Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am new to setting up domain names. I do not think I am using the correct terminology because I cannot find an answer with Google. For this I apologize.

  1. I purchased a domain from (we'll call it
  2. I have a Windows Server 2003 machine. This machine hosts my web application
  3. I want to point to my web application on my Windows Server 2003 machine.
  4. I want to be able to host multiple domains on my Windows Server 2003 machine.

This seems like a common scenario. However, I am not sure how to get to point to my Windows Server 2003 machine. How do I do this? Are there any good tutorials on the web for this?

Thank you,

share|improve this question

migrated from Jul 28 '09 at 13:23

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Hi, does your ISP give you a static IP for this server, or is it dynamically assigned using DHCP? – Mitch Miller Sep 8 '10 at 1:40
Also, do you plan to connect the Windows Server 2003 directly to the Internet? Or would you plan to use a firewall? If so, you would need the firewall to perform Network Address Translation (NAT) for you. – Mitch Miller Sep 8 '10 at 1:42

This should be straight forward to do.

The IP address your server has, do you know if it is a static IP address?

If it is static, simply update your domain's DNS record on GoDaddy (assuming you can do that) to point to your server (or more importantly your firewall's) IP address. If godaddy don't allow DNS updates then transfer your domain to a service that does (such as

If you obtain your IP address automatically (i.e. via DHCP) then you should use a Dynamic DNS service to automatically update your domain's DNS record to point to your ever changing server's IP address. Check out DYNDNS.COM

You are probably best asking for more details on ServerFault.

share|improve this answer

You need to update the DNS records. But this is probably a question for ServerFault.

share|improve this answer
plus he needs to fiddle with his server config to implement 4. – Don Johe Jul 28 '09 at 13:18

Rather than give you a detailed step by step here, let me give you the overview steps and the terms that you need to be googling for...

The general process of a browser requesting a page goes like this:

Find Nameserver -> DNS Record Lookup -> Contact Server -> Request Page

  1. You need a DNS nameserver to point to. This is the section in GoDaddy where you see,, etc. GoDaddy provides this service too I believe, or you can just search for DNS hosting providers.
  2. Once DNS nameserver is in place, browsers going to your domain get sent to that nameserver to ask for the address. You will need to set up two "A" records (also called Host records) that translate a friendly domain name (for example,, and to an IP address.
  3. If you are already familiar with setting up your server or firewall, then you've done this step already. If not, go to from your server to get your public IP (this is where you will point your DNS A records). If you have a normal consumer router, look up how to do Port Forwarding, or Static NAT. You will need to forward port 80 to your internal server IP address.
  4. On your server, you want to host multiple domain names. This is called using Host Headers in IIS (Internet Information Services). Google how to set up Host Headers in IIS - this is what makes it possible for multiple sites in IIS to share the same port (usually port 80).
  5. To verify your configuration is correct from the outside, go to - there is a free "Quick Check" that is very useful for making sure everything is set up properly.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.