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In this walk-through, we will be showing you how to install WebDeploy on your Windows Server 2012 machine. Once you’re done, make sure to check out the next step in the follow-up post: “Using Web Deploy and Visual Studio to Import/Export IIS8 Sites”


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One of the exciting things about WebDeploy is that we can migrate our sites from IIS6 and IIS7 to IIS8 with ease. Here are just a few more highlights on WebDeploy, before we proceed to the installation:

-Ability to create packages and deploy them locally or to remote machines via Visual Studio 2010+
-Web Matrix integration
-Ability to synchronize and/or migrate applications, sites, or whole web servers to another server
-You can configure automatic backups before deploying your new sites to your server

Here are the steps we’ll go through with you so that you can set up WebDeploy functionality on your server:

-Use Web Platform Installer to install WebDeploy and setup IIS configuration components as necessary
-Create a local non-admin user on your server for deployments
-Configure WebDeploy Publishing Settings in IIS

To install WebDeploy we will be using Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer (WebPI) 4.0. You can download WebPI here.

Once you’ve downloaded WebPI, launch the installer. In the search bar, type in, “Recommended”. We want to select “Recommended Configuration for Hosting Providers” by clicking Add…

WebPI Installer

If you click the “Items to be installed” link at the bottom, you can see a list of what will be installed. Anything the has an “X” beside it can be removed. For example if you do not want or need PHP and its components you can remove them.

Notice the WebDeploy features about half way down:

WebDeploy 3.0

In this walkthrough, I’ll be leaving all the components for this configuration. Next, click Install. Then, once you Accept the License Agreements, your installation will begin:

Install WebDeploy

Once that completes, you can close WebPI.

Next we’ll want to create a local non-admin user that we will use with WebDeploy. Open Server Manager, and then select Computer Management.

Server manager

Once Computer Management loads, navigate to Local Users and Groups, then right-click the Users folder and select New User. In my example, I created a new user “GabeWebDeploy”.

Make sure you remember or document this password. You’ll need it later.

Local Users and Groups Username and Password

We also should go ahead and create a WebDeploy folder to contain our Publishing settings for later. I created a WebDeploy folder in: C:\inetpub. This simplifies the management of Publishing Profile management.

WebDeploy Folder

Next, open up IIS Manager, Control Panel > Administrative Tools > IIS Manager. When you launch IIS Manager, you will get the following prompt:

IIS Manager

Click the “Do not show this message” checkbox if you would like and then click “No” hown above. Clicking Yes will just take you back to the website where you download Web Platform Installer.

For this walkthrough I also created a new website, “Gabe OW Webdeploy Test”. We now need to edit the WebDeploy Publishing Settings. To do this, select your site and then right-click Deploy > Configure WebDeploy Publishing…

WebDeploy Test Site

Now we need to change some settings here on the Configure WebDeploy Publishing window:

WebDeploy Configuration Settings

Click the … next to the top line that begins with Servername\Username. We want to change this to the new WebDeploy user we created earlier.

Pro Tip: We want to use a non-administrator account and NOT and administrator level account, as we want to contain the server access of the user account to this site/application for security purposes.

As of this writing in the Server 2012 RTM version, you’ll need to enter the username in the Servername\Username format as the clicking the Select… function will close IIS. This appears to be a bug.

Allow User

After you enter the username, go to the line that says, “Specify a location to save the publish settings file” and change the path to the WebDeploy folder we created earlier. Change “C:\Users\Username\” to new path: “C:\inetpub\Webdeploy\”. Then click Publish. See screenshot example:

Configure WebDeploy Publishing

At this point we have:

-Setup the recommended configuration for WebDeploy
-Setup necessary local user and folder
-Configured appropriate settings file to publish to the test site on our server.

In the next post, we’ll be showing you how to Import/Export your site within IIS8 and to perform one-click deployments from Visual Studio 2012.

For more information on WebDeploy, check out this site:

Windows Server 2012 comes packed with some impressive features, and we love breaking  them down for our clients. Whether you’re looking for a high-touch managed hosting for Dedicated or Windows Cloud Server needs, or just need a tutorial to do it yourself, we’re happy to help. For more information, feel free to connect with us. give us a call at 1-855-780-0955, or email us at


Written by Gabriel Beaver Employee @ SherWeb

Gabriel is a Virtualization Specialist on the Infrastructure team at Sherweb. He has been in the industry for nearly 10 years, with an extensive background supporting desktop and server issues, datacenter deployments, System Center products, VPN tunnels, and everything in between. When he is not chasing around his three children, you can find him tinkering with ownCloud, Windows and Linux servers, blogging, or playing FIFA seasons online.