How to Install PHP 5.3 on IIS 6

by Lonnie Lee Best
Lonnie Lee Best

Use this concise list of steps to install PHP onto IIS6. I used these exact steps to setup a Windows 2003 server to serve PHP 5.3 web applications through FastCGI on IIS6. I found this FastCGI method to serve php pages much faster than the old ISAPI way.

Install FastCGI for IIS 6:
Install PHP 5.3

I chose the Installer option, not the zip, and I chose Non Thread Safe version, after reading this article:
Set IIS To Use FastCGI for php requests:
  1. Open IIS: Start Menu > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services (IIS)
  2. Right click on "Web Sites", and click properties.
  3. Click the "Home Directory" tab.
  4. Click the "configuration" button.
  5. Click the "Add" button.
  6. For the executible browse here:
    For the extension put "php" (without quotes).
  7. Click the "OK" button. After this I was asked if I wanted to apply these settings to a list of website this change would effect. I rashly selected all, and proceeded. (Be careful on this. After I did this, I noticed that some of my 2.0 applications were over-set to use old .Net 1.1 again instead of .Net 2.0, and I had to go change each of them back to use 2.0 again)

Configure FastCGI by opening this file with notepad:


Add the following 3 lines to the bottom of this file and then save:

ExePath="C:\Program Files\PHP\php-cgi.exe"

Put your php.ini file in windows folder:


After this, I restarted IIS, and then I was able to host php scripts.

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About the Author

Lonnie Best has been using the internet since 1993, and has been making web pages since 1995. visit:

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