Virtual hosting is a way of getting Internet and email hosting services without having to organise them for yourself. Many small to medium sized businesses, for example, will use this kind of solution to manage their website and related services so that they do not need to do this in house by running their own server and support staff to manage it.
Virtual hosting can be provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or by hosting/Internet companies. Here, your website will be ‘hosted’ on a server outside of your office or home in the offices of the hosting provider. You may share a server with other individuals or businesses generally as the provider dictates or you may be allocated a specific share of a server. In some cases you may be given your own server.
In general terms you will be given various services by the company that does your virtual hosting. These can include:
- Keeping your website up and running on the Internet
- Helping you find a domain name (or multiple linked names) if necessary
- Providing you with email addresses
- Managing your website and email functions and storage and any changes you make to your site
Some people will only use the bare minimum here when it comes to services whilst others will use multiple services. If, for example, you use a web design company to manage your virtual hosting you may also take up web design services from them as well.