How Do I Create a Visual Studio Web Server?


Angela Bailey

Creating a Visual Studio Web Server

In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a web server using Visual Studio. Having a local web server is crucial for web development as it allows us to test our websites or web applications without the need for hosting or deploying them on a live server. Visual Studio provides an easy and convenient way to set up a local web server for testing and debugging purposes.

Step 1: Installation:
Before we begin, make sure you have Visual Studio installed on your system. If you don’t have it yet, head over to the official Visual Studio website and download the appropriate version for your operating system. Once downloaded, follow the installation instructions provided by Microsoft.

Step 2: Creating a New Project:
Open Visual Studio and click on “File” in the menu bar. From the dropdown menu, select “New” and then “Project”.

In the project template selection window, choose the type of project you want to create (e.g., ASP.NET Web Application). Give your project a name and click on “OK”.

Step 3: Configuring Server Settings:

Once your project is created, you need to configure the server settings. Right-click on your project in the Solution Explorer panel (usually located on the right-hand side of the screen) and select “Properties” from the context menu.

a) Web tab:

In the properties window that appears, navigate to the “Web” tab. Here, you will find various options related to web server settings.

  • Start Action:
  • Choose whether you want to use IIS Express or a custom local IIS server. For beginners, IIS Express is recommended as it requires minimal setup.

  • Project URL:
  • Specify the URL at which you want to access your web application. By default, Visual Studio assigns a random port number to your project. You can change it if needed.

  • Virtual Path:
  • The virtual path is the path that follows the domain name in the URL. By default, it is set to “/” (root). You can change it if required.

  • Override application root URL:
  • If you want to override the application root URL, check this option and specify a custom URL.

b) Servers tab:

In the same properties window, navigate to the “Servers” tab. Here, you can configure additional server settings.

  • Use Local IIS Web Server:
  • If you want to use a local IIS server instead of IIS Express, check this option and provide the necessary details such as site name and physical path.

  • Use Custom Web Server:
  • If you have a custom web server installed on your system, check this option and enter the server’s details like base URL and executable location.

Step 4: Running the Web Server:

Now that we have configured our server settings, it’s time to run our web server. To do this, click on the “Start” button located at the top of Visual Studio’s toolbar or press F5 on your keyboard.

Visual Studio will compile your project and start the web server. Once started, your default browser will open automatically with your web application running locally.


Setting up a local web server using Visual Studio is essential for efficient web development. With just a few configuration steps, we can easily test and debug our websites or web applications without the need for external hosting. Remember to configure the server settings properly and enjoy developing your web projects with ease.

Happy coding!

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