Buying a cheap secure domain with e-mail and configure for Azure

Arvid Sahlin
Aug 13, 2018 · Unlisted

This guide is a small part of the serverless journey part 1, but felt a little off topic so I moved it here instead.

Since I like to keep my domain purchases outside of Azure I’m voting for selecting namecheap or some other cheap registrar insted.

https://www.namecheap.com/

Signing up with namecheap is very fast and once in go to Domains / Search domains and find your fantastic app/business name and add to cart.

We are going to select two options here to make life simpler, add the ‘Private email FREE’ to cart (only free for two month) and also add the ‘Positive SSL’. You will definitely need ssl later on and it’s a good thing to get this going straight away to make your site look professional.

Complete your purchase.

At the time being we’ve spent a staggering $13 for a .com domain including a SSL-certificate.

Even though you could use namecheaps DNS I don’t recommend it, I’m opting to select the Azure DNS instead. This will cost you a smaller amount but I find it more convenient to manage that inside the portal.

Go to you Azure portal to set this up.

  • Create resource — search for DNS Zone and click Create.

Enter your domain name and select your region.

I recommend choosing the region where your first target customers are (you can always expand later). If you don’t know which region to choose, select the one with lowest latency for you by testing at http://www.azurespeed.com/

Next in the form is to fill in the resource group. You can think of the resource group as a way to keep track of a collection of sub resources. For example, if you start up a VPS that server is going to have a network card, a hard drive and so on as different resources. The resource group lets you handle all the connected pieces i Azure easily in order to move or delete the server. Try not putting unrelated stuff in the same resource group but rather create new for each different resourc. A good naming convention is to add a suffix of -rg after the resource name as resource group name. For the dns a great name could be ‘globalserverlessdns-rg’. If you felt like dns-rg would have been a great name, think about how you would have named your second sites DNS Zone later on.

Click Create. After a while you will get a notification in the portal that your resource is completed. Select it.

In the overview-pane for DNS Zone you will see four name servers. We are going to take these and configure in namecheap.

In namecheap go to your domain list and select manage for your domain.

https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/767/10/how-can-i-change-the-nameservers-for-my-domain

On the row ‘Nameservers’ select ‘Custom dns’ and add the four azure nameservers. Save it.

Go back to Azure portal to add some records for your mail hosting.

https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/article.aspx/1340/93/open-xchange-records-for-domains-with-third-party-dns

Both mx-records should be on the same record set

Select the globalserverless DNS Zone in Azure and add a record set.

The first three records in the guide are the only mandatory but I suggest adding also the last four in order to make it easier to work with for example outlook.

Now that we have added the DNS records, lets go back to namecheap again to set up an account. Domain list -> manage -> private email -> Manage

Select create mailbox and add your first.

When you have added it you should for now also select this as your Catch-All Mailbox. This is convenient now if you need to use for example webmaster@yourdomain and don’t want to pay extra to set this mailbox up.

Let’s see if it works already! (Remember that DNS changes can take many hours to complete but usually it works pretty fast for new domains).

If you set up the last DNS entries from the guide you should be able to go to: mail.yourdomain and you will be redirected to https://privateemail.com/appsuite/

Log in.

Send a mail to your new address (from somewhere else) to try it out.

It works! Happy days! If not, start by waiting a few hours to see if it’s a DNS issue. Also, be prepared that the spam filter is a bit hard so check the Spam folder or turn it off.

Good luck!

Unlisted

Arvid Sahlin

Written by

I'm a developer and start-up guy. Right now I'm into serverless technologies. Founding partner of bodhiapp.io and bitjoy.se