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Microsoft IIS Sub-Domain based PURL hosting setup

Last Updated: Dec 28, 2012 11:21AM MST

Setting up sub-domain PURL hosting on IIS

purlHub's Landing Page technology supports all forms of Personalized URLs, providing marketers options and maximum control over the URL format.  Sub-domain based PURL resolution (AKA: host based PURLs) (i.e. http://JohnSmithX3.example.com) is a frequently used format for print driven campaigns, as it offers simple format for manual address entry.

As a fallback, purlHub also supports Query String based pURL resolution (i.e. http://www.example.com/index.html?_purl=JohnSmithX3).  This is most useful for Landing Page testing and development in offline mode.  But has additional applications for cases where web server administrative support (IT) is limited, and the PURL URLs are distributed exclusively via email or a similar fashion supporting HTTP links.

This article offers a technical guideline to setup your Microsoft IIS server for sub-domain based pURL resolution.  

With sub-domain or host name based pURLs, the personalization code (purlCode) is included in the domain name part of the URL, usually as the 1st component ({purlCode}.mySite.com).  To host Landing Pages in this fashion, the following prerequisites must be in place.

  1. The DNS A record must be setup supporting a wildcard based host name resolving to the IP address of the webserver (*.mySite.com).  Use the "*" wildcard in the position of the domain name where you want to place the variable name {purlCode}.
  2. The IIS site must be bound to the IP that your domain name points to.  Note: As of this writing, no version of IIS to-date supports wildcard based host name binding.  This limits the IIS configuration to one wildcard host per IP address.  See the screenshot below for an example of Binding an IIS site to an IP address **Only.

Step 1, check with your DNS Registrar to see if they support wildcards in host names, if they don't you'll need to register the domain name through a DNS provider who does.  Some smaller DNS providers do not support this feature.   GoDaddy.com, a highly popular DNS Registrar, is one of many DNS providers that do support this option.

Step 2,  Add a site to your IIS host bound to the IP address that your wild card domain name resolves to.
At this point, IIS is setup to host Landing Pages with or without a personalization code (purlCode).


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