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What is a virtual host?
To have a full time Internet presence, normally your organization needs to have "real" computers connected to the Internet full time. This can be quite costly, depending on your connection speed, software and hardware employed, and how visible your organization would like to be on the Internet. You may need to hire full time professionals to manage all activities related to such.

Our virtual host service relieve your organization of the burden of having dedicated hardware/software and human resources devoted to Internet presence. At the same time, our virtual host services will give your organization a real and full-fledged Internet storefront to the rest of the Internet. Since your electronic storefront actually resides on our computers, and not yours, it's virtual, thus the name "virtual host" services.

Specifically, our virtual host services provide at least the following

www.yourcompany.com - a virtual Web server for your company
ftp.yourcompany.com - a virtual anonymous ftp server for your company.
email forwarding - you can have your email address as yourname@yourcompany.com forwarded to your real email address(s).
The above three comprise a full Internet presence package.

NOTE: in our current email forwarding setup, you can have arbitrary email aliases. A few examples: support@yourcompany.com, sales@yourcompany.com, info@yourcompany.com, webmaster@yourcompany.com, personnel@yourcompany.com. They are all forwarded to your real email address(s) transparently.

Why a Virtual Host is useful?
The advantages of signing up our Virtual Host Services, rather than having just an email account with an ISP (Internet Service Provider), are the following:

www.yourcompany.com - a virtual Web server for your company.
Your virtual Web server is indistinguishable from any real one, even ours. This way, not only you can have a better business image for your organization, but also your customers can remember your Web site easily, rather than a www.somelongispname.net/businessdirectory/finallyyourname it's just a short, easy to remember www.yourcompany.com

ftp.yourcompany.com - a virtual anonymous ftp server for your company.
It can be used for data retrieval by your customers. This is better than a running a typical BBS for your company. As nowadays, most people have local dial-up Internet access. They don't need to call long distance to get your data. You can place almost anything here, digitized copies of your company's brochures, samples, product data etc.

email forwarding - you can have your email address as yourname@yourcompany.com.
This way, the rest of the Internet can address you as above rather than as user@isp.net, a name that doesn't do your business image much service. Email addressed with your domain name will be transparently and automatically forwarded immediately to your normal email account such as user@ix.netcom.com.

How long does it take to set up a Virtual Host account at Designer Systems?
To establish a Virtual Host at Designer System, technically you must have a registered domain name stored in the whois database maintained by the Network Information Center (NIC).

Assuming that you don't have an existing domain name and would like us to register one for you, nowadays it generally takes from one to two weeks to have an application accepted by NIC.

Afterwards, it takes another business day for NIC to enter your domain name in the whois database. And, after that, you need to wait for NIC to update its root name servers (if you don't understand what a root name server is, don't worry. Plenty of people don't :-). Then, it will take a day or two for your name to be picked up by name servers around the world. Only afterwards your domain name can be considered visible world wide.

We won't release your Virtual Host account to you until we are confident that your domain name is indeed visible world wide. Designer Systems keeps two remote accounts, one in Northern California and one in Europe, for checking our clients' domain name visibility.

Why OUR Virtual Host service?
With our reasonable prices, quality service, reliable operations, tier one web page delivery performance, the availability of flexible and useful CGI scripts, multi-gigabyte disk space in reserve, our web site hosting is a sound foundation to build your web presence .

We take care of the technical side such as account setup, domain name service, and server configuration for you, you concentrate on your Web presence.

Please note that our prices are already among the most reasonable in the market, so we will not offer any further discounts other than what are currently available. Please request our fee list for more details.

My company already has a UUCP connection and domain name Email service from an ISP, can we still use your Virtual Host service?
Of course, Designer Systems staff members are highly experienced in Domain Name Service (DNS), so please contact us for more details. We will show you how. The process is easy to do and can be done transparently, without any interruption to your existing service.

You don't need to go through the trouble of moving your existing domain name and UUCP email service from your current ISP to Designer Systems at all.