In an earlier post, we had discussed the limitations of shared hosting. There is another thing that is not typically listed as a limitation but may cause severe problems to websites. It is the common identity bestowed upon by shared hosting to all websites on a server.
A server is typically identified by an IP address. This IP address is how your website that is hosted on the server is also recognized. Now, in a shared hosting environment, several websites are hosted on one server, thereby causing the same IP to be the identifier for each of those.
When you host your website on a shared server, you have to share the IP address with many other websites. Now, most people don’t find a common identity to be a problem. It wouldn’t have been had it not been for the importance attached to the IP address on the web.
Imagine a scenario when one of the websites sharing the server with yours is distributing malicious or immoral content, or it is found spamming. Now, most e-mail clients will block the spamming website, and the way they go about it is by blocking the IP address of the spammer. Now, this IP address is the same as yours, and you too get blocked in the process unnecessarily. In fact, your website ends up being labeled malicious!
The problem of common IP address, thus, goes beyond the absence of a unique identity. It puts your website at a risk you wouldn’t have imagined. This limitation is one of those that don’t indicate a bright future for shared hosting.