First up - what is an IP Address?
When your website is hosted on a shared server (i.e. there are a number of other sites on the same server) your shared server is assigned an IP address, this address is the same for all the sites on the shared server and is used as a unique identifer that provides a valid location for the websites.
What is a Dedicated IP Address?
A dedicated IP Address means you are assigned your own IP address that is unique to your website and not shared by any other sites on the same server. Your site will be the only site on the internet using that particular IP address.
Benefits of a Dedicated IP address?
- Your sites reputation is not affected by other sites on the shared server i.e. if a site on the shared server gets a bad reputation for sending spam messages (or is hacked in any way) this can have an adverse affect on all the sites on the same shared server. However if you have a dedicated IP Address your reputation is protected in this instance and you won't be penalised by Google or in search.
- Your email service won't be affected if another site on the server is blacklisted
- If you are selling online and taking online payments a dedicated IP address is highly recommended. It uniquely identifies your site and combined with a SSL certificate will help assure your customers that you are a trusted site.