How to set up a website

You can publish files in your file storage area on the web to let others access your files. The domains you can use include yourusername.yourmail.domain, any aliases* you have, or anything you like inside your own domains.

You can create each website through the Websites page, and choose which folder is displayed at that site. You can get to the websites screen by selecting the 'Websites' button from the Files tab.

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 app.
  2. Click the "More actions" drop-down menu and select Create subfolder. A new text field appears.

files overview and more actions dropdown

  1. Name your subfolder whatever `wish and click Do. The page refreshes and a new folder appears in your files list.

Add files to your new folder

Click the name of your newly created folder to open it. To add files, use the Upload section at the bottom of the page.

  1. Click the Choose File button to select the file you wish to upload. To upload more than one file at a time, click the Upload multiple button. Alternatively, zip the files on your computer then tick the Unzip checkbox and select the single zip file.
  2. Click the Upload button to add the files to your new folder.

Create a website

Once you have uploaded files to a folder, you can create a website by clicking the Websites button, located on the top and bottom right of the file list. This button will take you to the "File Storage Websites" page. To create a new website:

create website screen

  1. Look under the "Create website" section at the bottom
  2. Choose the the web address where your website will be published in the Website 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. Publish As drop-down:
    • "Files only" if you have uploaded HTML pages for your website
    • "Files and Dir listing" to let visitors browse the files in your website folder.
    • "Files and Dir listing with upload" if you want to allow visitors to your site the ability to upload their files. We suggest setting a password in this instance.
  4. In the File Storage Target drop-down, select the folder that you've uploaded your website files to.
  5. 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.
  6. Click the Create website 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'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/

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 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 of the issues with setting a CNAME record for your primary domain as described above, 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.

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.