One of the coolest features of the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager (inetmgr.exe) is that you can run it locally on your client computer, and you can remotely manage your IIS server with it on a graphical user interface. Just start inetmgr.exe, then click the Connect to a Server item in the File menu:
This starts a simple wizard, and if the server has the Web Management Service installed, you can instantly connect to your server, to your website or to your web application.
It is very quick and simple, if and only if you have that menu item. Because it doesn’t exist neither on Windows 7, nor on Windows 8 or 8.1 by default. (Wait, you have a Save Connections (well, in disabled state), but why?)
In case of Windows 7 I understand the historical reasons, but I couldn’t find any logical explanation for the newer client operating systems. If if has to be a separate download it could be a part of RSAT.
Stop whining and let’s fix this issue instead. Start Web Platform Installer where you can search for example for “remote” to find the IIS Manager for Remote Administration v1.1:
Don’t be shocked by the 2011 release date, it is exactly the tool what you need. Click Add in the row, then Install on the bottom, and finally click I Accept in the next dialog to accept the license terms. The download and the installations starts, but suddenly stops with the following error:
The installation failed because it requires Windows 7 or newer. Come on, I’m on Windows 8.1, dude!
OK, try it again, but at this time click the Direct Download Link link in the license dialog:
This triggers your default browser which downloads the MSI installer into the folder you select. By the way you can find the download URL in the installation log as well by clicking the View log here link in the previous error dialog. In my case the installer was downloaded from here:
Before starting the installer, open the Properties dialog of the MSI file and check the Run this program in compatibility mode checkbox:
Click through the wizard, restart IIS Manager and now you can connect to your remote webserver. On the first connection IIS Manager may download additional modules just as usual: