Host headers for SharePoint / Rename Web Application

Note: This article is old and may not be revised to reflect changes with the product terminology etc. This was written for WSS/MOSS 2007, Windows 2003 and IIS 6.

Change your existing host header in SharePoint ( WSS or MOSS 2007 )

Do you want to publish your SharePoint intranet or internet site to your users with a nice friendly url (or hostheader)?

This article can be also used if you want to rename your web application.

You would have to change the Alternate Access Mappings in SharePoint.

In SharePoint Central Administration, Click Operations.
In Operations, under the Global Configuration area, click Alternate access mappings

SharePoint Operations

Next to Alternate Access Mapping Collection, click on the down arrow and click on ‘Change Alternate Access Mapping Collection’.

Change Alternate Access Mapping Collection


Select your Web Application

Select your Web Application

Click on Edit Public URLs

 Edit Public URLs

Then type in your desired URL (hostheader) in the Internet field as shown below:
For Example:

 Internet field

Alternatively, you can change the Intranet field for SharePoint intranet deployments. Those are just labels for various “zones” in SharePoint.

Click Save and youre done!

Next step is to add the host header in IIS.
Update: 29th July 2013:Thanks to “AbuBenAdam” for pointing this out.

But before you go, make sure your DNS resolves to your web server IP address. Ping and make sure that works. You could also modify your hosts file to test this out.

You have now successfully enabled SharePoint to resolve requests to your new URL.


5 thoughts on “Host headers for SharePoint / Rename Web Application

  1. Hi Jeremy

    I renamed a web application in MOSS exactly how you described it, and accessing the application with the new URL works like a charm. However, the crawler cannot index the renamed application any more (it only indexes the default.aspx page at the root of the application, but nothing else).
    Any ideas on why this happens and how this can be fixed?

    Thanks, Bruno

  2. I’ve used this method in the past with mixed results. It always seems to go fine in a lab, but in production I’ve found that this method leaves residual references to the old url which go unnoticed until you try troubleshooting something.

    A cleaner way to perform a rename is to extend the web app to a temp url using a different zone, remove the original, extend to the new url on the default zone, then remove the temp. It is a more convuluted process though, and any manual changes to web.configs or other files within the web apps virtual directory will need to be reconfigured.

  3. Thanks for sharing.
    Same as Aaron I found mixed results with just AAM, very often I had to add the host headers manually in IIS (or Host Binding in IIS7) and it was the safest way to have both URL work to point to same web app.

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