With the rapid pace of Sitefinity CMS development, many sites still run an older version. Sitefinity 5, 4, even 3. We have one site which runs on Sitefinity 3.7. It works fine – though it’ll need an update soon!

Plus it needed to move to a new server.

We’re doing some server upgrades in our datacenter. Making sure we have fully-updated Windows Server 2012 servers in place & ready for use. The other day we started moving some of our web hosting clients onto newer 2012 servers.

Along the way we encountered a slight issue.

The client website still running on Sitefinity 3.7? It didn’t want to go anywhere.

We tried to migrate it over to a shiny new Windows Server 2012 R2 server. And it tried to stop us by crashing.

Our senior developer Brent went to work on the stubborn site. It didn’t take him too long to find the problem. The surprise was its source. The migration block originated not in Sitefinity, but in IIS!

The secret to migrating a 3.7-based website: Change IIS user permissions

The source of the issue stems from IIS user account permissions. In order for Sitefinity 3.7 to work properly, the IUSR user account must have full permissions on the web root directory.

But on Windows Server 2012, this is no longer the default setting. It changed from 2008 to 2012.

So to complete the migration, we had to add full permissions for the IUSR account to the web root folder manually. Brent did this in IIS Manager, but it’s also possible in Windows Explorer on the server.

If you need a quick reference, here’s the
TechNet page on IIS Manager Permissions
to help.

(TechNet page on IIS Manager 8, in case you need it too.)

Once Brent did that, the site migrated over and came back up without a peep. Now we’re just back to encouraging the client to move up to 6.3! (Or maybe jump straight to 7, if the migration path allows for it. Not sure about that yet…)

Have you encountered a migration issue with an older version of Sitefinity? Please comment or email us! We’d love to hear your stories.

How to Get a Sitefinity 3.7 Site Running on Windows Server 2012

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