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Hosting multiple domains on shared IP?

By Radhika Venkata
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004

What are the pros and cons of the sharing ip? This article explains some hard facts about sharing ip in multiple domain hosting. This has been a long time debate whether to host multiple domains/websites on single ip. Some people and veterans say 'one must have unique ip for each domain' and some people say 'no need to have it because search engines take the URLs in to account not ips'.

Most of the hosting companies with reasonable hosting prizes don't offer static ips for the customers unless the customer really needs it like setting up SSL on their websites. If you insists of getting a static ip for your domain it will cost you few more dollars per month.

Before going in to that topic, we will see what is the meaning of 'ip'.

***What is static ip and shared ip?***

Static ip:

Static ip is unique to your website. For example 123.2.234.234 is your website ip address, you can access your website by typing-

(http://123.2.234.234/ in the browse)r.

That means this unique number represents your website in the WWW.

Shared ip:

Shared ip is shared by two or more websites/domains. You can access the websites that share the same ip by-

(http://www.123.2.234.234/~user1/)

(http://www.123.2.234.234/~user2/)

(http://www.123.2.234.234/~user3/ etc),

***Questions regarding shared ip:***

1. Problem with banning: Years back the search engines used to take in to account the ip address of the websites. Search engine Technology has changed and virtual domains becoming popular, the URLs becoming the priority than ip addresses of the websites.

So if one website that sharing the same ip was banned means all the websites that were sharing the same ip was banned by search engines. Even now somewhere I read that some search engines like Google crawl by caching the ip to save bandwidth.

Virtual hosting is a fairly common setup with many web sites, more common than many people think.

It is said that sharing ip is not that bad if all domains are behaving good with out spamming search engines.

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When I write to Inkotomi support desk, about this sharing ips check the answer that they gave to me:

My question:

Are search engines index only one site from one IP address (one DOMAIN (not URL) per one IP address) even though I submit both of them regularly?

Inkotomi support service:

When submitting sites, search engines only take into account the URL that is being submitted. Not the IP it came from. If the pages are different then there will not be a problem.

Virtual domains are very common on the internet, so if what is mentioned was true in all cases, search engines basically would not be effective in finding anything.

The problem mentioned is most likely not all that common, especially when priority submission are used due to the frequent refresh of details.

My question:

If 10 sites are hosted on one IP. If one site was banned because of spamming or someother thing. This banning is based on IP or domain name? If it is based on ip then all other sites are affected in search engine positioning?

Inkotomi support service:

Most engines will only ban the name(URL) and not the IP, although some may ban the IP as well. It is pretty much up to the individual engines how they do this.

If you suspect an IP has been banned you should contact the engine in question and sort it out with them.

Published with the permission of Karl Anderson,

Trellian Support.

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2. Are shared ips are slow to access when compared to static ips?:

This is completely disbelief that sharing ip slows down the websites. There are thousands of websites on one ip and if all those sites slow down, that hosting company must have lot of angry customers.

3. What is HTTP/1.1?:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) defines how Web pages are requested and transmitted across the Internet.

HTTP/1.1 improves the virtual hosting business by including the hostname as a header rather than by IP address. This means that the server can support multiple virtual hosts without wasting IP addresses. If you are running a browser that support this feature of HTTP/1.1 (Netscape Version 3 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 and all higher versions) your site can be viewed by header and not IP address.

HTTP/1.1 accounts for over 95% of the browsers running today. There are more important security reasons for upgrading older versions of Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer rather than using old versions.

Older browsers that are not capable of resolving several virtual hosts to a single IP number will instead displays a default index document that would show all virtual accounts that were assigned to that IP address, allowing the visitor to click on a link and go to their desired web site.

4. Do I really need dedicated ip?:

If you are hosted by a Linux (Unix) system with a web server capable of virtual hosting using headers, there is no reason at all for needing a dedicated IP. The IP address of the machine is enough to allow you access to your site using FTP or Telnet, and browsing your site with HTTP/1.1 compliant browsers is not a problem. There are no measurable speed or access restrictions experienced when hosting with headers rather than IP’s.

5. Are there any drawbacks with Shared ip hosting?: There are not really that many noticeable differences for the surfers. However, there are few limitations to 'shared IP hosting'.

1. You cannot use Anonymous FTP 2. Older browsers such as lynx, Netscape IE less than version 3 cannot view your site on a shared IP. 3. You need dedicated IP for SSL on your site.

But How many people still using these older versions of browsers is the next question. People always try to upgrade to newer versions of browser softwares.

***Follow these priciples in choosing shared or dedicated ip hosting:***

==If you want Anonymous ftp for your web site and

==SSL feature or

==If you don't want to take risk of getting banned because of other sites activity by sharing same ip. (Nobody knows whether search engine bans the sites based on ip or domain name.)

Go for multidomain account that hosts only your websites. So nobody share that particular ip except your websites. So no question of banning because of other websites.

While you selecting hosting company for your multidomain account, check what version of HTTP they are using. If they are using HTTP/1.1, then you can go for that webhosting. Most of the webhosts use this.

If you still don't want to take chances about sharing ip, then go for a multidomain account that provides unique ips for your websites for little additional fee.

(http://www.hosting-essentials.com/)

You can host all of your websites on your single dedicated IP.

DISCLAIMER: All these are from my experiences and opinions. So follow these based on your own judgement - Radhika

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