Hosting Multiple Web Sites

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1

To create and host multiple Web sites, you must first ensure that each site has a unique identification. To accomplish this, you will need to either obtain multiple IP addresses or assign multiple host header names to a single IP address. Host header names are the friendly names for Web sites, such as

Obtaining and maintaining multiple IP addresses is usually a task reserved for large corporations and Internet service providers (ISPs), while assigning multiple host header names is a fairly simple procedure accomplished through IIS Manager. Your computer or network must be using a name resolution system (typically DNS) in order to use multiple host header names.


You must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer to perform the following procedure or procedures. As a security best practice, log on to your computer by using an account that is not in the Administrators group, and then use the runas command to run IIS Manager as an administrator. At a command prompt, type runas /User:Administrative_AccountName "mmc %systemroot%\system32\inetsrv\iis.msc".


To assign a host header name

  1. In IIS Manager, double-click the local computer, right-click the Web Sites folder, right-click the Web site, and click Properties.

  2. On the Web Site tab, click Advanced.

  3. Click Add.

  4. In the appropriate boxes, type an IP address, TCP port, and host header value for your Web site.

    You can have multiple server certificates, multiple IP addresses, and multiple SSL ports per server.


Although Windows Server 2003 added DNS support for UTF-8 characters, IIS 6.0 does not support Unicode characters in host headers. If you use the Web Site Creation Wizard to create a Web site and try to give the site a host header that contains Unicode characters, you will receive an error indicating that you must use only standard characters. If you use adsutil.vbs to configure the ServerBindings Metabase Property to use a host header containing Unicode characters, the change will be made in the metabase, but you will not be able to access the Web site.