Visual Studio Publish / Web Deploy

Web deploy can be used to upload a site developed through Visual Studio to the web server.  Using web deploy can help avoid issues like missing assemblies that might occur when uploading a Visual Studio project through FTP.  Note that the steps below are for Visual Studio 2019 and 2022.  Additional information regarding Deployment Mode in Core can be found at the bottom of the article.

Set up a publish profile

In Visual Studio, right click the project and select Publish from the menu.

Select Web Server (IIS) as the publish target, then Next.

Select Web Deploy as the Specific Target, then Next.

The web deploy connection settings required are

Server: (replace "w##" with the Server Name from the Site Info pane; see below)
Site name:  the website's domain name / deploy path (if deploying to a subdirectory, it is added to the site name; ie,
User name:  the FTP username
Password:  the FTP password
Destination URL:  optional and can be left blank; for visiting the site after successful deployment

If there is a database, click Next to set up the connection string.  If not, click Finish.

Site Info

The connection settings for Web Deploy can be reviewed at Winhost Control Panel > Sites > the applicable domain name > Site Info pane.  You can also click on the Publishing Information link to download a profile which you can use to import into Visual Studio.  This will create 2 profiles, one for FTP and one for Web Deploy.  On Visual Studio 2022, it will create a 3rd profile (blank) which you can ignore.  You can select either one and enter your password to deploy.

Connection String

If a connection string is required for the deployed project, a Winhost database connection string can be found at Winhost Control Panel > Sites > the applicable domain name > MS SQL Manager > Manage ( applicable database ).  Note that the example Connection String does not contain the database password in plain text, so it will need to be updated after copying it to Visual Studio.  After adding the connection string, Save.


The default setACL behavior in Visual Studio will alter permissions on a Winhost site unless disabled in the publish profile.  After setting up the publish profile, but before actually publishing, right click on the project and select Open Folder in File Explorer.

The profile.pubxml file will be found in ..\appName\My Project\PublishProfiles or ..\appName\Properties\PublishProfiles (example below).  Drag and drop the file into Visual Studio to edit it.

Once open, add the following line to the PropertyGroup to disable the behavior.

And save the file.


After saving the publish profile, return to the publish pane and click Publish to deploy the project to the web server.  If there is an error on publish, open a ticket with the Support Department and provide the error in case the Web Management Service needs to be manually restarted.

ACL and Trust Level Errors

If setACL was not set to false before deploying, you may see general permission errors or, more specifically, the error below.

In cases of permission errors, open a ticket with the Support Department and ask to have the permissions reset on the site.

The error above can be easily confused with another similar error.  If you see the error below, you'll need to adjust the trust level setting of your app.

To adjust the trust level of the app, open the project's web.config and add

<trust level="Full"/>
to the system.web element, save, and redeploy the updated web.config.

Core Publish Settings

Deployment Mode is typically set to Framework-dependent for supported versions found on the following Knowledge Base article.  Self-contained deployment is selected when a newer version of .NET has not yet been rolled out to a site's web server.  In some rare cases, Self-contained deployment will also be used to include dependencies for an otherwise supported version of .NET.

Target Runtime is best set to win-x86 to match the site's app pool, which defaults to 32-bit.  Portable causing compilation on app startup, which can impact performance for larger apps.

Core Hosting Model defaults to InProcess for deployed apps.  If attempting to run more than one app from a single app pool, all Core apps will need to be changed to OutofProcess (case insensitive).  The hosting model can be changed by updating the .csproj file (left click on the Project name in Visual Studio) and adding the following to the PropertyGroup: