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IIS Issue: HTTPS pages are not loading: "Page Load Error"

Last Modified: 2013-11-16
I have little experience with Server Administration.  I am working on a .NET site right now where I am just uploading files via FTP and their "Computer Administrator" is dealing with setting up the security.  However, he doesn't seem to know what is going on here.

We had the site working at www.somename.com/something but have since tried to move it to www.somename.com .  The site appears but with one problem.  When I try to go to the login page which is linked to a web application, it does not appear.  This happens with any https pages that I view within the site (there are two).  

These pages were working just fine before the move.  Any ideas?  
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Do the sites work with http and just not https?  If so, then you probably have a redirection issue where something is trying to use http and is being blocked.

if not, then check your configuration files and your code.  You have changed the relative path of the application so if anything has the path hard coded to look into or refer to the sub directory then this is going to break, since it is not there any more.

As a test to see if it is the directory reference, try creating a new virtual site on a different port.  Give it a different starting directory and then configure a virtual directory to point to the root of the site where the app is location ... this should reproduce the original structure (just on a different port) so that you can test the code ... assuming you did not make any code/configuration changes to facilitate the move to begin with.

If this works, check your code, you have something with a hard coded reference to the sub directory.


I can see in the address bar that these links are going to the correct location with the HTTPS:// preceding the address.  

When the page comes up do a view source and see what is in the page ... see if there is a full URL reference to the sub directory in there.  A reference to a JS page on the site that controls content could cause a problem like this if it cannot load the js code.


When I viewed the source it is correct.  Looks something like this .... href="https://www.mysite.com/mysub/"

Didn't you move the "mysub" content to the root of the server ... this is not going to work if the code is not there.


I guess I need to explain better.  No code has been moved anywhere but rather their administrator pointed www.mysite.com to the virtual directory where our .NET site is.  The mysub content has always been in the root and has never moved or been modified during our development or moving process.  

Would it be better to just have him move our site to the root?

In which case if you browse the site it should no longer be there.
Based on this information your old structure would have been ...

   - mysub
   - something (app directory)

You changed root so it now points to something which means there is no mysub directory any more, it is at a higher level than the root of the server.

- mysub
- Root/something  (app directory)

If this is the case then youcan do one of two things ...
1. have them create a virtual directory in the new root folder back to the folder
2. copy/move the folder into the new root folder (move would be preferred so that you do not have multiple copies but you might want to copy first, test, delete original if/when it works)

The virtual directory is the easiest but it is worth considering option 2 to keep the structure clean and physically matching the actual references.  No right or wrong, depends on what meets your needs.


If this was the problem, wouldn't the HTTPS page within the project that is not working, be working like all the other pages within the project.

If the page is located within the subfolder then yes, it SHOULD ... it is possible that the browser or IIS has that paged cached which is allowing it to be displayed.  If it is not in the sub folder then no, it will display just fine and just have a problem with the content.


Below is an example outline of what I am talking about.  There are secure pages within the project that are not displaying and secure pages outside the project that are not displaying.  Basically, if it is a secure page, it is not displaying and the administrator claims he has set up security properly.

Project root
default.aspx -Displays fine
->file1.aspx - Displays fine
->file2.aspx - Displays fine
->form1.html - Displays fine
->file3.aspx -Displays fine
->file4.aspx -Displays fine

mySub Project root in different location

What is the content of secureForm.html?
Page Load Error implies that the page is accessbile but that something within it is causing problems.
And, are all of these pages being accessed via https?
Can you access the page via http?  Obviously not if the page has been restricted to SSL only but I thought I would ask.


Yeah if I try it with HTTP in front, it says "Page not found".  Only the secureForm.html and secureLogin.html are being accessed using HTTPS.  There should be nothing wrong with the content of these pages since they were working just fine before the move.  I am going to try and find out more about exactly what the administrator did during the move.  

Try using https on any other page ... SSL only will restrict access to only SSL but no reference will make it available through either ... so, if you can access a working page via SSL then the SSL configuration should be correct.  If a working non-ssl page does not work over ssl then its the ssl configuration that is the problem.

If ssl is working then there is almost certainly something in the page that is causing the problem.  There could also be a problem in the web.config if there is one.  See if you can get a copy of this file and see if there are any hard coded references to the sub directory that might be causing a problem.


Ok, I tried to go to one of the working pages with HTTPS in front and it did not work.  So is it for sure an SSL issue?
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


Thanks for the help cj 1969.  I have opened another question that focuses on all possible SSL issues.  See link below:


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