Host header site collection VS Path based Site Collections in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint gives the ability to create site collections with its own domain name while the web application has a different domain name, these site collections are called hostname site collections and their creation and behavior are different from regular path-based site collections which by default are created under http://sp2010/SITES/XYZ/. Below are 10 differences that I could gather which lays out the difference between hostname site collections and path-based site collections.

1. SharePoint 2010 Support
Host-Header Site Collection: Yes
Path-Based Site Collection: Yes

2. DNS Support
Host-Header Site Collection: Unique DNS name for each site collection i.e., or *

Path-Based Site Collection: Will to be the same as the web application

3. Use of Managed Path
Host-Header Site Collection: Yes
• Host-Header Managed paths are different from Path-based managed paths and cannot be used for each other.
• Managed paths created for host-named site collections are available to all host-named site collections within the farm regardless of which Web application the host-named site collection is in.

Path-Based Site Collection: Yes
• Host-Header Managed paths cannot be used for Path-based site collections and Vice versa

4. Creating Managed Path
Host-Header Site Collection: Powershell
New-SPManagedPath pathname –HostHeader

Path-Based Site Collection: Powershell, CA
New-SPManagedPath “Teams” -WebApplication “http://somestuff”

5. Alternate Access mapping Support
Host-Header Site Collection: No, since they are always in the same Default zone.
Path-Based Site Collection: Yes. And so supports multiple host header URL of its Web application using AAM

6. Co-Exist in the same Web application
Host-Header Site Collection: Yes
• As long as the host header bindings on the IIS Web site is not assigned to the Default zone of the Web application.
• Host header bindings in the IIS Web site can be applied to other zones of the Web application, this way Default zone will be used for host-named site collections allowing path-based site collections in other zones making use of alternate access mapping functionality.

Path-Based Site Collection: Yes

7. Multiple in Single Web application
Host-Header Site Collection: Yes
Path-Based Site Collection: Yes

8. Creating site collection
Host-Header Site Collection: PowerShell
New-SPSite -OwnerAlias DOMAIN\username – HostHeaderWebApplication http://servername/
Above command creates a site collection with the URL under the web application http://servername
Path-Based Site Collection: PowerShell, Central Admin
New-SPSite http://sitename/sites/test -OwnerAlias “DOMAIN\JDoe”
Above command creates path site collection under the web application

9. Protocol Support ( HTTP\ SSL)
Host-Header Site Collection :
• Support one at a time either HTTP or SSL depending on the Default zone of the Web application under which it is created.
• Need to create another web application with the default zone being https to have site collection as HTTPS

Path-Based Site Collection :
Supports both simultaneously since it’s web application can support multiple SSL certificates Each path-based site collection shares the same certificate assigned to the web application.

10. SSL Certificate Type
Host-Header Site Collection :
• Only Wildcard certs ( applies to a subdomain of the same domain) and Subject Alternate Name Certs(protects multiple hostnames with a single SSL cert) can be used.
• Cannot apply multiple SSL to a unique domain, need to create a different web application for each then.

Path-Based Site Collection :
Cert are based on Web application and not site collection. All certs that can be applied to the web application applies to the site collection.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *