, this can occasionally happen without a dedicated IP address. So, unlike having a shared IP address, there are no connection issues. As a result, you won’t have to waste precious time editing your site on a 24/7 basis and can easily access your site with your dedicated IP address.
  • Lowered IP blacklisting risk. A dedicated IP address is also highly beneficial as it provides an added layer of privacy and security. With a shared IP address, your website could be blocked by search engines in certain countries. This happens if other website owners who share the same address distribute malware, viruses, or spam emails which could pose a risk to your business.
  • Increased marketing emails circulation. Suppose your business relies on distributing large volumes of marketing emails per year. In that case, a dedicated IP address will ensure that your emails reach the intended recipients. So, why is that, you may ask? The simple answer is that your IP’s reputation will determine whether your emails are delivered to the recipient’s inbox or go directly to their spam folder. Email service providers like Google and Yahoo are more likely to classify your emails as spam if sent from a shared IP address. Thus, shared IP addresses have a dubious reputation.

Shared IP Addresses: Benefits and Limitations

There is no doubt that dedicated IP addresses are essential for some business owners. However, cost-effective shared IP addresses and hosting subscriptions work well for cash-strapped small businesses. However, it’s essential to note that you don’t have to subscribe to a shared web hosting package if you have a shared IP address. Although they are typically bundled.

  • Shared web hosting subscriptions are more prevalent for WordPress sites that don't require a dedicated IP address.
  • Because networking software and hardware resources are shared, it’s an affordable and efficient option for small business owners.

Although shared IP addresses are far cheaper compared to dedicated IP addresses, they do have the following downsides:

  • Slower operating, or loading speeds
  • Shared IP addresses are not compatible with all software solutions
  • Restricted access to a site when the Domain Name System (DNS) is down

A shared IP address is beneficial if you need to set up a website quickly and cheaply. Despite this, lower loading times can become problematic when traffic on your site increases and your business starts growing.

So, in that sense, paying a little bit more for a dedicated IP address makes business sense. This is because it results in more customer conversion rates and fewer abandonment issues due to slow operating speeds.

How to Choose the Right IP Address

Suppose you are still undecided about which type of IP address will work for you. In that case, the following analogy might be helpful. A shared IP address is like owning a home (website) on a specific street shared with various other homeowners (or websites). When someone is looking for your "home," search engines like Google will have to look at all the homes in your street until it finds yours. This takes time.

The search engine will instantly find your "home” (website) if you have a dedicated IP address. However, while this type of address is the most beneficial, you must consider the cost-benefit ratio, as dedicated IP addresses are expensive.

A shared IP address might be adequate if you own a small business and simply want an online presence with a site that does not attract much traffic. Although should you decide to go this route, do your "homework" and get your web hosting provider thoroughly!

Final Thoughts

Doubtless, paying more for the significant benefits of having a hosted dedicated Internet Protocol (IP) address is worth it, especially if your business is growing rapidly. However, it is not a viable option for cash-strapped business owners who are launching a new online venture.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!