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Chapter 4. Tasks > web site

web site

Configure a web site, create a virtual directory, and create a web site.


These procedures use the Internet Information Services console, which is opened by:

Start Programs Administrative Tools Internet Services Manager

Configure a Web Site

Expand a server node in the console tree right-click on a web site Properties

This opens the property sheet for the site and contains a wealth of configuration options. Some of the more important ones include:

Web Site

Displays the web site identification information (IP address, port number, and host header name), which you can modify. You can also limit the number of concurrent HTTP connections to your server, enable IIS logging on any directories so configured, and specify the logging format.


Lists users who have limited rights for administering aspects of a web site (for example, they can configure a new default home page, but they cannot create a new web site).


Lets you tune how your web site responds to clients and specify the maximum amount of bandwidth your site can use (useful on servers hosting multiple sites).

Home Directory

Displays and lets you modify the location of the home directory for the site. You can also reconfigure IIS permissions, enable logging on the home directory (must first be globally enabled on the Web Site tab), enable automatic indexing of the site using the Windows 2000 Indexing service, enable directory browsing (lets clients list the contents of the directory when the home page is missing), and configure various advanced settings related to Active Server Pages (ASP) applications (beyond the scope of this book).


Lets you specify the filename for the default home page (more than one can be specified). If no home page is present and directory browsing is disabled on the Home Directory tab, the server returns an error to the browser attempting to access the site.

Directory Security

Lets you specify the authentication methods allowed for the site (Anonymous, Basic, Digest, or Windows Integrated), allow or deny access to the site by clients on the basis of IP address or domain name, and enable/configure SSL for encrypted HTTP sessions (requires Certificate Services to be configured in your enterprise).

Server Extensions

Allows you to configure your IIS server to support content creation and management by clients running Microsoft FrontPage.

For a more detailed discussion of configuring web sites on IIS, see my book Administering IIS5 (McGraw-Hill).

Create a Virtual Directory

Expand a server node in the console tree right-click on a web site New Virtual directory Next enter an alias Next specify path to mapped directory Next specify IIS permissions for virtual directory Next Finish

The path you specify can be local (absolute path) or remote (UNC path to shared folder on network). The alias for the virtual directory is used in the URL to direct the HTTP client (web browser) to the content in the mapped directory. See Internet Information Services (IIS) for more information.

Once you have created a virtual directory, you can configure various aspects of it by:

Expand a web site node right-click on virtual directory Properties

The range of settings is a subset of those explained in Section earlier in this article.

You can also create virtual directories quickly using web sharing. This is a feature built in to Windows Explorer and My Computer. To create a virtual directory using web sharing, do the following:

Open Windows Explorer or My Computer right-click on the folder you want to associate with your new virtual directory Properties Web Sharing select the web site in which the virtual directory will reside “Share this folder” specify an alias for the virtual directory specify IIS permissions for the directory OK

Close and reopen Internet Services Manager to see the new virtual directory in the console tree (refreshing the view may not work).

The main limitation is that web sharing can only be used to create local virtual directories on the IIS server.

Create a Web Site

First connect to a remote IIS server if you are not creating the web site on the local one. To do this:

Right-click on Internet Information Services node Connect specify name or IP address of server

To create a new web site on the connected server:

Right-click on server node New web site Next enter a description Next

The key screen here is called IP Address and Port Settings. Each web site on an IIS server must be uniquely identified by the following parameters (any two web sites must differ by at least one of these parameters):

IP address

Specify the IP address for which the server will respond with the web site to an HTTP request from the client. You can bind multiple IP addresses to your network adapter and give each web site on the server a unique address. This is typically used when the server is running at an ISP and must host multiple web sites, each of which has a registered DNS domain name.

If you leave the IP address set at All Unassigned, your web site becomes the new default web site. That is, when an HTTP client (web browser) tries to access the server using an IP address that is bound to the network adapter but not used for an existing web site, the server responds to the client by returning the default web site’s home page.


Leave the port set at 80 to allow HTTP clients to transparently access the web site on the server. Changing the port to a different value (use a value above 1023 so you don’t conflict with established well-known port-number assignments) means that the client must know the port-number of the site in order to access it. (The client must specify the port number in the URL by appending it after the domain name using a colon prefix, e.g., You can change the port number to hide a site from all but those who know the port number for the site.

Host header name

When servers have a limited pool of IP addresses to work with but need to host many web sites, different sites can have the same IP address and port number but different host header names. A host header name is essentially the full DNS name for the site (the DNS name must be registered with ICANN and configured on your DNS server).

After specifying the identification information, do the following:

Next specify path to home directory select or deselect “Allow anonymous access” Next specify IIS permissions for web site

IIS permissions are different from NTFS ones and are combined to determine whether access will be granted to content or not. After specifying permissions, click Next to end the wizard and create the new web site. After creating a site, you may need to further configure it (see Section earlier in this article).

See Also

Internet Information Services (IIS)

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