An IP address is a sequence of numbers such as ‘220.127.116.11’ which identifies a particular server on the internet. This article will attempt to investigate the top 5 misconceptions of why a customer may want dedicated IP’s for their web hosting service.
Misconception 1: Every Website Needs A Unique IP Address
False, web-servers have the ability to serve multiple websites under the same IP Address. This is because the webserver (ie Apache) can read the request header sent by the web browser which contains the URL of the website it is trying to access.
Shared web hosting servers can easily host thousands of websites under the same IP address without issue.
Misconception 2: A Dedicated IP Will Increase Performance
False, a dedicated IP address will almost always have identical performance and routing to the web server.
It is often explained by sales staff that a ‘dedicated IP’ is a private congestion-free cable to the server and free from other user’s traffic. This is 100% categorically incorrect as the Network Routes are shared by all users on the server your website is hosted on and other servers on the same network.
Anyone stating a dedicated IP will speed up your website without a fantastic technical explanation is almost certainly scamming you.
Misconception 3: A Dedicated IP Is A Requirement Of SSL
Outdated/Partially true, in the early days of SSL/HTTPS website adoption it used to be a requirement that a server could only present a single SSL certificate for an IP Address. This required site administrators to have a pool of IP addresses on their web servers or register an SSL certificate containing all the domains they wish to host in advance.
Thankfully Server Name Indication, an extension to the TLS network protocol was developed and adopted into all major modern web browsers which allowed more than one SSL certificate for an IP. There is no longer a requirement for a dedicated IP for either a free SSL certificate (ie LetsEncrypt) or paid SSL certificate.
Should you be catering to end users with Jurassic era equipment with antique browsers, a case could be for a SSL certificate with affixed IP however this an edge case.
If your provider does not give you a free SSL certificate or claims you need a dedicated IP for one, you need a better provider!
Misconception 4: Sites With A Dedicated IP Rank Better For SEO
Not True, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be a dark art with many myths. This is one of them that is often blown out of proportion.
One of the wives tales that may have been true, but is no longer is that a website on the same server with a bad reputation would cause Google to penalise the entire server.
When asked about this directly, the head of WebSpam for Google acknowledged that in very extreme cases a site hosted on a server almost entirely full of spammy sites may come under more scrutiny that Google acknowledges that judging a site by it’s IP address or provider is a poor metric and not something it typically weights.
“On the list of things that I worry about, that would not be near the top. So I understand, and Google understands that shared web hosting happens. You can’t really control who else is on that IP address or Class C subnet.”– Matt Cutts (Head Of Webspam – Google)
Realistically unless you are hosting with a criminal enterprise, this will not be an issue. Almost all providers including blacklist operators no longer rely on IP addresses.
Of greater importance is ensuring your site is fast, optimised and reliable.
Misconception 5: A Dedicated IP Will Improve Email Deliverability
Ensuring your emails land in your recipient’s inboxes is a top priority for almost everyone. When issues arise, one of the solutions offered by hosting providers (sometimes with good intentions) is to purchase a dedicated IP address for the hosting service.
While this can sound like a valid option, such a service rarely will resolve this issue. This is due to a combination of:
- The reason your emails are not getting delivered may not be caused by IP Reputation, such as a misconfigured SPF or DKIM record.
- Many hosting platforms such as cPanel will send an email from the primary IP of the hosting server, not from a dedicated IP which is only used for Web. Most large providers will use a third-party outgoing email service such as Mail Channels to send via, not the server’s IP.
- A new IP from the same subnet may not have a better reputation than the one you are on. This is particularly true for low volumes senders.
When diagnosing email deliverability issues, a good first start is using a tool such as Mail-Tester to break down exactly what issues you may be having.
Providers of Shame: Who Make BS Claims about Dedicated IPs
Providers who have no idea about the products they sell or will downright make misleading claims for your money.
- GoDaddy: “Ensure faster response during periods of high traffic load.”
- Comodo: …having a dedicated IP eliminates the danger of brief downtime on the server while your IP address refreshes.
Providers Who Know Their Stuff
Shutout to providers who know the ins & outs of hosting
- Kinsta: Dedicated IP Address vs Shared IP Address (Debunking Myths)
- HostGator: Web Hosting With A Dedicated IP
- WPEngine: Dedicated IP VS Shared IP