How Do I Host a Web Site in Windows Server 2012?


Heather Bennett

Hosting a website on Windows Server 2012 can be a daunting task for beginners. However, with the right steps and guidance, you can easily set up and host your website on this powerful server. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of hosting a web site in Windows Server 2012.

Step 1: Prepare Your Windows Server 2012

Before you start hosting your website, make sure your Windows Server 2012 is properly set up. Ensure that you have installed all the necessary software and updates to run a web server. This includes installing Internet Information Services (IIS) and enabling the required features.

Here are the steps to prepare your server:

  • Open the ‘Server Manager’ by clicking on the corresponding icon in the taskbar.
  • In the ‘Server Manager’ window, click on ‘Add Roles and Features. ‘
  • A new window will appear. Click ‘Next’ to proceed.
  • Select ‘Role-based or feature-based installation’ and click ‘Next. ‘
  • Select your server from the server pool and click ‘Next. ‘
  • In the ‘Server Roles’ section, check ‘Web Server (IIS)’.

    A popup will appear to add additional features. Click ‘Add Features’

  • Click ‘Next’ to proceed.
  • In the ‘Features’ section, leave the default selections as they are and click ‘Next. ‘
  • In the ‘Web Server Role (IIS)’ section, leave all default selections as they are and click ‘Next. ‘
  • Review the information on the confirmation page and click ‘Install. ‘

Step 2: Configure IIS for Web Hosting

Once you have installed IIS, it’s time to configure it for web hosting.

Follow these steps to configure IIS:

  • Open ‘Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager’ by searching for it in the Start menu.
  • In the ‘Connections’ panel, expand your server’s node and then expand ‘Sites. ‘
  • Right-click on ‘Default Web Site’ and select ‘Manage Website’ > ‘Stop.

  • Right-click on ‘Default Web Site’ again and select ‘Edit Bindings..’
  • A new window will appear. Click on ‘Add.’ to add a new binding.
  • Enter the necessary details for your website, such as the IP address, port, and host name. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes.

Step 3: Publish Your Website

To host your website on Windows Server 2012, you need to publish your website files to the server.

Here’s how you can publish your website:

  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder where your website files are located.
  • Select all the files and folders that make up your website.
  • Right-click on the selected files and click ‘Copy.’
  • Navigate to the default location of your website in Windows Server 2012. The default location is typically ‘C:\inetpub\wwwroot\’.
  • Paste the copied files and folders into this location.

Step 4: Test Your Website

Once you have published your website files, it’s time to test if everything is working correctly.

Follow these steps to test your website:

  • Open a web browser on any computer connected to the same network as your Windows Server 2012.
  • Type in the IP address or domain name of your server in the address bar.
  • If everything is set up correctly, you should see your website’s homepage.

Step 5: Configure DNS (Domain Name System)

If you want to access your website using a domain name instead of an IP address, you need to configure DNS.

Here’s how to configure DNS:

  • Open the DNS management console on your Windows Server 2012.
  • Create a new ‘A’ record or ‘CNAME’ record, depending on your requirements, and point it to the IP address of your server.
  • Save the changes and wait for DNS propagation to take effect. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.


Hosting a website on Windows Server 2012 may seem complex at first, but by following these steps, you can easily set up and host your website. Remember to properly prepare your server, configure IIS, publish your website files, test your website, and configure DNS if needed. With these steps in place, you’ll have your website up and running in no time!

Additional Resources:

– Microsoft Docs: Getting Started with Server Core
– Microsoft Docs: IIS Commands
– W3Schools: Learn IIS Tutorial

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