Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My web host which I have been with for at least going on 8 years now is requiring a dedicated IP address, which is $3.33/Month now for assigning a SSL Certificate with my web hosting package and website. Now, in the past, they never did this, till they changed their web hosting plans and options.

In the past, I was able to assign an SSL Certificate by just entering the information required to do so, now I have to pay for a dedicated IP for the SSL Certificate. Even then, that isn't too bad, but it has to be an SSL Certificate through them.

Does an SSL Certificate actually require a dedicated IP address for it to work?

The hosting is Linux and done by BlueHost. I can not get a straight answer from the Customer Support, so I have to ask it outside of that.

Are they just trying to make more money or are is the dedicated IP a requirement?

Here is the information which I can provide about my web hosting package:

  • cPanel for the Control Panel
  • Linux Shared Hosting
share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

There is a relatively new technology called Server Name Indication (SNI) that allows SSL certificates to be associated with a virtual host rather than with the server's IP address. Here is a digicert article that explains it very well.

Your host may not have SNI support installed yet. It requires newer versions of both Apache and OpenSSL. Web hosting software such as cPanel may also have to be upgraded before they can allow customers to utilize these features.

SNI also requires client side support. The most recent version of each major browser now supports SNI. However, fairly recent old versions may not. Here is another digicert article about browser support for SNI. Because some browsers don't support SNI, hosting companies may be reluctant to offer it and instead require that you purchase an IP address with better browser support.

share|improve this answer

Just had a very long conversation with Bluehost tech support and the main manager. They confirmed with me that it doesn't say anywhere in the usage agreement that they won't update any settings for you, nor does it say anything about not supporting SNI. All he could tell me is, "Sorry, you'll have to take it up with our legal department."

share|improve this answer
Sorry for your unfortunate experience, however this response does seem to be kind of unrelated. I can assure you of this. cPanel/WHM's current version running on CentOS 6 or 7, or CloudLinux, supports this functionality. If a company chooses not to support it, it is for internal political reasons only, not technical reasons. – Sanuel Jackson Jan 30 at 9:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.