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Configuring Site Features

When you select a site in the Connection tree of the IIS Manager, you are provided a set of icons in the Details pane (see Figure 23.9). This is (by default) the Features View. The Features View provides a task-based system for configuring specific settings required for a particular website.

Figure 23.9. The Setting icons for a website.

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By the Way

If you want to deploy sites that use extremely consistent settings (across all the sites on the server), you can access the Features View (and the subsequent settings that it provides) for the IIS server itself. Click the name of your IIS server in the Connections node tree. IIS and Management features are available.

The settings available for a site (when you are in the Features view) range from authentication to directory browsing to the SSL settings for sites that use the HTTPS protocol for client access. Some of these settings are quite straightforward and are basically enabled by default. You can disable a particular setting or fine-tune the settings as needed.

Did you Know?

When you access the features page for a particular site, you can quickly access the folder that contains the site content, meaning the site folder. Click the Explore link in the Actions pane.

To access a settings page (such as Compression or Directory Browsing) double-click the icon in the Features view). Settings that are extremely straightforward in terms of their configuration include

All the settings that we have discussed in relation to a specific site can also be set at the server level. These settings are then inherited by each site on the server. To set these various settings at the server level, click the server name in the Connections pane and then use the icons discussed in this section to access those specific settings.

Two of the available settings for a site (or the server itself, propagating all the settings to each and every site on the server), Authentication and Logging, require a little more explanation in terms of their configuration. Let’s take a look at Authentication and then Logging.


By default, the authentication for a site is set to anonymous authentication. This allows any user to access the public content on the site (which makes sense for sites available on the Web). Anonymous authentication does not require a username or password for the client’s web browser to connect to the site.

To view the setting status, double-click the Authentication icon in the Features pane. The Authentication details appear (see Figure 23.12).

Figure 23.12. Authentication details.

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Anonymous authentication is enabled by default (as shown in Figure 23.12). To edit the authentication setting, click Anonymous Authentication in the Details pane and then click Edit in the Actions pane. The Edit Anonymous Authentication Credentials dialog box opens.

To set specific user credentials (other than the default IUSR, which is created when you install IIS), click the Set button and provide the username and password for anonymous authentication. You can choose to select the Application Pool Identity option button, but the use of this setting gives anonymous users internal network access associated with the Network Service account.

Figure 23.13. The Edit Anonymous Authentication Credentials dialog box.

Did you Know?

It is best to use the default IUSR account for anonymous access. Specifying an account or using the Application Pool Identity setting gives anonymous users any administrative rights that the account you choose might have. This can ultimately be a security risk to the server itself.

When you have completed setting the options in the Edit Anonymous Authentication Credentials dialog box, click OK. You are returned to the IIS Manager.

By the Way

If you need to disable the Anonymous Authentication as you work on a website, right-click Anonymous Authentication in the Authentication Details pane and then click Disable on the shortcut menu.


The Logging page enables you to configure how requests to the site (or to the entire server if you set this parameter at the server level) are logged (see Figure 23.14). This setting enables you to specify the format of the log file, the directory where the log file should be stored, and the log file rollover schedule.

Figure 23.14. The Logging page.

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The default logging file format is W3C, which is an ASCII text file format. You can change the file format to other types such as IIS; this format does not allow you to customize the fields that are logged, however.

If you use the default W3C format, you can also select the fields that are logged (by clicking the Select Fields button). The default fields that are logged include information such as the date, time, client IP address, and the server port (see Figure 23.15).

Figure 23.15. Select the fields to be logged for the site.

You can clear the check boxes for logging fields to preclude the information from being included in the log file. You can also specify additional logging fields such as Server Name and Bytes Sent or Received if you wish. When you have finished editing the logging fields, click OK to close the dialog box and return to the Logging settings.

You can specify when a new log should be created for the site (or all the sites on the IIS server if you are configuring the Logging settings globally). Specify an interval such as Hourly, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly, using the Schedule drop-down list. To specify a maximum file size for the log (the required minimum size is 1048576 bytes), use the Maximum File Size (in Bytes) option button and associated text box.

You need to apply any changes you made to the Logging settings. Click Apply. After you configure the logging for the site, you can view the log file from the IIS Manager snap-in. With the Logging page open (double-click the Logging icon), click the View Log Files link.

Did you Know?

If you need to disable logging, click the Disable link in the Actions pane. You can then enable the logging service in the Actions pane as needed.

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