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I have FTP access to a server and I'd like to have custom 404 pages. I don't have access to the management console or any admin rights on the server whatsoever.

I understand that apache can use .htaccess files to set custom errorDocuments for directories. Is there a similar way to do this in IIS6?

Cheers, Mat

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Is it a .NET application? – Portman May 8 '09 at 13:23
unfortunately it's a plain html site. I've seen the customErrors of the web.config but that's not quite what I'm after – Matthew Steeples May 8 '09 at 13:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As far as I know, there is no way to configure custom http responses only via FTP file changes (on a standard IIS 6.0 installation).

It should be possible using 3rd party tools like IsapiRewrite, which is configured using a httpd.ini file in your web's root. We use it for filtering and URL redirecting, but I'm sure you could define rules for custom 404 pages too.

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that's probably the closest thing to an answer I'm going to get I think. The solution itself isn't installed on the server, but it may help people looking for this in the future so I'm going to mark this as the answer – Matthew Steeples May 9 '09 at 22:40

You can access the IIS metabase through WMI or ADSI.

It looks like the CustomErrorDescriptions property contains the setting you want.

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unfortunately the only access I have to the webserver is through ftp so I was looking for some form of file based method – Matthew Steeples May 8 '09 at 13:42

Without having access to run commands on the server, you can't change the IIS settings.

One way to hack it is you can enable Metabase changes in the IIS server properties. This allows you to edit the Metabase.xml file. It would be a considerable security risk, but you can make the directory containing Metabase.xml available so you can download, edit, then reupload. Changes will take affect when IIS restarts. If you made IIS restart nightly, your changes are made. Like I said... a hack.


However, IIS7 has .htaccess-like features that you are looking for.

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Unless you've already pursued this... one obvious solution is to ask your hosting provider if you can specify a custom 404 error page that points to a file you have FTP access to. If they don't have the facility in place via hosting control panel they might manually do it for you ask.

Else look at migrating to a hosting provider that offer custom error pages. This should be a standard option from most good hosting providers.

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