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Virtual hosting services allow clients to use a professionally managed server to host their websites for a low monthly fee. The hosting is especially suitable for small e-commerce websites or sites that are made of static web pages.

They can use the facilities provided by these companies to run their websites without investing in technical teams. Their popularity arises from their low costs and ease of operation. Even novices can make use of these services to launch their websites.

Most of these services offer hosting packages pegged at different requirement levels. A user can select a package based on his needs and buying power. Each package comprises of a fixed amount of disk space, bandwidth, e-mail accounts, etc. Some of them also provide templates that can be activated in minutes.

The virtual hosts also provide e-mail forwarding services for a fee. Besides this, a good virtual host also supplies 24-hour technical support and unlimited file transfer protocol (FTP) facilities to allow customers to update their website any time.

Some virtual services also provide clients with web statistics. This is useful data for it enables clients to know about high-trafficked pages, number of visitors, broken links, if any, search engine referrals, place of origin of traffic, etc. Clients, who have bought their own web analytical tools, can run raw logs to obtain this information.

Most virtual hosts provide hosting automation software like control panels. A control panel allows a client to control most aspects of his hosting service, through an online graphical interface. This is especially useful for those clients who know very little about webs, and are not in a position to hire their own technical teams.

Some of these companies also undertake the development and operation of customer websites. This is a win-win solution for both the virtual hosting company and the customer. The customer does not have to worry about hiring a high-priced technical team; the virtual company gets an extra client.

However, one must be careful in hiring these companies. Several of them do not own high-end hardware or the technical teams required to provide proper 24/seven support. There are some who are only resellers, but pose as if they own hosting companies. Webmasters must try to separate the grain from the chaff while hiring these companies.