Some shared hosting account is configured with a static IP address. This means that you are given a unique set of numbers (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) specifically assigned to your web space. This allows you to access your web site via a web browser or development tool regardless of the status of your domain name. Having your own IP address also gives you the opportunity of publishing your web site to your new web space before actually transferring your domain name to new hosting providers' DNS.
This results in no down time when transferring your web site from a another hosting company. Also it effects your search engine ranking.
Having your own IP address also gives you the opportunity of publishing your web site to your new web space before actually transferring your domain name to new hosting providers' DNS.
You can do this anyway... You will still have an IP address to FTP to, viewing the site is a little harder but not much - place an entry in your hosts file for the site and the shared-IP address. You can view it then - comment it out and you're back to the old one.
This results in no down time when transferring your web site from a another hosting company.
No downtime is needed with shared IPs either... See above.
Also it effects your search engine ranking.
Where are you getting this from? Search engine ranking criteria are some of the most guarded secrets in our industry.
Even name-based hosts will provide some sort of IP address, but this shouldn't affect anyway that you are listed on search engines.
Whether you share that IP address with 50 other people or it belongs just to you, your site still goes through an IP address whether it be name-based hosting or not. Search engines do not look for the IP addresses, it's all in the domain. Get good keywords and descriptions in your meta tags.
The only time your servers IP may affect it is if your being hosted on the same server as a spammer, or someone who spammed his site on the submission pages for a search engine. Google used to, not sure if they still do, block a IP address if a site hosted their spammed their submission
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