Using your domain name as a website with Office 365
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!)