Does Shared Hosting Need Dedicated IP?

What is an IP address?

An IP address is an Internet Protocol that primarily serves to reference and connect to the location of an internet server.

An IP address is also part of the Domain Name System (DNS), which converts and maps domain names to their assigned IP addresses. The DNS functions like a network address book, recording the corresponding relationship between various IP addresses and domain names.

This allows users to access websites by entering the website’s domain name instead of difficult-to-remember IP addresses.

When a visitor enters your website’s domain name, their Internet Service Provider (ISP) checks whether their domain name resolution server has the IP address record for that domain name. If it doesn’t, it will request the higher-level domain name resolution server to query the IP address corresponding to the website domain name.

As long as the website domain name has the appropriate domain name resolution record, the IP address can always be found on the internet.
The diagram below illustrates a simplified process of how DNS works:


In the end, when a user enters a website’s URL in the browser, the browser actually accesses the corresponding IP address of the domain name and the corresponding web page access port (port 80 or 443) to retrieve the website files and display the website content.

Without the DNS system, we would have to enter IP addresses instead of easily remembered domain names in the browser.

When you need to set up DNS domain name resolution for your website, you need to know the IP address of the website host, which can usually be found in the website host’s user backend panel.

Currently, there are two types of IP addresses used on the web: IPv4 and IPv6.

  • IPv4 uses a 32-bit recombined number and has a maximum of approximately 4.3 billion possible addresses. IPv4 addresses are represented by four sets of numbers separated by dots. For example,
  • IPv6 uses 128 binary bits instead of 32 binary bits as addresses and is represented by eight sets of hexadecimal numbers separated by colons, such as 2036:csba:0000:0000:0000:0000:6365:6598. (Groups of all zeros are usually omitted to save space, leaving only one colon separator to mark the gap, such as 2036:csba:: 6365:6598)

Due to the rapid development of the internet and the extensive use of IP addresses, the number of IPv4 addresses has decreased dramatically and is nearing exhaustion. Therefore, one of the reasons for developing IPv6 is to ensure that the network can continue to expand and new IP addresses can be assigned.

It is now 2023, and the cost of purchasing a dedicated IP has also increased. Does virtual hosting still need a dedicated IP? This article mainly explores this question.

What is a shared IP?

A shared IP means that multiple website domains share one IP address. In shared hosting, hundreds of websites use the same physical server.

To reduce operating costs, hosting providers share one or more IP addresses among all users on a server. In this case, it is called a shared IP address.

The biggest issue with IP addresses is that they are not an unlimited resource; they are subject to allocation limits. This limitation has made IP addresses a valuable resource on the internet. When supply cannot meet demand, prices naturally increase.

Therefore, the cost of a dedicated IP address is higher than any shared IP.

What is a dedicated IP?

A dedicated IP address is a dedicated address that is exclusively used by you and is not shared with other user website domains or anyone else.

Your dedicated IP can be associated with multiple different sites of your own. If you want to access your own website, you can do so by entering the domain name or IP address.

All shared virtual hosting packages online come with a shared IP address by default. Currently, almost all virtual hosting service providers on the internet use this method to provide shared hosting. This is partly because IP resources are becoming more expensive and costs are rising, and partly because for many users, a dedicated IP is not necessary in 90% of cases.

On the other hand, hosting types such as VPS, managed WordPress hosting, and dedicated servers (also known as dedicated servers) come with a dedicated IP address by default.

What is the difference between a shared IP address and a dedicated IP address?

A shared IP address is a single address used by multiple websites on a web server. In this case, the hosting server needs to perform additional work to route the user’s request to the correct website.

Having a dedicated IP address means that a website has its own unique address, and you can directly access the website using the IP address.

Another significant difference is the price. Shared IP addresses are typically free because they reduce the hosting provider’s cost for IP addresses.

On the other hand, dedicated IP addresses usually come with a fixed monthly or annual fee as they are leased from the hosting provider. The price can vary from a few dollars to tens of dollars per month.

There is no necessary relationship between a shared IP address and shared hosting.

  1. A website hosted on shared virtual hosting does not necessarily mean it uses a shared IP address.
  2. Websites hosted on dedicated IP addresses are not necessarily hosted on dedicated servers.

Regarding the first point, a typical example is managed WordPress hosting services like Kinsta. Their infrastructure is built on the Google Cloud Platform and differs significantly from traditional shared hosting, VPS, or dedicated servers.

Each site on managed WordPress hosting is independently isolated, and each site runs all software resources (LNMP environment – Linux, Nginx, MariaDB/MySQL, PHP) independently. These resources are 100% private and not shared with anyone else, not even between your own sites.

Therefore, even though managed WordPress hosting uses shared IP addresses, it does not mean that it uses shared hosting.

The second point is easy to understand because virtual hosting users can use a dedicated IP address additionally. While the IP is dedicated, the hosting resources are still shared, and this aspect remains unchanged.

Some common benefits of a dedicated IP address:

Accessing your website using the IP address:

One of the benefits of a dedicated IP is that you can access your website by entering the IP address directly in the browser because only your website uses it (in some cases, simple configuration is required to enable direct IP access).

Improved email reputation and deliverability:

If you use your own business email to send emails, your email address will no longer use a traditional free Gmail address but something like [email protected]. A business email address acts as a part of your electronic business card and has a subtle impact on branding. Using your website domain name as the email address appears more professional and aligns with commercial standards.

If you don’t use a third-party email service provider and instead use the free email service provided by your host, you can indeed bind your website domain as the domain for your email address.

However, if you are using a shared IP address, you may encounter some issues. The biggest problem is deliverability. Email deliverability refers to the percentage of successfully delivered emails that reach recipients’ inboxes.

Another user on the shared web hosting server you are using may engage in illegal email activities, such as using the host’s email service to send a large volume of spam emails, causing a decrease in the reputation of the server’s IP and its inclusion in anti-spam organization blacklists, among other things. These activities may have an impact on you and can result in your emails being directly sent to spam instead of the inbox.

In the case of shared IP, the reputation of all sending website domains in email activities is associated with the overall reputation of the bound IP.

By using a dedicated IP, even if you are using shared virtual hosting, you are the only user sending emails through that IP address (but you should avoid using the email servers of the hosting service provider to send a large number of emails). This is a method to protect the reputation of the sender’s server IP address and also avoid low delivery rates.

IP reputation is one of the important factors that affect email deliverability. It determines whether your emails are classified as inbox or spam by internet service providers. Therefore, the better the reputation, the more emails can be delivered normally.

If you want to send business emails and communicate for business purposes, you should not use the free email services provided by hosting providers, but rather use the enterprise email services provided by professional email service providers. Generally reliable options include Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and others.

If you want to use an email address with your own website domain to send regular business emails, you can choose the aforementioned service providers. It’s also acceptable to occasionally send some trade development emails.

If you want to send emails in bulk, it is advisable to use a professional third-party email service provider from the beginning. Many professional email marketing service providers support sending a large number of emails and can ensure a certain delivery rate and prevent IP blacklisting.

Here’s a special note:

When you choose to send emails in bulk, purchasing a dedicated IP has little effect and significance. If you choose a service provider for email marketing, they may offer the option to purchase a dedicated IP for an additional fee. However, if you purchase a dedicated IP, the new IP address itself has not been sufficiently warmed up, which means that the sending effectiveness may not be ideal. Warming up an IP requires reaching a certain threshold of sending volume, and you need to maintain a continuous volume of emails and gradually increase the sending volume. It is difficult to warm up an IP for marketing emails or bulk development emails because even if you have a large email list, it is challenging to send hundreds or thousands of emails every day to exceed the warming up threshold. It might be possible in the short term, but few people can sustain it.
Therefore, some people with some technical knowledge may try to set up their own mail servers or purchase dedicated mail servers from service providers to send trade development emails in bulk, but the sending results are still not ideal. The reason is that self-built mail servers cannot guarantee a stable and gradually increasing sending volume, and it is difficult to warm up the IP.
So, when using the ‘bulk email sending services’ of email service providers, it is more appropriate to choose a shared IP from the service provider, which can ensure a high delivery rate for your emails. The IP has already been properly warmed up, and there are professional maintenance personnel who manually handle tasks such as removing bounced recipients and prohibiting excessive unauthorized marketing emails, as well as timely switching to backup warm-up IP addresses and removing the IP address from anti-spam organization blacklists, and so on. However, in general, service providers do not allow the sending of spam emails, and most of them require permission for email marketing.
This part may be a bit technical, but you don’t need to understand too much. Generally speaking, if you use a third-party enterprise email service, whether your website uses a shared IP or a dedicated IP has no relation to your email sending and receiving. This is because the sending is done through the SMTP server of the third-party enterprise email.

Some applications only support dedicated IPs

There are many applications whose features can only be enabled on dedicated IPs and not on shared IPs, such as anonymous FTP, which allows users to access files from a site using an FTP program.

Better performance under high traffic load

If you are using shared virtual hosting, your website may be sharing an IP address with hundreds or even more other websites.

For shared IP addresses, the web server needs to identify the requested domain before displaying it to the user, which takes some time to process, although it is very short. Normally, it doesn’t make a significant difference and you won’t perceive any difference.

However, when your website experiences high traffic load, it can slow down the website speed and affect performance (this is not a concern for most B2B websites, as most B2B corporate websites have low traffic).

Although having a dedicated IP address doesn’t necessarily make a website faster in most cases, its stability can help maintain website performance during high traffic periods, resulting in shorter latency.

The stability of a dedicated IP address also offers some benefits for file transfers (FTP), especially when downloading large files through FTP tools.

Higher Security and Privacy

Installing an SSL certificate on a website has become a necessary process. If your website doesn’t have an encrypted HTTPS connection, browsers like Google Chrome will mark it as insecure. Therefore, 99% of websites need to install an SSL certificate to enable the HTTPS encryption protocol.

SSL certificates are essential for websites that exchange sensitive information, such as e-commerce websites that handle payments for online shopping. These websites must obtain an SSL certificate to protect customer sensitive information. In such cases, having a dedicated IP address may be necessary, as payment gateways often require websites to use a dedicated IP address.

Therefore, if your website is built with programs like WordPress+WooCommerce or Big Commerce for an online store, it is advisable to use a dedicated IP address and an SSL certificate. This is crucial for the security of customer data and privacy.

In the past, a dedicated IP address was required to install an SSL certificate because the certificate issuing authority needed to verify if the IP address bound to the domain name could be uniquely obtained through reverse resolution. Later, with the introduction of Server Name Identification (SNI) technology, users could install SSL certificates even with shared IP addresses.

Although shared virtual hosting without a dedicated IP can also install SSL certificates, the certificates installed are usually free and shared. Such shared security certificates are not suitable for websites that involve transactions with sensitive data.

Additionally, if you want to use SSL certificates of higher levels than the free Let’s Encrypt certificates, you may still need a dedicated IP address.

Which is better for site performance and security?

To be honest, the difference between websites with shared IP addresses and websites with dedicated IP addresses is not significant in these two aspects. The hosting server used for your website has a much greater impact on performance and security.

With shared virtual hosting, if different sites on the same server experience high traffic or are compromised by hackers, your site may also suffer from performance or security issues. Even when comparing the security and performance of virtual hosting, it is still not as good as other types of website hosting servers. After all, virtual hosting is cheaper and is the preferred choice for most people when they first start building a website.

Therefore, once you have a basic understanding of the website building process after the beginner stage, you can consider upgrading your website to a managed cloud VPS server (such as Cloudways) or a managed WordPress hosting (such as Kinsta).

Compared to virtual hosting, the former offers better pricing advantages and cost control, while the latter has higher costs for additional services beyond the hosting package. If your budget allows, you can consider managed WordPress hosting.

Does a shared IP affect Google SEO and rankings?

Is the IP address a ranking factor?

Based on the SEO knowledge I have learned and been exposed to in the past, the domain name of a website has a high relevance to SEO, while the influence of the IP address is minimal, almost negligible.

However, the tests and recommendations conducted by Brian Dean, a renowned SEO expert, have made people doubt whether the IP address of the server affects rankings.


Even in Brian Dean’s compilation of various factors influencing SEO rankings in 2022, he still mentions “Bad Neighbors” and “IP Address Flagged as Spam.”

Naturally, we might think that if a website server is full of spam websites related to pornography, gambling, or Viagra, there would be no problem for Google to blacklist that server, right? However, blacklisting the server’s IP address may not be of great help in cracking down on these black-hat spam websites because they can easily move to other servers.

The idea of the IP address as a ranking factor originated from the term “Bad Neighbors.” It means that there may be some bad neighbors on the shared IP belonging to your virtual hosting. For example, we often see cases where a domain name website that was previously accessible turns into a website for adult content, adult live streaming, or overseas gambling when accessed again after a long time.

There are many users worldwide who specialize in such black-hat activities, which means you may have to share a server with 100, 1,000, 3,000, or even more other websites. If you share a server IP with 499 other spam websites, will this affect your ranking?

To be honest, I’m a bit confused by this question as well. Moreover, the fact that the impact of bad neighbors on Google ranking, as summarized by SEO expert Brian Dean, still exists, really makes one suspect that using a shared IP on virtual hosting may still be affected in terms of Google ranking.

Let’s continue exploring. In fact, as early as 2003, Google’s Matt Cutts (former head of the Google Webspam team) answered the question of whether the IP address affects website SEO rankings.

Someone asked:

His response was: There’s no need to worry.

I’m happy to affirm that this statement which was true in 2003 is still true now. Links to virtually hosted domains are treated the same as links to domains on dedicated IP addresses.

Another webmaster analyst from Google, John Mueller, also confirmed:

All the same IP address — that’s really not a problem for us. It’s really common for sites to be on the same IP address. That’s kind of the way the internet works. A lot of CDNs (content delivery networks) use the same IP address as well for different sites, and that’s also perfectly fine.

The statements are similar, confirming that Google does not differentiate between shared IP and dedicated IP and does not consider one better than the other.

However, in May 2011, Google’s Search Quality Strategist Kaspar Szymanski tweeted:

That’s Means: Unless the host is filled with a large number of spam websites, Google will take action on the entire host’s sites. This caused some confusion in the SEO community at the time, including on MOZ.

So it’s not to say that there is no impact, but rather it depends on whether there are enough bad neighbors around you. Similarly, if there are other websites using black hat tactics for ranking on the shared IP hosting server that are detected by Google, Google will penalize those websites. However, you won’t be easily affected unless most of the websites on the entire server are using cheating methods to gain rankings.

Finally, in 2018, Google’s John Mueller clarified this again on Twitter when answering a similar question about the impact of virtual hosting IP addresses on Google rankings: Shared IPs do not have any disadvantages in search rankings.

So based on this, Brian Dean’s lengthy and intimidating article can only be taken as a simple reference. It is best to refer to Google’s official answers and search optimization guidelines for authoritative information.

In fact, whether a website has an SSL certificate and whether it uses HTTPS for access is important for rankings. Nowadays, most virtual hosting packages include free SSL certificate configuration and installation, and different types of SSL certificates do not have any advantages, disadvantages, or discrimination in terms of rankings.


Whether your website’s IP address is dedicated or shared does not affect the ranking of your website according to Google, at least not now. The general consensus is that to improve SEO effectiveness and Google rankings, it is best to focus on website performance and content.

Website performance affects rankings.

There are many factors that affect rankings, and website loading speed has always been one of the important factors in SEO rankings. However, this speed is more influenced by the speed of the hosting used by the website and the speed optimization of the website itself.

For example, if you are using virtual hosting, your website is likely to share the same web hosting server with another high-traffic website. CPU, memory, and other resources are shared. If that site has many visitors and a lot of content, it will consume more resources, which may slow down your website. Website speed affects SEO because it impacts user experience, which in turn affects the ranking position in Google.

However, it does not mean that using a dedicated IP will automatically speed up your website. Even if you use a dedicated IP, the hosting resources are not dedicated, so performance is still limited by shared usage.

Conclusion: Doed Share hosting need dedicated IP?

For small-scale websites like B2B showcase websites, it is generally not necessary to pursue a dedicated IP.
If you are building an e-commerce website with online stores and have higher requirements for data security or are very concerned about brand image, then using a dedicated IP is necessary.

If dedicated IP is required, should you choose virtual hosting + dedicated IP or managed cloud VPS hosting?

The opinion has been mentioned above. Personally, I am more inclined to the latter.

After all, the cost of a virtual hosting package plus the cost of purchasing a dedicated IP can be used to upgrade to a better website hosting type, such as cloud VPS or managed cloud VPS, which provide server packages with free public dedicated IPs.

If your website requires a dedicated IP or if you are a perfectionist or an adventurous website builder who likes to try new things, you can consider using managed cloud hosting services like Cloudways instead of the virtual hosting + dedicated IP solution. After all, the overall cost is similar, and cloud VPS has advantages in terms of performance and stability.

It may not be easy for beginners to understand, but if you encounter such a situation, you can try reading it again, and perhaps it will become clear. The choice of what to do ultimately depends on your actual needs and budget.

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