Internet Protocol

Understand the Lingo
IP stands for Internet Protocol. Every domain name that is home to a website has an IP address assigned to it. The IP address tells the location of the server. An IP address may may look something like this: 567.123.77.6

A website can be hosted on a server in one of two ways: with a shared IP address or a dedicated IP address. When more than one website shares the same IP address, it is called a shared IP address. In this case, you need to know the domain name in order to get to a specific website.

When a single website occupies a single IP address, this is called a dedicated IP. When a website occupies a dedicated IP, the domain name and the IP will both get you to the same place. For example, it is much easier to remember than to remember, but either address will get you to the yahoo website. The number is the unique, dedicated IP address of

Most larger websites and e-commerce sites have a dedicated IP address. This means that these kinds of sites are each using a unique, or dedicated, IP number.

Advantages and Disadvantages
Now that you've got the background, let's talk about the upsides and downsides to each kind of IP address.

  • A dedicated IP has a higher monthly expense than a shared IP. For a new e-commerce site, a shared IP has a lower cost and it could be advantageous until traffic increases to support a dedicated IP.
  • If someone on a shared IP gets into trouble for spamming or scamming, the entire IP could get blacklisted. This is why it is important for a hosting service to be very strict about types of products, services and behaviors that are allowed on the server.
  • If your site uses an on-site payment system, then you must have a dedicated IP, along with an SSL certificate.
  • Some think that the SEO potential may be better on a dedicated IP than on a shared IP.

The eTweek basic e-commerce site features a cost-effective shared server to new e-commerce sites. If your traffic becomes such that you need a dedicated IP, or if you are using a payment system other than PayPal Standard, then we will move you to a dedicated IP.