Website maintenance and optimization take a completely different scope for online businesses. After all, it is one of their most valuable assets. It ‘s the first thing potential clients, customers, and partners are going to look at. This is why it’s important to have full control over your website and be able to use it to build long-lasting relationships based on trust.
All of the above is easy to achieve with a dedicated IP. Many hosting providers offer it to their clients. The question is – do you really need it? The simple answer is yes.
However, to completely appreciate the value it brings to the table, owners of online businesses have to get familiar with all of its benefits. Let’s start with essential things about IP everyone should know.
Internet Protocol Address – What is It?
IP is a popularly used abbreviation for Internet Protocol. It is just a simple string of numbers that identify any online device. The IP of a business website is, in fact, the IP address of the server where the website is being stored.
The domain name of your business website, for instance, www.yourbusiness.com, is associated with an IP address. Every time someone enters the domain name in the browser’s address bar, Domain Name System (DNS) looks up the IP associated with the domain name and takes the user to the website.
Without this system in place, people would have to memorize IP addresses of all the websites they like and enter them manually in a browser.
Many shared host providers deploy shared IP address for their clients. This means that multiple websites use the same shared IP address. Also, in most cases, a shared IP address means that all websites have access to the same server infrastructure and networking features.
Dedicated IP Address – What is It?
A dedicated address is unique, and it is associated with only one domain name. It is basically the same as a home address, which is unique for each home. In the DNS ledger, this address is tied to only one domain name.
On the surface, the difference between a shared and dedicated IP address appears mild at most. But once we start digging deeper, the real benefits of having the dedicated option start to emerge.
Improved Website Security and Visibility
A business website can be used for all sorts of purposes that exceed a simple presentation of the business portfolio. Businesses can use it to communicate with clients via live chat directly, generate leads enabled by online forms, sell products or services, and so on.
In any of these scenarios, website visitors, as well as the business, will share sensitive data online. A dedicated IP address helps businesses protect this data and render the whole website more secure.
Thanks to a unique IP, it is straightforward to obtain an SSL certificate. In the past, users who wanted to install an SSL certificate were required to have a dedicated IP.
While this is no longer the case, there are still many providers with strict requirements out there. Thanks to SSL, all the data exchanged between a visitor and a website is encrypted and rendered useless to anyone who manages to get a hold of it.
The SSL certificate also helps websites to rank better in the search results and avoid that unpleasant “Site is not secure” tag displayed in the search results.
Faster Access to the Website
Websites with a dedicated IP are easier to access via FTP than their shared IP counterparts. This is very important in terms of efficient updating and maintenance.
For instance, you don’t have to bring the entire website down for maintenance. By simply changing the DNS settings of the domain, the website can still be accessible but now only via the IP address.
Protect Your Reputation
When using a shared IP, businesses risk getting blacklisted by various online service providers. This might happen just because someone else was involved in spamming, scamming, or whatnot. If a business is running a website on shared IP, and the IP gets blacklisted, they can kiss all the services from that particular provider goodbye. Given the stakes here, this is not something that should be left to chance. A dedicated IP will protect any business from facing this risk.
Some Apps May Require It
Custom-tailored scripts and apps specifically built for one’s business purposes often require a dedicated IP to run. Going with it right from the start will save the business owners the potential trouble of migrating the website from a shared to the dedicated address.
Dedicated IP holds many benefits for companies with an online business model. Beside allowing instant access to the website via FTP, a dedicated address helps businesses protect their reputation, increase website security and visibility via SSL, and run a unique server setup via scripts and apps.