Configuring IIS Home Directory and Documents Tabs

One of the more important tabs in the properties of the Default Web Site is Home Directory. From this tab you can change the directory that IIS will use as the root of your Web site, or even point the server to a shared folder on another system, such as one not running IIS. Ultimately, this gives an administrator more control over where content is stored. The second section of this tab allows you to configure IIS permissions, a critical consideration that will be looked at in another article in this series.

The Documents tab is relatively straightforward. This tab controls whether a default document is enabled, along with the order and names of the files that should be used as the default document. For example, if a user attempts to access the site http://localhost, but doesn’t provide a specific page in the format http://localhost/page.html, the server will look for, and attempt to load, one of the default documents in the order listed. As shown below, the Web site will first attempt to load a page named Default.htm. If this file is not available, it will try Default.asp, and so forth. Most users will name the default document index.html, so consider adding an entry for this file, and then using the arrow buttons to move it to the top of the list.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.