Deploy multiple sites on single domain (Probably not an asp question)

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Hello everybody,

Probably this is more an IIS question than an asp question but I'd like to hear your comments for better solutions.

I'm beginning a project to give basic web pages to 80 communities of my state, so for example each community will choose from about N different sets of templates and will be able to add custom information for their site. The web site itself is not complicated (at least in this first stage) but if everything goes fine, there will be the more functionality to provide in future upgrades.

For this reason, I think it's better to centralize everything in a single web project which will deliver information based on the Url typed by the user. If for example someone navigates to or then the main application will deliver the appropriate content based on communityX sub-domain. It would be great to preserve the Url at the navigator's bar instead of changing it to

I'm not sure if this is a matter of application. I think there should be something to do with IIS to be able to understand communityX sub-domains but I'm not really sure what should be better to accomplish this task.

Any help or comments are really appreciated.

4/29/2009 6:57:32 PM 12495 articles. 0 followers. Follow

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 It only matters how do you set the Application physicalPath. You can set as much sites as you want to refer the same files/path


<site name="" id="1" serverAutoStart="true">
        <application path="/">
          <virtualDirectory path="/" physicalPath="C:\Sites\mysite" />
          <binding protocol="http" bindingInformation="" />
          <binding protocol="http" bindingInformation="" />
        <logFile logFormat="W3C" />

<site name="" id="2" serverAutoStart="true">
        <application path="/">
          <virtualDirectory path="/" physicalPath="C:\Sites\mysite" />
          <binding protocol="http" bindingInformation="" />
          <binding protocol="http" bindingInformation="" />
        <logFile logFormat="W3C" />




you can even do this programatically. Smile

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4/29/2009 8:19:18 PM

Thanks Kulrom, it sounds really interesting. I can't test it now because I'm not in my dev machine.

I'm using IIS 5 with Windows XP Pro as testing server, but I'm still not sure which will be the production server. This project is still in design phase but it's good to know available implementation options to consier them when at design.

I hope to share my results tomorrow.


4/30/2009 3:00:39 AM

Hi Kulrom, I tried your suggestion but I can't find where to put the site tag inside my web.config and I get errors if i put the tag in the wrong place.

I noticed there is an ApplicationHost.config file which could use this tag too, but I supose this is exclusive to IIS 7 because I can't find it.

I did a test and mdified hosts file to redirect my test domains to my test server and was able to catch my browser's petitions and also catched the source petition with Request.ServerVariables["HTTP_HOST"] so I can in some way do what I need (considerig I still have to modify DNS servers for each site) but it would be interesting to use your approach.

5/1/2009 10:14:05 PM

 You are right. It is an ApplicationHost.config example. However, even if you are using IIS6 you still need to do the same.

Just set the same physicalPath for all 80 sites and you'll be fine. Give it a try (and ingore the example i posted above) .. just use the IIS Manager.

When you ask a question, remember to click "Mark As Answer" when you get a reply which answers your question.
5/1/2009 10:52:22 PM

Hi Kulrom, I'll try as you say when the implementetion stage comes. I supose they'll use a Windows 2003 server so IIS 6 will be available. From my XP Pro box I can only make tests with IIS 5 but the process must be similar so I'll start with what I have:

I don't know much about Windows Server. I understand it serves each request with a different worker process.

I'm planning to identify a city by parsing the HTTP_HOST server variable so I can deliver appropiate content, but in case I need to store any data on a Session object to do more complex work, I'm thinking in the posibility that anyone can use his browser to navigate for example and then at the same window for any reason type and then cause a consistency data problem.

¿Will the server create a different session state for that request? It's just an idea but I like to prevent even weird events. Anyway if the session is the same for a browser when navigating among cities, I think I can prevent that event with code.

5/2/2009 1:10:29 AM

 Good news: in Win2k3 Server you can have them both IIS6 and IIS7.

Usually you use IIS6 for FTP and IIS7 for the sites Wink

When you ask a question, remember to click "Mark As Answer" when you get a reply which answers your question.
5/2/2009 8:18:27 AM

 Thanks a lot!!! I didn't know IIS6 could be upgraded. I'll sugest the upgrade to make things easier :)

5/4/2009 8:50:16 PM

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