Getting a 503 Error Service Unavailable When Installing Episerver

Over the years, this issue has happened to me a few times and I always seem to forget the cause and spend 10-20 minutes remembering. This usually happens when I start working with a new client on a brand new laptop. After getting the solution to build, when I try to view the site in IIS I get a 503 error like so:


Looking in the windows application log, IIS log and Episerver logs never shows anything useful. After some head scratching, I usually have a look a the IIS roles installed on the server and that’s when I usually notice Url Rewrite is not installing.

That’s when I head over to the MS site, download it and install it. After doing an IIS reset the 503 usually goes away and I can see a stack trace. If you are in the same boat and nothing useful is being logged, then it’s a sign that the application hasn’t run yet and the issue is higher up in the pipeline. If you are getting a 503, make sure that any module your site depends on is installed and that all your IIS features look correct.

Jon D Jones

Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge

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2 replies
    • Jon D Jones
      Jon D Jones says:

      I always recommend Octopus and Chocolatey to clients for their deployment process. I never thought about using Chocolatey on its own just to sort my own machine out… it’s def a good idea 🙂


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