How to set up a website

Please note: websites are suitable for more technical users. We support static webpages only, and do not plan on adding support for dynamic websites or website builder functionality.

Account administrators can publish files from their file storage area to let others access files. The domains you can use include <Fastmail username>.<domain>.<tld>, any aliases* you have, or anything you like inside your own domains.

If your Fastmail address is inigomontoya@fastmail.fm, then the website address would be http://inigomontoya.fastmail.fm. If you have an alias dreadpirateroberts@example.fm, the website address would be http://dreadpirateroberts.example.fm

Only administrators for an account can configure a website.

You can create each website through the Websites page, and choose which folder is displayed for that website.

Types of websites

Creating a standard website

  1. Create a new folder for your website files
  2. Add files to the folder
  3. Create a website

Additional customisation

Managing domains

Create a new folder in your files

  1. From the menu in the top left, go to the Files page.
  2. Optionally select the parent folder you want to create your folder in, or leave as My Files.
  3. Use the New Folder button. A new text field appears.
  4. Name your new folder. When you hit Enter or click elsewhere on the screen, the new folder will be saved.

Add files to your new folder

Click your new folder to open it. To add files, use the Upload button, or drag and drop files from your computer file picker onto your web browser window.

When selecting files to upload (either through the Upload file chooser, or for drag and drop), your computer's usual mechanism to select multiple files also works here. (Windows: ctrl-click, Mac: command-click)

Create a website

Once you have uploaded files to a folder, you can create a Website, located on the Settings screen menu. This will take you to the Websites page. To create a new website:

create website screen

  1. Click Create Website at the top of the screen.
  2. Choose the the web address where your website will be published in the URL section. Use the drop-down to select the domain you wish to use. The available domains include your aliases and personal domains. Optionally, you can add a further subdomain section before it, or a path after it. If you are using your own domain, you must host your name servers with Fastmail, not just your MX records.
  3. HTTPS: You can choose to encrypt your website with Let's Encrypt HTTPS if you are using a personal domain hosted with Fastmail for your website.
  4. Publish as options:

    • Website if you have uploaded HTML pages for your website
    • Photo gallery to let visitors browse the files presented in a photo gallery format
    • Redirect to set this website URL to direct to another external site.
  5. In the Publish folder section, select the folder that you've uploaded your website files to.

  6. If you'd like to set a password to make your website private, you can specify one in the Password field. This will deny access to anyone who does not know the password.
  7. In the Website options section, choose whether you want to list the folder contents if there is no index.html file present. If you enable this option, you can also allow visitos to upload files to the published folders. We recommend setting a password in this case.
  8. Click the Save button.

    Your webpages are now published and accessible at the web address you specified.

website

A note on hosting content on our domain

If you are not using your own domain, you will publish your content to an address based on your username or alias, for example http://joebloggs.fastmail.com. Please note that for security reasons, the content is actually hosted at http://joebloggs.fastmail.com.user.fm. Addresses without the user.fm suffix will work, but will immediately redirect to the same address with the suffix.

Encrypted access

If you're using an address based on your username and you've set a password on your site and would like to access your files over an encrypted connection, you can do so by using the special address of the form below:

https://user.fm/yourusername.fastmail.com/

If you are using a custom domain hosted at Fastmail, you can enable SSL encryption when creating your website. You may be interested in our additional information on Let's Encrypt SSL certificates.

Set a homepage

You can have a default page that visitors will see when they view your folders. This file can be called either index.html or index.htm. It must be lower case. If both index.html and index.htm are present, index.html will be shown.

The website hosting facility is only designed to host simple static webpages. For scripting and database functionality please use a full web hosting provider.

404 pages

To add a custom 404 (Not Found) page to your website, upload a file named 404.html to the top-level directory for your website.

Use your own domain

If you are hosting your domain's DNS with us, there's nothing special to set up.

If you are not hosting your domain's DNS records with us, you will need to set the appropriate DNS records to point to the Fastmail servers. You need a CNAME record pointing to web.messagingengine.com for the domain you want to use.

It can be tricky to set up CNAME records properly. It is probably preferable to host your DNS with us, unless you thoroughly understand DNS, and know what you're doing. Remember, even after you have updated your DNS records, you still need to configure the website on the Websites screen as outlined above.

Website-only domains

In some rare cases, users want to host websites at Fastmail, but want to host DNS and/or email for their domain elsewhere. In that case, you should preferably point your domain to the CNAME record web.messagingengine.com. Because setting a CNAME record for your parent domain can break things, including email delivery, we recommend you set the CNAME for www.yourdomain.com. If you absolutely must use IP addresses, you can currently use 66.111.4.53 and 66.111.4.54, but we recommend against this where CNAME or hosting DNS with us is possible.

*A note about aliases

Aliases with a . (dot) in them can't be used to create a website. The reason for this is around "namespace" management.

We are trying to map all email addresses (usernames and aliases) to URLs. We do this by converting name@fastmail.com to http://name.fastmail.com. In general, that's simple and works well, but there are slightly different implications with URLs to email addresses.

If you own or control the URL http://name.fastmail.com, then people generally expect that you also own/control any subdomain of that url, such as http://sub.name.fastmail.com. The page that lets you create websites also assumes this, allowing you to create any subdomain of any URL you control.

To avoid potential problems or complications, we don't allow you to create webpages using aliases with a period.

Usernames containing a dot are fine: they are internally translated to an underscore.

Website redirects

A redirected website allows you to set up a URL within your domain, but sending your users elsewhere when they visit it.

There are three different redirect options when creating a website, controlled by the Publish As field:

  1. Redirect to external site: sends viewers to another URL when they visit your website.
  2. Cloaked redirect: sends viewers to another website but leave the URL as your website. Note that some websites do not allow you to perform a cloaked redirect. This is to prevent you from presenting their content as your own.
  3. Internal redirect to site: redirect to elsewhere within your website.

For best practice website management and SEO purposes, if you'd like to notify your users that a redirect is permanent, then insert "301" at the start of the redirect URL. (For example: 301 https://www.fastmail.com) By default, Fastmail will use a "302" redirect, which indicates that the redirect is only temporary.