One IIS to rule them all?
April 27, 2010 7:17 PM   Subscribe

On a single instance of IIS that is already hosting a website can I host another website answering to a different domain name?

The company I work for has control of many domain names. We serve public pages from one instance of IIS. We currently have a bunch of names that resolve to various directories on our server (you go to and are seamlessly redirected to What I need (want?) is the ability to serve on the same box and instance of IIS that is serving but without redirects.

The plain redirect is not an acceptable solution because there is a large installed base of bookmarks, publications, and search results with deep links ( that we really want to remain valid.

I can sort of imagine writing an error script that would redirect you, based on what you ask for, to the corresponding file on, but that seems brittle and aesthetically gross.

I do not have access to the server, but the guy who does is fairly flexible.

Our budget, security procedures, and network are such that I'd REALLY like to avoid an additional server.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Looks like you want virtual hosting. Here's how to set it up in IIS 6.
posted by teraflop at 7:22 PM on April 27, 2010

This is easy to do using host headers. There's a good description of the setup steps here, with screen shots. It works because the browser sends to the server the full host name it thinks it's trying to access, so even if multiple host names resolve to the same web server, the server can tell which host name you were accessing and give you the appropriate content for it.
posted by FishBike at 7:24 PM on April 27, 2010

Do you have control over the full instance of IIS or are you limited to a single web site in IIS? A full instance of IIS can have many web sites each of which can have distinct domain names.
posted by mmascolino at 7:27 PM on April 27, 2010

Virtual hosting is for keeping everything in separate IIS instances. You want the host header instructions. And since you want to link the domain say ( to point to path in your existing site (\content\stuff\page.asp) you'll want to configure URL redirection on it.

Note in the above example the users browser will display as\content\stuff\page.asp, not You can make it so that\page.asp is what's displayed, but that's another post.
posted by anti social order at 7:14 AM on April 28, 2010

Helicon Isapi Rewrite may address your needs - even the free version with limited functionality can be used to rewrite requests coming in under different host headers.
posted by Gortuk at 7:17 AM on April 28, 2010

Host headers are the way to go. I run about a dozen sites at home using the set up. If you need help with it, memail me.
posted by Climber at 11:44 AM on April 28, 2010

Teraflop has the best solution: Virtual Hosting. I've set it up on a couple Apache-driven webservers now. If the IIS steps are as easy as the Apache method of editing the httpd.conf file it should take about 5 minutes after adjusting your registrar's cname record.
posted by Gainesvillain at 12:35 PM on April 28, 2010

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