What is Virtual Hosting?
Virtual hosting is interchangeable with the term shared hosting. In this arrangement, two or more websites share space on the same physical server, though they are set up as if they are on different machines. Virtual hosting represents the most commonly-used form of web hosting at present.
Virtual hosts are set up so that each individual site behaves as if it is on its own machine. Any surfer trying to access a site shared on a virtual host will have no way of knowing that it shares space with other sites. The cost-effectiveness of this model is what makes it so popular. It’s very inexpensive compared to dedicated hosting, where one site is given an entire machine of its own.
Virtual hosting is appropriate for businesses that need a site with common functionalities such as forms, basic databases, blogs and so forth. For businesses that need extremely complex server-based software installed, dedicated hosting is usually a better option. For non-business users, virtual hosting is the most inexpensive way to get a server and almost always offers more than enough power and flexibility for the general site-owner.
Virtual hosting is easier to administer than dedicated hosting as the basic software and administration interfaces are installed by the hosting company’s technicians. There are limitations on how much an end-user can customize a shared host, but for most users the web hosting company’s set up is powerful enough to meet their needs and allows sufficient customization of the site and its contents.