Often abbreviated vhost, a virtual host is a provider of Web services that include server functions and Internet connection services. A virtual host is often used by companies or individuals that do not want to purchase and maintain their own Web servers and Internet connections.
A virtual host will provide its customers with domain name registration, file storage and directory services for the files that Web page is built from, e-mail services and even Web site design and creation services if the customers want someone else to build their Web sites.
A limitation of using a virtual host is that the customer shares the Web services with all the other customers of the virtual host. If the virtual host is running multiple sites off the same server, then those sites will be competing for Web server resources. Some virtual hosting providers offer co-location services and/or allow a customer to rent dedicated servers that are allocated to serve only that one customer��s needs.