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Are these numbers just numbers chosen for the purpose of telling web apps apart? i.e. does the choosing of these port numbers follow some sort of protocol or is it simply just to distinguish between sharepoint web apps for the IIS? I know the default is 80 - but will a web app on 80 behave any differently to a new web app that I create on port 12345, for example? Thanks.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A port is a port is a port. SharePoint processes them all the same but any port other than 80 (for http) or 443 (for https) will need to include the port number in the url. That's about the only difference.

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Thanks Dave, appreciate your answer. But a port is not a port then really if 443 is specific to https. So are all https requests dealt with by 443 exclusively? I don't really understand that. Thanks again. – JᴀʏMᴇᴇ Apr 19 '12 at 15:40
Unfortunately, I cannot speak to https\SSL much more than that. I have heard of people who have moved it to another port but that is not something that I've been involved with. I do know that regular http works over almost any port though there are some that are recognized ( but if the 'official' app is not present, then http will work over that port as well. – Dave Wise Apr 19 '12 at 15:51
Thanks mate..... – JᴀʏMᴇᴇ Apr 19 '12 at 15:52
And don't forget to update the "Alternate Access Mappings" in Sharepoint Central Administration for your new site to include the port number in the access URL's. – Reddog Apr 20 '12 at 0:20

This is more a comment than an answer, but I don't have comment privileges yet. 443, by default, but not necessarily, is for the https protocol. You could use port 443 for another purpose, or you could put your https on a different port. A port is a port, but there are conventions, expectations, and reservations.

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