(also vhost, virtual hosting, virtual server)
Virtual host definition
A hosting service provider that specializes in virtual infrastructure solutions such as virtual servers, computers, storage, and other hybrid platforms that enable the hosting of applications, data, and/or services. It encompasses everything from the underlying network architecture to the technologies and service models that enable people and businesses to outsource their computing infrastructure needs. A virtual hosting platform can be shared by multiple users or can be set aside for a specific app, website, or customer. In a shared virtual host platform, two or more subscribers share the physical server’s storage and processing power. Each host is given a set amount of resources, which can be increased or decreased depending on the provider and the infrastructure.
Types of virtual hosts
- IP based. The simplest way to apply directives is based on IP addresses. Each domain has a separate IP in IP-based virtual hosting. Multiple IPs point to the server’s unique domains, and a server has only one IP. Multiple IP addresses on a single server create virtual hosting.
- Port based. Comparable to IP-based virtual hosting. Instead of having a distinct IP address for every virtual host, the servers are configured to react to various websites based on the port.
- Name based. Uses one IP for all server domains. When a browser tries to connect to a server, it tells the server the domain name. The server validates the host settings when given a domain name and returns the right website.
Benefits of virtual hosts
- Increased website reliability. Gives your website its own environment and resources. Your site will be safely separated from other sites’ traffic.
- Improved website performance. Your site’s visitors should see faster page loads and this will reduce the website’s bounce rate.