Copyright © 1999–2018 FastMail Pty Ltd
How to set up a website
Please note: websites are a legacy feature, and no longer receiving enhancements or development. While the feature remains available, it is primarily suited to technical users.
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
email@example.com, then the website address would be
http://inigomontoya.fastmail.fm. If you have an alias
firstname.lastname@example.org, the website address would be
Only administrators for an account can configure a website.
You can create each website through the Files → Websites page, and choose which folder is displayed for that website.
Types of websites
- Using your own domain whether hosted by us, or elsewhere.
- Website-only domains: content is hosted by us, but DNS/email hosted elsewhere.
Create a new folder in your files
- From the menu in the top left, go to the Files page.
- Optionally select the parent folder you want to create your folder in, or leave as
- Use the New Folder button. A new text field appears.
- Name your new folder and click Create folder. The page updates and a new folder appears in your files list.
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
- Look under the "Create website" section at the bottom
- 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.
- 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.
- In the File Storage Target drop-down, select the folder that you've uploaded your website files to.
- 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.
Click the Create website button.
Your webpages are now published and accessible at the web address you specified.
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.
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:
You might also be interested in our progress towards providing automatic secure website hosting.
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.
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.
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
220.127.116.11, 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
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.
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:
- Redirect to external site: sends viewers to another URL when they visit your website.
- 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.
- 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.