For companies wanting to offer files to clients in an easily accessible way, HTTP-based file download is generally replacing FTP-based file serving. However, FTP is still a good file distribution method, particularly when a large number of files exist.

You can use several properties in IIS to personalize your FTP site. To configure these properties, open the IIS console, right-click the FTP site, and choose Properties.

The Messages tab is the place to go to configure the messages that users see when they first connect to the site, when they exit the site, and when they attempt a connection after the maximum number of client connections has occurred. You can use the three text boxes to personalize these messages to welcome the client to the site and offer tips on downloading or using the service.

The Home Directory tab lets you configure the way you want the site to appear to clients. The options in the Directory Listing Style group determine how the FTP site lists the files.

The UNIX option causes IIS to display information similar to a UNIX directory listing, and the MS-DOS option results in a directory listing like that on a DOS system. Users familiar with Windows and/or DOS will likely be more comfortable with the MS-DOS option, while more technical users might prefer the UNIX style.

Whichever style you choose, remember that restoring the previous directory listing style is as easy as resetting the option in the site's properties.