Many bloggers when starting out on self hosting platforms will typically look for the least expensive hosting platform that they can get. Normally this isn’t a bad thing but you can find yourself in a problem with shared hosting when a denial of service attack occurs or you start having problems with your site and are unable to find a cause.
Most hosting provides including Bluehost offer a Dedicated IP address for $2.50 per month or sometimes a little more. This provides all of your sites with a dedicated IP that isn’t shared between other hosting customers and makes it easy to isolate yourself and find any issues with your own sites. Now, if your shared hosting has a DoS attack, it can still cause performance problems, but by having a dedicated IP they can quickly and easily determine if the attack is on your IP.
I remember when my shared hosting provider 2 years ago had to manually move over 100+ customers and switch them back and forth to a dedicated IP until they found the one that was under attack. This was my clue to get a dedicated IP and most of my sites use a dedicated IP address now, well worth the extra $30 per year in my opinion.
You still will be subject to the same limitations of shared hosting around throughput, memory, cpu utilization and a busy site can suffer CPU throttling which can hurt your website performance but the dedicated IP greatly helps you isolate yourself from some other issues that could be the result of another website being heavily accessed or attacked and your site just being caught in the middle.
It isn’t too hard, just go to your hosting provider and look under upgrades to see if Dedicated IP address is available for your hosting account. Almost all of them offer this extra feature with is worth it.
Another benefit is if you ever plan on implementing an on site store, you will want your checkout pages and any pages that collect sensitive data to be https (secure) websites. To do this you need to order an SSL certificate and you can only do this with a dedicated IP address. Keep this in mind on determining whether or not you need a dedicated IP for your websites.
Also note: If you have a shared hosting account and multiple sites or WordPress installs, they all share your dedicated IP, in rare cases can you get a dedicated IP for separate sites on your same shared hosting platform.