Now that Office 365 has been in Public Beta for a month, it’s finally time for me to publish my first blog entry on it.

I’m going to briefly show how you can add your own domain to your Office 365 P1 plan, which is the simplest plan available and suitable for small businesses up to 50 users. The drawback of this plan when it comes to domains is that you can add one domain only, multiple domains isn’t possible.
Please note that this guide is not valid for Enterprise plans, which are more flexible and thus also more complicated to set up.

Adding your own domain to your account is a 3-step process:

  1. Specify the domain (simply enter the URL)
  2. Verify the domain (you need to verify that you are the owner of the domain by adding a CNAME record. Microsoft does a good job at providing one with all the relevant information if you’re hosting your domain with GoDaddy, possibly also for other hosters.
  3. Once the domain is verified successfully, you need to modify its name server records so that any incoming request will be handled by the Microsoft name servers, and thus your Office 365 site is accessible through the domain.

To get started, log in to your account. On the overview page, click on Admin at the top:

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When you’re on the Admin Overview page, click on Add an verify your domain in the main content area, alternatively you can also reach it through the Domains link to the left.

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You’re now using the Add a domain wizard. As said before, the first step is to specify your domain. Enter it in the textfield and click Check domain

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Microsoft will then query the Domain registrar and registrant name information and display it. If this is correct (and it is in fact your domain), click Next.

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The next step now is to verify your domain. The screenshot below lists the information provided if you use GoDaddy.

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Once you have added the correct information as a CNAME record for your domain and click Next, the verification process will take place. If it is successful (so, if it is indeed your domain and you entered the exact information as provided), you need to move on to the last step.

The final task for you is to edit the name server records, so that any queries (emails, opening the site in the browser, etc.) don’t go to your original hoster’s name servers, but to Microsoft’s. Please note that this update can take up to 72 hours.

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Congratulations! You’ve just added your own domain name to your Office 365 in three (more or less) simple steps.

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Opening your domain in the browser, you will be able to see your site within 72 hours:

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The official help page for adding domains to your SharePoint Online / Office 365 public website can be found at http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-smallbusinesses/gg549209.aspx

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