Whether to use a dedicated IP address or a shared IP address for your website is a frequent topic of debate among e-business entrepreneurs. Much of the debate often revolves around misinformation, however, and an unclear understanding of the differences between the two.

To understand what kind of IP address you need, it’s important to know about those differences. The following gives an overview to those who know little or nothing about IP addresses. We will look at the attributes of both configurations and how they impact things such as email and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

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What Is An IP Address?

The Internet Protocol (IP) Address is a series of numbers that identifies each domain on the internet. It essentially works like a mailing address does for snail mail. DNS maps each IP address to a name, which allows you to type a name for a website rather than a number. In your home, Wi-Fi uses the numbers of IP addresses to recognize devices on your network. Also, you have two IP addresses – a public one used to communicate on the internet, and a private one that connects the devices in your home or office network

What Is A Dedicated IP Address?

A dedicated IP address is a unique Internet address assigned exclusively to a single hosting account. It is not shared or used by any other domain. When creating a new site, a WordPress hosting provider will assign a dedicated IP address to your domain, sometimes charging a fee.

The advantage of a dedicated IP address is that it gives a business full control over the reputation of an IP address. Typically, it also lends itself to better email delivery. Some applications require a dedicated address. It also helps with SEO (search engine optimization) efforts by allowing your business to reap all the rewards of better traffic to your site, and not get dinged by issues with other sites.

Most consider a dedicated IP address critical for a successful e-commerce business.

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What Is a Shared IP Address?

A shared IP address is one that is used for multiple sites. A shared IP address is common these days because many sites simply do not need a dedicated IP address. This is especially true for small, startup sites. If you have a shared IP address, you will share server hardware and resources with other sites through server partitioning. Each user of a shared IP address gets their own amount of storage and bandwidth.

The advantage of a shared IP address is that it is easy to set up and inexpensive. It allows businesses to quickly get up and running. Some businesses may choose to start their online operations using shared hosting, graduating to a dedicated IP address as they grow.

It’s important to know that a shared IP address doesn’t always mean the sites share hosting. That can vary among different types of sharing. Also, the performance of your site is not typically impacted by shared IP addresses.

That said, there are many advantages to having a dedicated IP address from the beginning. Consulting with a digital marketing agency can help you determine which path is the right one for you.

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