How To Setup Web Server On Windows Server 2012


Welcome to our guide on setting up a web server on Windows Server 2012. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of configuring your server to host websites and web applications. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced IT professional, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information to get started.


Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • A Windows Server 2012 machine
  • Administrative access to the server
  • A stable internet connection

Step 1: Installing Internet Information Services (IIS)

The first step in setting up your web server is to install Internet Information Services (IIS). IIS is a web server software package that enables your server to host websites and web applications. Here’s how you can install IIS:

1. Open the Server Manager

Launch the Server Manager by clicking on the Start button and selecting “Server Manager” from the menu.

2. Add Roles and Features

In the Server Manager window, click on “Add Roles and Features” from the dashboard or the Manage dropdown menu.

3. Select Installation Type

Choose “Role-based or feature-based installation” and click “Next”.

4. Select Server

Select your server from the server pool and click “Next”.

5. Select Server Roles

In the “Server Roles” window, scroll down and check the box next to “Web Server (IIS)”. A pop-up window will appear, click “Add Features” and then click “Next”.

6. Select Features

In the “Features” window, you can choose additional features to install with IIS. For a basic web server setup, you can leave the default selections and click “Next”.

7. Web Server Role (IIS)

In the “Web Server Role (IIS)” window, click “Next”.

8. Select Role Services

In the “Role Services” window, you can choose additional services to install with IIS. Again, for a basic web server setup, you can leave the default selections and click “Next”.

9. Confirmation

Review your selections and click “Install”. The installation process may take a few minutes.

Step 2: Configuring IIS

Now that IIS is installed on your Windows Server 2012 machine, you need to configure it to host websites and web applications. Follow these steps to configure IIS:

1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager

Launch the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager by clicking on the Start button, navigating to the “Administrative Tools” folder, and selecting “Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager”.

2. Create a New Website

In the IIS Manager window, right-click on “Sites” and select “Add Website”. Enter the necessary information such as the website name, physical path, and port number. Click “OK” to create the website.

3. Configure Website Settings

With the website selected in the IIS Manager, you can configure various settings such as bindings, authentication, and logging. Adjust these settings according to your requirements.

4. Test the Website

To test if your web server is working correctly, open a web browser on your local machine and enter the IP address or domain name of your server. If everything is configured correctly, you should see the default web page or the content you have uploaded.

Step 3: Securing Your Web Server

Securing your web server is crucial to protect your website and data from unauthorized access. Here are some essential steps to enhance the security of your Windows Server 2012 web server:

1. Install SSL Certificate

Obtain and install an SSL certificate to enable secure communication between your server and clients. This will encrypt sensitive data such as login credentials and credit card information.

2. Enable Firewall

Enable the Windows Firewall to block unauthorized access to your server. Configure the firewall to allow only necessary ports and services.

3. Regularly Update Software

Keep your server’s operating system, web server software, and applications up to date with the latest security patches. Regular updates will help protect against known vulnerabilities.

4. Implement Strong Password Policies

Enforce strong password policies for user accounts on your server. This includes requiring complex passwords, setting password expiration periods, and enabling account lockouts after multiple failed login attempts.


Congratulations! You have successfully set up a web server on Windows Server 2012. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can now host websites and web applications with ease. Remember to regularly maintain and update your server’s security to ensure a safe and reliable hosting environment.

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