I'm embarrassed to say that I have spent a long time trying to figure out how to use my own domain name as a website on my own host with Office 365,

When I decided to use Microsoft for Exchange email several years ago I set up the Office 365 account using the wizard at office.com. I obviously just selected "next" and didn't pay attention to the "if you have your own website", so Microsoft just put in the settings to work with Exchange.

I had bought a domain name from Network Solutions decades ago and had my own host (currently Liquid Motion) where I hosted the website and used the included IMAP/POP3 email function. Once I set up email using Office 365, the website was gone...

I have read and read and read instructions online and contacted Microsoft and Network Solutions but only ended up more confused and unsuccessful. It seemed crazy to me that using your domain name for a website while having Office 365 email was so difficult.

It turns out the solution is very simple. I fell upon it by mistake and want to memorize what I've discovered.

The concept I was missing was that Microsoft replaces Network Solutions as the DNS manager for all things. After years of managing my domain names at Network Solutions, I had a hard time understanding that (DUH!)

Fortunately I have three Office 365 accounts. One of them is only used by me, so messing things up had no significant consequences. That's where I started.

The first thing I did was go to Network Solutions and change all the setting to point to my host. Now I had a website, but Office 365 didn't work (when you make changes at Network Solutions you have to use them as your host - it's a real hassle and you need to remember to change it back once you're finished)

I then went back to Office 365 and ran the wizard and didn't select "next" at the "have your own website" section. I indicated that I was using Network Solutions and Microsoft went out and got the information and added the correct entries to use their email. When I ran the "Check DNS" wizard I got an error message that it was seeing my host name instead of Microsoft's and email didn't work.

Again, my problem was not understanding that Microsoft handles ALL DNS - I was still thinking that my host address was where I should point things.

Since it was late and I was frustrated, I decided to just put things back the way they were and deal with it later. I went back to Network Solutions and pointed back to Microsoft. VIOLA, since the Microsoft wizard had already pulled my host IP address and domain name, it was still there and everything worked! Gee - what happened???!!

This is where the first lightbulb went on - always point to Microsoft. I got it. Microsoft is handling everything it just needs to know the information about where your domain name is hosted.

So the next day I decided to tackle my husband's business Office 365 email account. I went to Network Solutions and changed where the domain name server pointed (to my host). I then went back to Office 365 and ran the wizard and it pulled the information and added it to the list. I then went back to Network Solutions and changed where it pointed back to Microsoft. It worked.

This morning I was going to work on my family Office 365 account - having email that didn't work wasn't an option so I needed to make certain I knew what I was doing. I compared the DNS record of my other two Office 365 accounts and noticed that they just included 4 extra DNS settings. I wondered what would happen if I just added them by clicking on the "+ New Custom Record".

I added two "A" records (@ and FTP) with the host IP address, and two CNAME records (mail and www) with my domain name and saved.


So, to use your domain name with Office 365 is VERY SIMPLE. Just add the four records (FTP, @, mail, and www) to your existing account at Office 365/Admin/Setup/Domains. It couldn't be easier (and you don't need to deal with Network Solutions or anyone else!)

I then added my domain to my host,  set up a FTP account, uploaded an "index.html" to the public_html folder and I now have a website when I type in my domain name. EASY PEASY!

AND I have Office 365 Exchange email!

Life is good...

(I had another humerous tech experience today - when I tried to post this article it caused a ModSecurity Rule at my host to block my IP address. Apparently some of  the words I used appeared to be an effort to insert malious code. Liquid Motion was able to quickly "fix" it by whitelisting me.. Computers - they can make you crazy - but we still love them!)

Will came by yesterday and we did some hands-on work on a test website. He's expressed an interest in learning web development.

Amazon messed up delievery two times this week - I was supposed to get Will's birthday gift on the 16th - it didn't come until the 18th - and I was told two CSS books I ordered were lost so I contacted them and they replaced the order - but both of them came (which meant I needed to contact them again!). Hopefully this was just a fluke...what a mess.

I got the replacement card for CWR and tried to update it on PayPal - what a hassle. I hadn't changed our address yet, so it went round and round saying I couldn't change the address since it was linked to a card, and saying I couldn't add a card with our new address. Finally, I removed the original card, edited my info, and added a new card...(and then I had spaces in the number, which you can't have, so it took a while for me to figure that out!) I've been working with computers for decades, but they still mess me up...

I watched the Joomlashine video about editing CSS and finally know how to do it using Firebug - it's actually easy. I'm sorry I didn't take the time to watch the video sooner. I was able to get the tag container looking the way I wanted.

Richard is going to Sams this afternoon and we'll have steaks for dinner tonight.

We watched the finale of Halt and Catch Fire on Saturday - we'll really miss it!


I keep having to Google to find the solution - here it is... 

"I found a much easier way that works within the search module... Just add a single space in the "Box Label" Field...."

I sure wish Joomla added a click box, but knowing all these obsurce things is part of the joy.


The site is back together and working well. I still need to check on the tags display page, but otherwise I've been able to finally optimize it (I wonder where the problem is on the older sites with the older templates) and have it perform correctly. I've backed up and I'm good to go...

Tonight is Halt and Catch Fire - I'm going to go get ready and relax for a while. I have a terrible cold with chest congestion but I think it's starting to get better (knock on wood)


We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

 A pessimist sees the difficullty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Winston Churchill

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Carl Jung

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