I just returned home from an amazing weekend in Orlando, FL. I had the honor to speak at the Internet Success System conference headed by one of my favorite mentors, Mark Hendricks. (Get to know Mark, he will change your life!)
One of the topics I discussed with the group was the importance of having a good web hosting provider. I've had my WordPress sites hosted with *HostGator for over a year and their service has been fantastic.
However, being as proactive as I am about website security, I always have a contingency plan. One of things I include in my plan is to have my sites monitored every day for malware and any unauthorized changes to my DNS, Whois and SSL certificates. (I use and HIGHLY recommend *Sucuri Web Integrity Monitoring.)
So today, I'm checking my emails and I get an alarming alert from Sucuri. This alert informs me that my WordPress sites on HostGator have a new IP address.
That certainly got my attention! I did not make any changes to my hosting. I did not log-in to my registrar and change anything there. Without Sucuri monitoring my websites, I would have never known this change occurred today. (Thank you to David Dede and Sucuri for providing me this must-have service).
So rather than panicking, I quickly logged in to my cPanel at Hostgator and checked my dedicated IP address, and sure enough the IP is changed.
I sent in a support ticket to HostGator immediately and asked why I had a new IP address at 12:20pm and by 2:17pm I received this response:
I apologize for the trouble and for any frustration however, the IP address had changed on your account because we had migrated all of the accounts from the old server your account was setup on to a newer server that has newer hardware and is much more powerful. Are you noticing any issues since this migration was done, or was your only concern the IP address change?
We apologize for any inconvenience and if you need further assistance or if you have any other questions please let us know.
Linux Systems Administrator
I replied back that I was glad they upgraded my hosting server (the more powerful and up-to-date hardware the better) and I have not noticed any issues with my websites. However, I felt that they should have discussed this with me ahead of time and asked for my approval.
What if that IP address was needed for something like my merchant account and I was unable to process any payments while I was away? Or the fact that having a dedicated IP address is suppose to help with search engine optimization?
Hopefully, my SEO will not be affected and my site is faster and smoother.
I'm glad I pay attention and have website monitoring! What if someone had broke in and change my IP address other than my host? Without daily scanning it could of been months or years before I ever noticed.
Leave your feedback
Are you monitoring your website for unauthorized changes and malware? If so, what service or program do you use? How much do you think an IP address change affects SEO? Do you think it's OKAY for a hosting company to make changes without your consent? I'd love to hear your comments. Be sure to leave one below.
For more information about Sucuri's scanning services, be sure to use our discount affiliate link here: https://wpsecuritylock.com/sucuri.
Save 25% off on HostGator hosting with our coupon code: wpsecuritylock25
* Denotes our Affiliate Links. If you a make a purchase through these link, we may receive a commission.
UPDATE May 3, 2011 at 644pm CST:
I decided to send in another support ticket to ask HostGator why they would change my dedicated IP address if they just upgraded/moved me to another server. I mean really, it doesn't make sense since the dedicated IP has nothing to do with my hosting per-say. Here was their response:
Unfortunately the IP address change was a decision made at the data center level as part of the upgrade process. These upgrades were necessary to keep the performance of the server stable. Although an IP address change may have some affect on SEO rankings (nobody really can confirm this) it would not have more affect than if one was to transfer their hosting from one server to another.
Alternatively if this upgrade did not take place the entire server could have performance issues along with downtime which would undoubtedly cause issues in terms of ranking considering the search engines would not be able to crawl the sites properly.
We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused and if there is anything else we can assist you with please let us know.
I then sent in another ticket asking them WHY THEY DIDN'T ASK OR INFORM ME. We'll see what they come up with next.