Getting Started

Virtual Hosts

Go to the Custom Web Address section now if you want to get a Custom Web Address (URL) for your campus Web site.

The following information is directed toward campus technical persons who need basic information on what a virtual host is and how a Custom Web Address works with a virtual host.

What is a Virtual Host?

A virtual host is part of the virtual hosting process where virtual hosting is essentially a Web server software application (typically on one machine though sometimes more) that is configured to act like multiple Web servers. It is one Web server, serving multiple different Web sites with one or more Custom Web Addresses for each Web site. The virtual host is one of the instances of the Web server that serves a Web site. Web site files associated with one virtual host generally are not seen by another (different) virtual host even though they may be on the same machine. To put it another way, virtual hosting allows a Web server to answer Web browser requests for multiple different and unique Web sites on one or more physical machines.

Virtual hosts are available on Central UNIX as well as on some Department Web servers. Typically when requesting a virtual host, a Custom Web Address is also requested as "part of the package". The Custom Web Address (vanity name, or custom URL) is the Web address that is used to make requests for Web pages from the virtual host.

Why do I need a Virtual Host?

In most cases, a virtual host is required in order to have a Custom Web Address (this is not always the case, such as a single department Web server). See the Department Owned Web Server page for a list of Department technical persons who can provide addition information.

See the Custom Web Address page for more information on how to obtain an address.