Porous silica-coated hollow gold-silver nanoshells were successfully synthesized utilizing a procedure where the porous silica shell was produced prior to the transformation of the metallic core, providing enhanced control over the structure/composition of the bimetallic hollow core. By varying the reaction time and the precise amount of gold salt solution added to a porous silica-coated silver-core template solution, composite nanoparticles were tailored to reveal a readily tunable surface plasmon resonance that could be centered across the visible and near-IR spectral regions (∼445-800 nm). Characterization by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that the synthetic methodology afforded particles having uniform composition, size, and shape. The optical properties were evaluated by absorption/extinction spectroscopy. The stability of colloidal solutions of our composite nanoparticles as a function of pH was also investigated, revealing that the nanoshells remain intact over a wide range of conditions (i.e., pH 2-10). The facile tunability, enhanced stability, and relatively small diameter of these composite particles (∼110 nm) makes them promising candidates for use in tumor ablation or as photothermal drug-delivery agents.