Accessing The Default Web Site After Installing IIS

Once the IIS installation process is complete, your Web server will be up and running, and the default Web site will be accessible. To access this site, open your Internet Explorer, type the URL http://localhost in the Address bar, and click the Go button. This will open the default Welcome to Windows XP Server Internet Services page, as shown below. Ultimately, seeing this page means that the WWW Service is installed correctly, and that your Web server is functioning. Although this page is really only a placeholder until you configure your own custom start page for your site, it does provide useful IIS overview information, as well as links to the IIS Online Documentation, which you hopefully included as part of the installation process.

Installing IIS makes a number of changes to your XP system. The two most important additions are the installation of the Internet Information Services MMC snap-in (accessible via Administrative Tools in Control Panel), and the creation of a new directory on your system drive, usually C:\Inetpub. The C:\Inetpub folder is crucial, as it acts as the default storage location for IIS-related files, such as the content of your Web site. For example, the C:\Inetpub\wwwroot folder acts as the root of your Web site, making it the effective point at which your Web site begins. Unless you change the configuration of the default Web site, this is the folder in which the Web server will look for your custom home page once one has been created and saved.

The Internet Information Services MMC snap-in is the primary administrative tool that you will use to monitor and manage your Web server and site. From this console you can start, stop, and pause individual sites or related services, configure the properties of your Web site, create new virtual directories, configure security settings, and more.

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.