Hosting Multiple Web Sites on the Same Server

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

You can host and manage multiple Web sites on one server running Windows Server 2003 and IIS 6.0. To host multiple Web sites on a single Web server, you must configure a unique identity for each Web site by using one of three methods:

By using one of these three methods, you can create unique identities for multiple Web sites without installing a dedicated Web server for each site. You can also create a unique home directory for each site and store the content on the local server or on remote network shares. By doing so, you configure each Web site as a separate entity or virtual server.

For each server hosting multiple Web sites, choose one of the three routing methods listed earlier. When you use one method per server, performance improves because cache and routing lookups are optimized. Conversely, when you use a combination of nonstandard port numbers, unique IP addresses, and host headers to identify multiple Web sites on the same server, performance is degraded for all of the Web sites on the server. For more information about Web site performance, see Optimizing IIS 6.0 Performance.

You can add Web sites to a server by using IIS Manager or by using the Iisweb.vbs command-line script. For step-by-step instructions for adding Web sites, see Adding Web Sites to an IIS 6.0 Server.