IIS is a Champion When It Comes to SEO Hosting

2009-08-21 by Anthony Onaf

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I am sure some will disagree with me, but I've been a proponent of Microsoft products for a long time so it's hard to sway my judgment.  IIS is the premium choice when it comes to SEO hosting and management.  If you understand your needs then SEO with IIS is a piece of cake.  I mean hosting, URL rewriting, redirections, sub-domains, everything!

There isn't anything you can do in one platform which you can't do in another, you may not know how to do it, but it doesn't mean it can't be done.  So let's go over what IIS can do for your SEO campaign.


A web server (or SEO host) can be of any flavor: IIS, Apache, OS X, etc.  It's a matter of preference, any platform can be administered to fit the needs of a web host, it comes down to you or your team capabilities as systems administrators.  A few good notes about IIS when it comes to hosting:

URL Rewriting

This is probably the biggest headache when it comes to IIS, especially if you use third party scripts or don't understand regular expressions.  With that said, no matter which platform you use URL rewriting can be a big headache if you don't know anything about regular expressions.  Most developers write for Apache which easily uses .htaccess files so many times you are alleviated of the creation of regular expressions, but no matter which system you choose you'll need regular expressions written for URL rewriting.  IIS 6.0 and below would need to rely on ISAPI Rewrite or another third party software for URL rewriting.  However, IIS 7.0 comes prepackaged with its own rewrite engine, so IIS is becoming more SEO friendly as time progresses.


Redirects couldn't be any simpler.  It is just a matter of clicks.  You open the IIS manager (right-click your website click on properties), find the Directory tab, and configure the redirection details.  For subfolders, expand your website and right-click on the subfolder of choice then repeat steps.  Another great SEO feature is to include your web page defaults to the Documents tab under the IIS manager, so you can exclude web files and extensions at the end of URL's.  Such as http://www.yoursite.com/subfolder/index.html changes to http://www.yoursite.com/subfolder/

Sub Domains

Another easy implementation when it comes to SEO is sub domain creation.  To create a subdomain all you need to do is open the IIS manager (right-click your website click on properties), click Advanced under the Web Site tab and add your sub domain details.  Make your subdomain the Host Header, such as subdomain.domain.com

IIS is not as difficult as some make it seem.  Nor is it as unsecured, unreliable, or weak as some might try to make you think.  If you are most comfortable with Windows/IIS then use it and master it, if you are most comfortable with Linux/Apache then use it and master it, but don't allow industry critics to make the decision for you, because any platform can be used as a web server.

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Anthony Onaf

Anthony Onaf is an expert search engine optimization consultant.

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