Ecommerce & Accepting Credit Cards: Easy, Cheap & Necessary Published: Jan 03, 2006
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Detailed guide explaining what virtual hosting is.

Virtual reseller hosting offers the appearance of a company's own server but the technical aspects of space sharing. Through virtual hosting, a developer can secure space on a server and have shared access to the server's features. Hosting companies provide this service by maintaining a large server and on that large server they maintain a number of virtual web hosts. The machine examines which "name" it is being called by and then responds appropriately. Thus, visitors to the site enter through the domain name of the developer and therefore cannot recognize that another company's server in fact, hosts the site.

Simply stated by Crowder and Crowder (2000), virtual servers are "nothing more than directories on a hard drive. The webmaster can make each one of the directories seem as though it were a fully functional web server". With a virtual web host, you will have your own identity, but you will not be required to maintain the equipment.

Virtual hosting packages are the most common on the Internet and offer a professional and well-established look for personal and small business web sites. Financially, the average virtual hosting account runs between $15 and $30 per month. Ample space and bandwidth for small businesses, multiple email accounts, cgi-bin access, and a T3 connection are common account features. Additional fees are often required for more advanced features including database software or SSL (secure server) functionality.

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