Your Writing Questions Answered

Why Consider a Dedicated IP Address for Your Blog

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on March 11, 2011 in Blog Management
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When you host your own professional site or blog, you have several hosting options. Many freelance writers use shared hosting accounts, especially when starting out. While it can be a cost-effective option until you need more resources, there's another concern -- shared IP addresses.

The IP address is basically a number that identifies the server you host your site or blog on. When you use a shared host, there could be hundreds of sites from hundreds of owners on a single server. But many hosts give you the option to pay a bit extra for a dedicated IP address. That's an IP address that's for your account only.

Why would you want a dedicated IP address?

I've been going through some drama with a shared account recently. When I comment on some blogs, my comments are regularly defaulted to the spam folder. That's more than a little hassle when you take the time to write thoughtful comments while networking.

Why does this happen? It happens because there's a "bad neighbor" on the shared host's IP address. Basically, if another customer is spamming people, the whole IP address can be put on blacklists. That means your own comments and emails might be flagged as spam. And when you run a business that's not acceptable.

I'm moving all of my sites that are on shared hosts off of them as soon as I can. But if you're not ready to do that, see if your host offers dedicated IPs at a bare minimum. It's at least worth looking into. It may explain why you don't always get through when you expect to.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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9 Comments

  1. Sharon Hurley Hall March 11, 2011 Reply

    Funny you should mention this, Jenn. I wondered about that the other day when some of my emails appeared not to get through. I’ve been wondering about a dedicated IP myself – though I have a fair few sites.

    • Jennifer Mattern March 11, 2011 Reply

      That’s what was happening to me. Emails to a few clients had problems and I had to change addresses, and then comments on a few blogs weren’t going through even though I never had problems before (when my site was on another hosting account).

      If your sites are hosted under the same account, you can get one dedicated IP that will apply to all of your sites (just not anyone else’s). So no one else can affect you in spam filters. If you want domains to each have their own IP, you might have to put them on separate hosting accounts or at least get a reseller or vps account (or dedicated server) that lets you have multiple control panel installations. But that will depend on the control panel you use I imagine.

      • Sharon Hurley Hall March 12, 2011 Reply

        Thanks for the clarification, Jenn. I’ll have to sort out the best approach. I need to move the writing blog to avoid throttling, but the email is on a completely different domain and my portfolio site is on a third. This is the result of previous hosting problems – sigh!

        • Jennifer Mattern March 14, 2011 Reply

          Haha. I’ll take that to mean you’re with Bluehost. ;) Good luck getting out of there. Working on that myself after making the mistake of signing up with them based on a few recommendations.

          • Sharon Hurley Hall March 14, 2011

            How did you guess? :( They have been fine for the really small sites, but the writing blog is suffering. I’ve had several people recommend Inmotion and I think I’ll be going with them in June.

          • Jennifer Mattern March 14, 2011

            Unfortunately their specs didn’t quite meet my needs, but I have heard good things about them. :)

            Bluehost is famous for their throttling issues. So easy call. ;)

  2. Carol Tice March 13, 2011 Reply

    I had to switch my blog over to a dedicated server…as traffic ramped up it started crashing on peak days. Once it gets even mildly popular you really need the protection of having your own server.

    • Jennifer Mattern March 13, 2011 Reply

      A single blog would need to be extraordinarily popular to really need a dedicated server. Most companies offering VPS can give you similar resources (even better resources than some dedicated servers I’ve seen advertised lately), and that’s a more scalable option as you continue to grow (where more resources can be allocated to you when needed as opposed to growth meaning you have to physically move to a new server). When adding new sites regularly as I tend to do, that scalability is essential.

    • Jennifer Mattern March 13, 2011 Reply

      Actually checked out your host out of curiosity and saw they charge more for a VPS plan than one of their dedicated options with similar specs. Haven’t seen that before. So you may have gotten the better deal out of it regardless. :)

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