We've had an existing site that has been built and deployed to for awhile now, mostly an internal beta site at http://beta.site.com which has been built up with an extended site on http://beta.site.com:81 for Search Crawling. Now the people up above decided that they want to make the site http://www.site.com, which means Search may be moved to http://www.site.com:81. My problem is figuring out the best method to do this. Is it better to do either of the following:

  • Rebuild the Web Application with a New URL
  • Use Alternate Access Mappings to re-point the locations

Or, is there a better way to handle this? My concern is all the dependencies with the site, the Term Store, the extended site, any underlying URLs that need to be moved (which I believe we have all of). From a few places I have looked there doesn't seem to be a good consensus on how to do this, from How to Change URL Web Application Name the article mentions using AAM to handle the redirects - though its for 2007 it probably will work for 2010. Or in Change the SharePoint URL mentions extending the site, but since I already have it extended that seems overkill. I have a feeling its either going to be do an AAM or rebuild with the new URL.

Does anyone have thoughts or been through this?

2 Answers 2


Rather than trying to modify IIS directly, I think it is better to do this in SharePoint Central Administration if you can, particularly if you have more than one web front-end server.

To change the URL of your SharePoint try this:

Go to Central Administration/Manage Web Applications and select the Web Application.

Click on the drop-down on the Delete button and select Remove SharePoint from IIS Web Site. Make sure the correct zone is selected if you have more than one. Select Yes to Delete IIS web sites. Click OK.

With the Web Application still selected, click on the Extend button and extend your web application into a new IIS web site (in the required zone). You now have a form similar to when you created the site, allowing you to set the port, host header and authentication settings.

This will create a new IIS site with the required URL. There is no need to re-create the web application or modify IIS directly.

  • This is awesome! I was hoping I could do something like this but didn't know it was possible. Thanks SPDoctor!! I am going to see if we can do this, it will definitely make things easier!
    – MichaelF
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 17:15
  • This has been really good for us and looks like it will be the way to go, some recent tests showed that many of the associated URL's in many of our service applications also got updated. Very nice, thank you!
    – MichaelF
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 13:53

If you stay on the same server I think that using AAMs is the easy solution. Just set the AAM and any hostheader bindings you still need in IIS. SharePoint should take care of the term store depencies although I am not 100% sure of this.

If you are concerned about hardcoded URLs, just make a redirect that points to your new domain for the old domain in iis. I've had an issue whereby http and https were causing a lot of problems and we took care of this using a redirect from http to https (no impact to the term store).

Recreating the webapplication is a pain since you might have to recreate a lot of settings such as installed wsp's, service application settings and whatnot.

So for me I would go for AAM's and IIS settings if needed and otherwise just not touch SharePoint.

  • I like this answer since I do not want to have to go through all the changes it would take to make a new URL, the AAM seemed easy and I want to sort of get a confirmation on that. Thanks!
    – MichaelF
    Commented May 27, 2011 at 15:36

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