Strong opinions, weakly held

IP addresses

Let’s say you have a choice between two hosting providers. One gives you your own IP address for every domain name, on another, you share your IP address with other users. Is there any practical reason why you wouldn’t want to share that IP address?


  1. I’m pretty sure that if you ever want to use SSL, you have to have a dedicated IP for the site.

    Also, having a single ip makes testing easier before you get DNS set, since you can just go to your ip to see the site.

  2. Myles is correct – by far the most common reason is SSL; otherwise there’s very little benefit.

  3. the advantage of IP per domain is that http 1.0 clients will work.

    virtual hosting (1 IP with multiple domains) only works with http 1.1

    see RFC 2616 section

  4. If another user misbehaves and your shared IP address finds its way onto a spam blacklist, you probably won’t like the results too much.

  5. Also: Be sure that HTTP is one of the only things you want to do with that shared IP. (It probably is, but wasn’t for me.)

  6. For what it’s worth…

    With a single domain per IP address it can be easier to isolate DNS issues from site issues by just entering the IP address as a URL.

    On the other hand (and adding to a previous comment) if the IP address is shared among a bunch of your own domains then a visit from an HTTP/1.0 client will bring them to the first site associated with that IP address (i.e., first tag in the apache config file). So make that site have nothing but an index.htm file that is a directory of (links to) your other sites. That way they get to the intended place with just one more click.

  7. That was supposed to say “first VirtualHost tag”.

    Seems like the stuff surrounded be gt/lt symbols was dropped.

  8. If you’re on a shared IP and some of the other content is on a filtering company’s block list, there’s a strong chance that you’ll be blocked too. Not a certainty, but a real risk.

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