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Modifying the Default Web Site

Updated: August 22, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 with SP1

When you install IIS, it creates the default Web site automatically. This Web site is configured with default settings that are not optimal for every environment. You can do one of three things with the default Web site:

  • Use it as is, without changing any of the settings. This practice is not recommended for a production Internet or intranet site. It is recommended that you use the default Web site only in test or demonstration situations.

  • Delete the default Web site, and create new sites. Many ISPs will delete the default Web site and then use custom scripts to create new Web sites as needed. For more information about creating Web sites programmatically, see IIS 6.0 Administration Scripts, Tips, and Tricks.

  • Modify the default Web site to work in your environment. If you choose to modify the default Web site, then, as a best practice, change the properties immediately, before you create any directories or virtual directories. Directories and virtual directories inherit the properties of the default Web site.

    You can modify properties of the default Web site as appropriate for your environment.

Modifying Default Web Site Identity Settings

You can use the Web Site tab of the Web Site Properties dialog box to configure several key Web site identity settings.


Change the description of the Web site, using a name that is appropriate for your environment. This name will appear only in IIS Manager.

IP address

Enter an IP address if you are creating a Web site bound to a specific IP address on the computer and you do not want to use the All Unassigned default setting, or if you recently changed the IP address of the server.

TCP and SSL port

Change the value for TCP, User Datagram Protocol (UDP), or both TCP and UDP ports only if you have special requirements. It is recommended that you leave the default TCP and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) port settings (80 and 443, respectively) for production servers.

Host header

Enter a host header value if you plan to host multiple Web sites on the same server, or if you plan to publish the site so that users can access it by using a DNS name rather than the computer name. To create a host-header value, click Advanced, and then in the Advanced Web Site Configuration dialog box, click Add to type in a host header value. Any subsequent Web sites that you create cannot use the host header value that you enter for the default Web site. For more information about using host headers to host multiple Web sites, see Hosting Multiple Web Sites on the Same Server.

Modifying the Default Authentication Method

You can use the Directory Security tab of the Web Site Properties dialog box to change the authentication method. The authentication method determines whether users are identified, and how users must be identified to access your site. The authentication method you select varies, depending on the kind of site you are creating and the purpose of the site. For a complete discussion of authentication, see Managing a Secure IIS 6.0 Solution.

Modifying the Default Physical File Location

You can use the Home Directory tab of the Web Site Properties dialog box to specify the path to the home directory for your Web site and whether the home directory resides on the local computer or on a network computer. The default Web site home directory is SystemDrive:\Inetpub\Wwwroot.

Enabling and Configuring Log File Formats

You can use the Web Site tab of the Web Site Properties dialog box to enable logging and to specify the log format that you want to use. For more information about IIS logs, see Analyzing Log Files.

Specifying the Application Pool

You can use the Home Directory tab of the Web Site Properties dialog box to specify the application pool. For more information about application pools, see IIS 6.0 Architecture and Running IIS 6.0 as an Application Server.

Extending Web Sites with FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions

You can install and enable FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions for Web sites. FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions provide Web-based and command-line administration that allow you to extend your virtual servers, which means that the site owner can author the site in FrontPage and delegate site ownership and administrative credentials for Web sites. FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions are not installed by default. For more information about FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions, including information about installing and enabling, see Using FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions with IIS 6.0.

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