What's a Shared IP?
Every domain name that is home to a website has an IP address assigned to it. An IP address is the real address of a website or server. Domain names were developed because it is difficult to remember long IP numbers like 126.96.36.199. Usually, in shared hosting where there are hundreds of websites sharing one server those same sites will share one single IP address.
For the hosting company this simplifies the technical aspects of hosting your website. Instead of having a unique IP address for every domain, they can all share one IP address. This makes it easier for them to manage and maintain the servers.
The downside to shared IP's is that if someone sharing your IP happens to get in trouble for spamming or scamming, your IP can get banned or blacklisted. You may not even know it until your site disappears from the search engines or your email start getting blocked by ISPs. In shared hosting the actions of others sharing the server can effect your site and cause problems.
What's a Dedicated IP?
Most larger websites or ecommerce enabled sites have dedicated IP addresses. This means that your site is the only one on the internet using that unique IP number. For example, if you typed 188.8.131.52 into your web browsers address bar you would see Yahoo!'s website come up. This is their dedicated IP address and no one elses. This is their unique address on the web that has been attached to the domain name yahoo.com.
If you have a business oriented website then you probably will need a dedicated IP address for your site. Especially if you have a merchant account and accept credit card payments on your site. You can't even get an SSL certificate for your website until you have a dedicated IP address. You can get around this by using a PayPal shopping cart or something else hosted off your site. But, most people don't like the idea of sending the customer to a new address to close the deal.
Do I need a Dedicated IP?
Typically no, our servers do not require you to have a dedicated IP for SSL, please submit a ticket if you feel you need an IP.