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Create multiple IIS web sites in Win XP Pro.

Create and build multiple websites with WIN XP Pro IIS; 5.1 in my case.  It appears Microsoft has chosen to disable or disallow multiple Virtual IIS Servers in its offering of Win XP Pro.  This functionality multi-site "take back" is very annoying.  My understanding is Windows NT Server which I have worked with in the past allowed multiple IIS Virtual Servers ( web sites ).  As Microsoft's customer when I purchased Win XP Pro I assumed I was purchasing the future Windows NT for the professional, supporting multiple sites, it is called XP Pro.  But it seems XP Pro is really Windows NT Workstation for the home user.  They also seem to have retarded some of the administration GUI's as well.  Very confusing.

A strobe light using your monitor?

Here is another confusing advertisement by Microsoft when trying to convince me to buy XP Pro. Which Edition Is Right for You   When you look at the claims Microsoft says:

"Would you consider yourself a power user ?"

"Internet Information Services (IIS), a Windows XP Professional feature that lets you host and manage personal Web sites."


12/19/2004  I see Microsoft has finally revised away the claim above.  I took an extract, or quote, not a copy, of the original page and have it on my home PC.  The claim above was displayed by Microsoft for years, at the Which Edition Is Right for You link (This link no longer exists!).

Regardless it appears all Microsoft did was strip the functionality out of the IIS GUI (Graphical User Interface), not the server itself.IIS server default site  I should be able to right click on Web Sites and say "new" but cannot.  Notice the GUI still says Web Sites, even though Microsoft eliminated the capability from the GUI!  Many users of Win NT swear that you should be able to create multiple virtual web servers, but not on XP or 2000.  Microsoft does mention this restriction on other web pages, but then what about the pitch above?

IIS Server with TWO sites!And here a second virtual server is on WinXP IIS version 5.1!  Initially it comes up stopped and unnamed, but in this shot I have already right clicked on the virtual server and given it a name.  A little plug for my site http://www.bobshowto.com  Just because you cannot create the second or multiple virtual servers does not mean the GUI will not support them!

Today, 1/5/2004, I use ZoneEdit's Dynamic DNS and my dialup modem to power this site.  (Sorry sometimes I know it is a little slow especially with dialog box graphics!)

The Secret:

The scripting interface allows you to create the second site, but you cannot start it unless the other (Default) site is stopped.  The VBScript to have is \Inetpub\Adminscripts\adsutil.vbs.  To create a stopped and un-configured site try "cscript adsutil.vbs CREATE_SITE W3SVC/2" in Win XP in the Adminscripts subdirectory.  Or start with cscript adsutil.vbs HELP.


So I thought about using ASP up front and redirecting to the correct site, seemed cumbersome though.  So I thought what about using an ISAPI filter, but before trying this, like any good engineer should, I looked for what was already available.  Where else but on the Web, and amazingly someone has done it already and it works fine for me, the multisite ISAPI filter.  Here is a link to the multi site filter: www.hairy-spider.com/multisite.aspx.   I have removed the actual link due to some weird problems I am looking into with Google.  Please cut and paste the text link into your browsers address bar 6/9/2006 Bob.   I want to thank Hairy Spider Solutions (www.hairy-spider.com) for saving me a two days with my C++ compiler, Thanks! 

Now you can create web sites under your root web and the filter redirects the client from the root to the desired Web Site!

Please take a look at my article about GZIP dynamic web page compression, 4X speed, 4X less bandwidth.

But if my PC does go down I am in trouble!

I am fortunate to have another old PC to which I back up my web site content.  I have studied quite a few "web hosts".  A web host is where you might publish your website if it is not on your home PC.  Many of the low cost hosts may try hard to serve you, but if you have problems you are mostly on your own.  You will find poor BBB reports for some of the lowest cost companies.  Also see if you can at least find a mailing address for the host you are considering!

A company called EIG is snapping up web hosts by the dozens; here is a site keeping track: ResearchAsAHobby.com 

Hope this helped!

IIS 5.1 users contributions

Here are additional tips for creating sites in IIS 5.1.  These tips should help you out with the 5.1 version of IIS for Win XP Pro.  I appreciate all the contributions I have received to date on this topic!

Below you will find an assortment of contributions that should help you with your work with Win XP Pro IIS 5.1.

Please take a look at my article about GZIP dynamic web page compression, 4X speed, 4X less bandwidth.

Contributed by Scott Graham


Thought perhaps you'd be interested in my bit of code called "iis_multiplex", available from http://h4ck3r.net//. It allows you to run many websites from WinXP Pro's IIS. It comes with simple instructions on how to set it up, and with the source code for those inclined to muck with/improve it.


I have not tried this ISAPI filter, but it is yet another possibility.  Bob, 1/28/2005

Contributed by Marty Zigman,

To initialize the second site:

"In addition, I would update your site to say that the key function that you need to perform on the adsutil.vbs script is the following:

adsutil.vbs COPY W3SVC/1 W3SVC/2

This will make a copy that contains all the meta data required for the site to work. Note, this function is not documented in adsutil.vbs HELP and it was only until I opened the code, I saw that this function was supported. Otherwise, it can be difficult to assemble all the components that are required to get a second site up."

So you can have multiple web sites but you can only run one at a time.  Believe me I have tried many things to start the two sites simultaneously, (without breaking my license agreement). So for me one site at a time is almost useless.  I cannot delete the second IIS Virtual Server either.

Contributed by Bryan Scott

To delete the second new site, at run prompt, type:
C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs delete W3SVC/2

Also possible sources of the Adsutil.vbs script.
Windows XP PRO + service packs
.NET Framework + service packs
Visual Studio.Net
Frontpage 2002 server extensions

Thanks Bryan!








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