Apostol Apostolov

Practical thoughts about software

Custom domain to Windows Azure website

Disclaimer: The information in this post is a little outdated. Check out the more up-to-date information about configuring Windows Azure Websites with Domain.

Some time ago Windows Azure team posted a new 'version' to the the service.  I was and still am very thrilled about the new features they put in there. I like  the new interface very much and just love the TFS and GIT automatic deployments. Like the Azure team knew what would make the developers happy and more productive and they put it in there.

Naturally I began porting one of my sites(applications) on Windows Azure. I followed the procedure as it was described in the very detailed tutorials. If you haven’t tried it you should. It so natural and easy to use that I makes a big smile on your face.

Then I decided to point my domain to the Windows Azure website. So I searched the web to find some info and there was a good explanation in Azure’s blog. Now let me say – I’m not very good with managing domains etc.  Just a little less than a year ago I bought my first domain and made some tests with it. Never used it much as a whole.

And here was my first disappointment – we CAN point a domain to our hosted sited but only if they’re on a RESERVED instance. It seems that shared instances cannot have a custom domain.  It’s  good that the Azure team wants to fix that and will implement CNAME for shared instances in the future though. Hooray!

So next thing for me was to try switching to reserved mode and trying to attach the domain to a CNAME.  Following the explanation on Azure’s blog  – I made a CNAME configuration on my domain provider. I attached to apostol-apostolov.azurewebsites.net – the app that I was testing the domains with. Then I made so all the subdomains redirect to ‘www’ and I made  ‘www’ to be a CNAME pointing to apostol-apostolov.azurewebsites.net . The configuration looked like that:

cname

And then I typed my www.apostol-apostolov.com and  - well, I hit a wall.

server-error

So now what? I searched a little bit but every article out there had the explanation – make a reserved instance and point the domain with CNAME to the server alias and that is all. Maybe because I have little experience with domains I don’t know what I’m missing.

Finally after I was poking around a couple of hours I figured it out.

hostnames

You have to add the domain you’re pointing to the list of hostnames of your website. And voila! You have a fully functional site with domain in the new Windows Azure.

Now I’m thinking of making a little test  for a week or two on “how much will the reserved instance cost me”. And “how much will Windows Azure make my life easier on a daily basis”.

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Posted By: Apostol Apostolov

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