Which one’s better for your website: Dedicated IP address or a Shared IP address?

There has been an age old debate over which one’s better, a dedicated IP address of a shared one. A dedicated or a static IP address is a unique IP address that represents your website. Whether you type in your IP address or your webpage name it’ll open the same page. A shared IP address on the other hand is the one where you website will reside on a shared server and share the same IP as the ones on the server. On the shared IP you have to type in your web page name. Relying on the definition alone having something personalized is always luxurious than having to share it. With this luxury comes the price. Dedicated IP is more expensive (few bucks extra) than the shared one. But the debate over which ones better is not only about the price but from the SEO point of view as well.

In general, having a shared IP address does not harm your site rank at all. However, SEO experts usually suggest a dedicated server. According to them, search engines give more preference to a static IP. After a bit of research this is what I found out about how search engine spiders like Google bots differentiate between the IP addresses. When these spiders come across your site they divide it with basic html 1.0. With a dedicated IP address the spiders are able to do so with html 1.0 alone and they get indexed as soon as it is parsed. On the other hand with a shared IP these spiders may have to use html 2,3 and so on until they are able to find the address for your site taking as long as 3 months or even more. During this phase the spiders will use the IP of the main site on the server, usually the host’s site. They keep crawling back until they find your site. The links build by you for your site during this phase is accredited on the main site rather than yours. You will get these links back after that phase is through. So the bad thing here is some other site gets all the credit for your hard work, which could be frustrating.

The other advantages of having a dedicated IP are as follows:

  1. Less Downtime:
    Even though it’s for a short period of time, every time your IP refreshes your site might experience a downtime. There are chances of losing potential clients if they happen to visit your site at the very moment. With a dedicated address this risk can be eliminated.
  2. Anonymous FTP:
    A static IP is usually preferred by those who need to let Anonymous FTP function work properly. With this they can access the files in a special directory. The username used to access these files is anonymous hence it gets the name Anonymous FTP.
  3. Private SSL Certificate:
    You can own your private SSL certificate which are used by secure ecommerce websites for online monetary transactions especially through credit cards.
  4. Remote Access:
    Another advantage of dedicated IP is the ability access to your PC from anywhere in the world. You can use various programs for example Remote Administrator. For this you need a fixed address to maintain it to let the program find your pc.
    Hosting your site on a shared server might not be that bad but there are occasions when a shared IP might hurt your website when one of the websites on the shared server gets flagged for spamming or faces other penalty. When this happens other websites on that server might have to suffer as well.

If your website is doing really well on the World Wide Web, as others I would suggest you to host your website on a dedicated server. With the advantages it has to offer and the unlimited opportunities it holds it’ll be clever to book your place now.

August 21, 2008 ISSUE #24