How could I have my website running on IIS return the HTTP Header Code of 503 to the public, and at the same time be able to allow developer to continue developing it locally?

For example, if I use app_offline.htm, it will yield the 503 error to ALL (including the developers), but how could the developer have access and test on it?

Could we make app_offline.htm to be accessible to only a group a people? Or is there any other alternatives to have 503 and local development happen at the same time?

  • What defines a 'developer'? An IP Address? If so, you can setup URL Rewrites to analyze the IP address and permit/deny access based on that. May 10, 2014 at 13:23
  • Yes it is a range of IPs, I have successfully setup URL Rewrites to separate the traffic! Thanks! However, I could not use App_offline only for one group of the traffic, since it brings down the entire site and beats the purpose of separating IPs. Any solution to that? thanks
    – photonacl
    May 13, 2014 at 18:18
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    You should use the rewrite rules to analyze the IP and send them to the appropriate document. I misunderstood what you were doing with app_offline, that will force the entire site to go offline so that method probably won't work for you. I would instead enable/disable rewrite rules when you want to be in 'offline/dev only' mode. May 13, 2014 at 21:02
  • Yep that is what I'm going to do. The only down side for that is, for the "redirected" page, I'm assuming there is no way to make it return a 503 HTTP header then? Maybe just put "NO-follow, No-index" meta tag for that page?
    – photonacl
    May 14, 2014 at 17:01
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    Create a Construction index page in the TLD, then put the developer in a subdomain. Get rid of the rewrite all together. Once the developer finishes the work copy the subdomain to the TLD
    – eyoung100
    May 14, 2014 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


You might want to ask someone to migrate this to Stack Overflow as it's probably a more appropriate venue for questions concerning website development.

However, your developers shouldn't be 'developing' your live (or 'production') site directly; they should be updating another 'development' site instead and then 'deploying' changes, after they've been tested, to your production site (in a nice, easy, automated way). Doing this would completely obviate your desire for a solution to what you've requested.

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