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The popularity of .NET applications has been one of the prime reasons why web developers are choosing IIS or Windows shared hosting. Now, with the latest generation of ASP.NET framework, producing more interactive pages has also become much easier. This makes one wonder how one can host a website in IIS quickly? Hosting a website in IIS is not just easy, it is also very potent in terms of features that you can build. This article puts the spotlight on what IIS is, how to host a website in IIS step by step and what are the pros of doing so. Let us deep dive to know more.

What is IIS?

IIS (Internet Information Server) or Windows web server is a general purpose web server that runs on Windows operating system in order to serve HTML files and pages. It works with standard languages and protocols such as HTTP, which is used to exchange information between users and web servers.

How to host a website in IIS step by step?

If you are looking to host a website on IIS /Windows web servers, just follow these simple steps (how to host a website locally using IIS)-

Step 1: Buy a windows hosting plan of your choice by going to ResellerClub. Create a ResellerClub account and get going. In case you already have an account and have purchased a Windows hosting package, skip this step.

Step 2: Buy a Windows hosting package, SDH (Single-Domain Hosting) or MDH (Multi-Domain Hosting) of your choice. You will be given 2 name servers.

Step 3: Now, go to the control panel(Plesk panel) and assign the domain name to the nameservers given to you. You may have to wait for 1-2 business days for the changes made to be processed. (Important step in how to set up a website in IIS)

Step 4: Log in to the Plesk panel and upload the files of your website in the HTTP docs folder.

a) Click on the files tab in the Plesk Panel. Once it opens, you will see the contents of the home directory.

b) Put all your website’s files in a folder. Then right-click on the folder and send to Compressed (zipped) folder to compress the files.

c) Once the files are uploaded, click the checkbox that is next to it and select Extract Files. All your website’s files will be in the folder.

These were the main steps to host a website in IIS.
There could be other additions that you may want to do, for instance, if you have two websites, then you may want to add that website to your hosting. This is how you may host another website in IIS-

Step 5: In the Plesk panel, click on ‘Add Domain’. Insert the domain name in the space provided. (In case you have purchased a plan with more than one subscription in your account, you can choose which subscription the new domain will be associated with.)

Step 6: Below the domain field, click on ‘Location of website files’ in order to choose the subscription you want.

Note: (Below ‘Location of website files’ you will see the option for ‘Hosting type’. Keep ‘Website Hosting’ as the option and select ‘Activate DNS service’ as well as ‘Activate Mail service’ options below the same.)

Step 7: In case you want to change the name of the directory for your website’s content, you can do the same by changing it in the ‘Document Root’ field. Also, you can choose the preferred domain as ‘www.yourwebsite.com’ or just ‘yourwebsite.com’ by selecting either of the two from ‘Preferred domain’ field.

Step 8: Finally, click on OK and you will see your new domain created just below the first one. You can follow the same steps as given above to put your website’s files for the domain. With this, you have successfully learned how to set up a website in IIS.

Managing FTP accounts
At one point in time, you may need to transfer or share files with a user or many users. In such a case, you can exchange files with the help of an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) account. With an FTP account, you can create multiple users and at the same time provide access to the directories within your domain. Plesk panel allows you to easily change gears when it comes to doing the same. Here is how you can manage an FTP account for your IIS hosting.

Step 1: Click on FTP Access. You will see a list of FTP accounts created under your subscription including your own account. Click on Add FTP account to add another account.

Step 2: In the given fields, insert all the details such as username, password etc.

Step 3: In the home directory section, select or choose the directory where you want to store all the files. You can also choose a directory of your choice to restrict the access of a user or users.

Step 4: Select the Permissions field and the Hard Disk Quota field according to your choice. In order to allow the user to view the content from the home directory and download files from the same, you can select ‘Read permission’. If you want to allow user or users to create, rename, view or delete directories in the home directory, you can select ‘Write permission’.

Step 5: Click on OK to create your FTP account. You can edit the FTP account by clicking on the same to change or edit the name of your directory.

In order to host a website in IIS through windows dedicated server, you can follow the same steps.

What are the advantages of hosting a website in IIS?

  • IIS allows process activation, health management and recycling capabilities in a bid to increase the reliability of hosted applications
  • Data access- At times, certain websites need to extract data from access websites because of OS compatibility issues. But with Windows web server/IIS hosting, this hiccup is pretty much gone because Windows OS is compatible with almost all kinds of database
  • Leveraging ASP.NET is possible because of Windows’ compatibility with the same. All the WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) services hosted in IIS are deployed as well as managed like most IIS applications, including ASP.NET applications
  • IIS serves a great advantage in large enterprises and corporate environments, especially where people are using Windows-based applications for work
  • User operations- Windows provides a convenient navigational interface that users find easy to maneuver. Its user interface and experience are streamlined in such a way that operating and controlling the hosting becomes very simple


Hosting your website in IIS has some great benefits. However, as a discerning consumer of hosting services, be aware of certain myths around IIS hosting as well. For e.g. many web hosts believe that by hosting a website in IIS, the ASP.NET algorithm allows Windows server to work faster with big databases. While this idea may sound exciting, there is no practical proof that supports this statement. We hope that you have understood how to host a website in IIS step by step. In case you have any queries regarding the same, leave your comments below.

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Aaron ChichiocoAaron ChichiocoAaron Chichioco is a digital PR / business columnist. He has a vast experience in overseeing daily operations of several online businesses since 2011. He is currently employed with grit.ph. You can follow Aaron on twitter at @Aaron_ChichiocoView all posts by Aaron Chichioco