virtual hosting is the provision of Web server hosting services so that a company (or individual) doesn't have to purchase and maintain its own Web server and connections to the Internet. A virtual hosting provider is sometimes called a Web or Internet "space provider." Some companies providing this service simply call it "hosting." Typically, virtual hosting provides a customer who wants a Web site with: domain name registration assistance, multiple domain names that map to the registered domain name, an allocation of file storage and directory setup for the Web site files (HTML and graphic image files), e-mail addresses, and, optionally, Web site creation services. The virtual hosting user (the Web site owner) needs only to have a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program for exchanging files with the virtual host.