9 Easy and Practical Recommendations to Improve IIS Performance

IIS hosts millions of websites around the world. Thanks to IIS Manager, it is easy to create and manage websites. Websites use default functional and performance settings which are efficient most of the time. However, you may want to fine-tune IIS performance for specific applications and cases.

Fine-tuning IIS Performance

In this post, I will explain 8 recommendations that potentially improves IIS performance. Most of the recommendations are compatible with IIS 7.0 and newer versions with a few exceptions. I will mention the exceptions in their respective section.

Recommendation areas:

  1. Output Caching
  2. Application Initialization
  3. Default Document
  4. HTTP keep-alive
  5. Cache-control Header
  6. Idle Time-out Action
  7. Dynamic Compression
  8. and 9. Other options (Queue Length, Enable 32-bit Applications)
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Solved: 503 Service Unavailable error related to Windows Admin Center

Windows Admin Center is a web application that makes it easier to manage multiple servers via multiple Microsoft tools such System Center, RSAT, Intune, and PowerShell. If you install Windows Admin Center in an IIS server, you may come across “503 Service Unavailable” error.

Note: This post explains 503 error related to Windows Admin Center only. If the root cause is not this product, check this post out: HTTP 503 Service Unavailable (Application pool has been disabled)

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What is Centralized Certificate Store (CCS) and how to use it?

CCS (Centralized Certificate Store) is feature we started using after IIS 8. It allows IIS to pick up website certificates from a network share instead of the local certificate store. For environments with multiple IIS servers, this is a feature that makes system administrators’ lives a lot easier. All you need to do is to add an IIS binding that points to CCS.

There are two steps to use CCS:

  1. Configure IIS to use CCS (a server-level setting in IIS)
  2. Add an IIS binding to your website. You can do it by
    • Using IIS Manager OR
    • Using PowerShell
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