Windows Server 2012 : Installing and Configuring Websites (part 1) - Creating a Website with IIS 8, Creating a Virtual Directory

12/6/2013 2:35:34 AM
IIS can support thousands of websites on a single web server. The number of websites that you can reasonably support depends on the way the system is configured, including the number of processors, the amount of RAM, bandwidth, and more. Historically, for every website that the system supports for the Internet, there must be a public IP address and registered domain name. With IIS 8, as with recent versions of the platform, if you have only one public IP address and you want to support multiple websites, you can also create virtual directories or leverage host headers to have those sites serving users on the Internet.

1. Creating a Website with IIS 8

The Default Web Site is located within the Web Sites folder in the IIS Management console. You can use the default website to publish content, but it is possible and typically advisable to create and configure a separate website.

To begin creating a new website, follow these steps:

1. In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, right-click the Sites node in the Connections pane, and click Add Website.

2. The Add Website page is opened; enter a website name such as ExpenseReport.

3. If desired, click the Select button in the Application Pool section to modify the application pool settings for this new site. The default application pool drop-down option available is DefaultAppPool.

4. In the Content Directory section, enter the physical path to where the Web Sites folder resides. Alternatively, navigate to the folder by clicking the ellipses button.


A user can also choose a remote share when providing the location of the content directory’s physical path. If a remote share is used, you must ensure IIS has access to that folder by clicking the Connect As button and specifying connectivity to the remote share by choosing a specific user account that has appropriate permissions or you can select the Pass-Through Authentication option.

5. You must now specify whether this new site will use HTTP or HTTPS, provide an IP address to the new site or leave the IP address setting unassigned, and indicate which port this new site will listen on. These settings are configured in the Binding section of the Add Website page.

6. An optional host header setting can be configured before completing the page. A user can enter a host header for the new site, such as

7. Check the option to start the website immediately.

8. Review all the configuration settings inputted, as illustrated in Figure 1, and then click OK to finalize the creation of the new website.


Figure 1. Creating a new website using the Add Website dialog box.

2. Creating a Virtual Directory

Virtual directories extend the home directory of your website by providing an alias linking another directory not contained within the home directory. This alias will appear to users as simply a subfolder to the website even though it might be located on an entirely different server.

The virtual directory can contain documents and other information for the website as well as a new website. For example, if CompanyABC’s website ( wants to host a temporary website for another organization, it could use a virtual directory to contain the website. In this scenario, CompanyXYZ would have its own website located at You must be a server, site or application administrator to create a virtual directory.

To create a virtual directory using the IIS Manager, follow these steps:

1. Start Server Manager using the taskbar icon. From the Tools menu, run Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

2. In the Connections pane, expand the IIS server, and then expand the Sites node within the tree.

3. Select the desired website that will contain the new virtual directory. Right-click the website, and select Add Virtual Directory.

4. Enter the virtual directory’s alias, such as Images.

5. Enter the physical path to the content folder of the virtual directory, or alternatively, navigate to the folder by clicking the ellipses button.

6. Review the settings, as displayed in Figure 2, and click OK to finalize the creation of the virtual directory.


Figure 2. Add Virtual Directory dialog box.


If the content folder specified is a remote share, click Connect As and enter credentials for an account that has permissions to access the remote share. Alternatively, select the application user (Pass-Through Authentication) option.

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- Windows Server 2012 : Understanding the Modular Approach to Installing IIS 8
- Windows Server 2012 : Planning and Designing IIS 8, Installing and Upgrading IIS 8
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