How to Install WordPress on Root Folder & Sub Folder on a Windows IIS Server at Godaddy

One of my clients uses Windows hosting on Godaddy. They wanted to host a new WordPress website on a new subdomain when a WordPress website was already installed on the their primary domain. I wasn’t familiar with Windows IIS hosting at the time (WordPress is normally hosted on Linux servers), and so gathering this information took several days and a call to Godaddy Support before I figured it all out.

Here are the 4 steps to install WordPress on a subdomain in Windows IIS in Godaddy when a WordPress installation already exists on the primary domain:

  1. Upgrade to Deluxe or Ultimate Hosting
  2. Setup the Subdomain and Subfolder
  3. Create the web.config file in the Subdirectory
  4. Install WordPress Like Normal

Godaddy Hosting Control Panel

1. Upgrade to Deluxe or Ultimate Hosting

Because they used Godaddy, they first had to upgrade to a deluxe hosting package as the base, “Economy” hosting plan does not allow you to host websites on subdomains. An upgrade was an extra $2 a month. Thanks to Chip O’Toole for this tip.

2. Setup the Subdomain and Subfolder

In Godaddy, this is done in the hosting control panel under “Manage Domains”. Click the domain you want to manage, and then create a new subdomain. It will prompt you to create a folder with the same or different name after that. Once a folder is created, go back to the control panel and setup a new FTP user account to access that folder if needed.

3. Create the web.config file in the Subdirectory

Once the hosting was upgraded, the subdomain still did not ‘show up’, but simply redirected to the primary domain’s website. To fix that, you have to create a web.config file in the subdirectory you created in step 2. To do that, go back to the hosting control panel and click on “File Manager”. Browse to the subfolder and then click new. Copy and paste the following code:

<!--?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?-->
<rule name="SubWordpressFolder" stopprocessing="true">
<match url=".*">
<add input="{HTTP_HOST}" pattern="^(www.)?">
<add input="{PATH_INFO}" pattern="^/" negate="true">
<action type="Rewrite" url="\your\sub\domain\directory\path\{R:0}">

<rule name="SubWordpressFolder-wp" patternsyntax="Wildcard">
<match url=".*">
<add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchtype="IsFile" negate="true">
<add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchtype="IsDirectory" negate="true">
<action type="Rewrite" url="index.php">

Thanks to Samrat Saha on the WordPress Forums for this solution, which is based on this “Install WordPress on IIS” tutorial from Microsoft.

Note:Be sure to change the “www” to your subdomain name, “” to your primary domain name, and “\your\sub…” directory path to the actual path.

PS. The “R:0” are “back-references to condition patterns“.

4. Install WordPress Like Normal

You may not be able to use the one-click install application in Godaddy for a subdomain, but you can still manually install WordPress. First create a MySQL database. Record all of the info from setup such as database name, username, password, and host name. You’ll need all of that to configure WordPress. Next, download the latest installation files from Unzip the file and upload to your sub-folder using FTP. Once the files have been uploaded, go to [subdomain.primarydomain] and follow the prompts to create a configuration file.

Erich Stauffer Web Design

Erich Stauffer WordPress Web Design and Development for Small Businesses in the Greater Indianapolis Area

When our sales managers started to realize that what customers really cared about was the ability to control their own website, they realized that they were not just selling great looking web design and SEO services, but control and access to their websites, and the ability to change text or add pages as needed. From this point it was decided to be more transparent about the content management system (CMS) they were using to support their clients: WordPress.

WordPress is an open source CMS, originally used as a blog publishing application powered by PHP and MySQL, but has since been expanded to be able to support almost any web site. It has many features including a plugin architecture and a templating system and is used by over 12% of the top 1 million websites.

The most popular CMS in use today, WordPress was first released on May 27, 2003 and has since added features like integrated link management, a search engine-friendly permalink structure, the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to posts, and support for tagging. Finally, WordPress has a rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers like us to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install.

By embracing WordPress and having more upfront pricing, we think this greater transparency will lead to a better customer relationship over time. If you are interested in working with friendly, professional, and experienced WordPress developers, contact us today.