Configuring Web Site Properties with IIS

Once your Web server is up and running, it’s time to begin configuring settings associated with your Web site. To begin, open the Internet Information Services MMC snap-in from the Administrative Tools applet in Control Panel. When opened for the first time, the tool will display an icon representing the local computer. Expand this icon and two folders will appear, assuming that you chose to add both the Web and FTP server during the installation process. The Web Sites folder acts as a storage location for the Default Web Site, which will ultimately house your custom site. Unlike the various server versions of IIS, a Windows XP Professional system running IIS can be configured with a single Web site only. As the name suggests, the FTP Sites folder acts as the storage location for the default FTP site, with again only a single FTP site supported on XP Pro.

Expand the Web Sites folder to view the Default Web Site icon. Expanding the Default Web Site icon will list any virtual directories that exist, with names like IISHelp, tsweb, and Printers configured by default. Although virtual directories will be outlined in more detail shortly, for now it is enough to know that these directories are accessible from Internet Explorer by simple appending the name of the directory after the servername in a URL. For example, accessing http://localhost/IISHelp will open the IIS Documentation home page in a Web browser.

To configure settings related to the Default Web Site, right-click on that icon and click Properties. This will open the Default Web Site Properties page. On an XP Professional system, this page will provide access to 7 different tabs, including Web Site, ISAPI Filters, Home Directory, Documents, Directory Security, HTTP Headers, and Custom Errors.

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.