Changing Sharepoint Online Urls (Custom/Vanity Domains) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Summary

    I'd like to change/customize the urls for Sharepoint online, as part of a customer solution.  Particularly, our requirements are not to create redirect's (HTTP 301 or HTTP 302), but instead change the urls completely (HTTP 200).


    The following url's need to change:

    • Private Site Collection
    • My Site
    • Public Web Site

    Currently, if the company is Acme, then the urls are:

    • acme.sharepoint.com
    • acme-my.sharepoint.com
    • acme-web.sharepoint.com

    I've got a enterprise (E3) plan, yet I can only change the address of the public web site.  And even then, I can only set it when it's created.  Ideally, we would like to develop the site collection and change the url when it's ready.  Eg:

    • During development, the address might be:  www-dev.acme.com
    • Once it goes into production, the address would be changed to: www.acme.com


    1. How do I use a custom domain for the private site collection? 
      I have already created a CNAME dns entry and have added it to office 365.  However, when I create a private site collection, the drop down contains a single entry: acme.sharepoint.com.  This does not meet the customers' requirements.
    2. How can I change the address for a public site after it has been created?
    3. Is it even possible to change the my sites host location?
      On the User Profiles Administration screen, the text box is disabled and it mentions changing the host location by creating a My Site Host collection.  Unfortunately, this is not possible, as attempting to create one results in the error message:

      'The My Site Host template is not available for new site collections in SharePoint Online. A My Site Host site collection was automatically created for you when you signed up.'

      It would be nice if the default url used english.  Ie, my-acme.sharepoint.com, instead of acme-my.sharepoint.com.

    I've seen a few other questions where someone has asked about CNAME's and the response talks about redirects.  These are different things and a redirect is surely not what I want.  Please do not respond with anything mentioning redirects - my customer doesn't want to hear anything about them.




    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 7:57 AM

All replies

  • You can change the URL of the Public web site at any time.  Go to SharePoint online, select manage site collections, select the site collection you want to change and click on the Website domains button.  You will then be prompted to select from the list of public domains you have added to Office 365.  So it can be set to www.acme-dev.com during development, and www.acme.com when it goes live.  That's using seperate domians.  Not sure you can get exactly what you want with seperate subdomains.  But its close.

    To the best of my knowledge you can't change the domain for the mysite host or the Private site collections.  The only thing you can do with them is to setup a url with your ISP that redirects to the internal address.  The URL in the address bar will change when you access the site, but you will be able to access the site using the alternate address.

    Paul Stork SharePoint Server MVP Chief SharePoint
    Architect: Sharesquared Blog: http://dontpapanic.com/blog
    Twitter: Follow @pstork
    Please remember to mark your question as "answered" if this solves your problem.
    • Proposed as answer by Eric Skaggs Wednesday, April 2, 2014 3:07 PM
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:21 AM
  • Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your response.  I've been digging around since I posted my question yesterday.  For clarity, it's probably easiest if I integrate your answers with what I've learned, in the format of the questions above.


    1. You cannot change the url for a private site collection.
      If the alternate access mapping feature was exposed, then it could be done.
    2. You can change the address for a public site by selecting the public web site and then clicking "Web Site Domains". 
      A dialog titled "Rename Your Website" appears and provides a drop down box containing all registered domains.  It doesn't need to be a seperate domain, ie www.acme-dev.com.  It could be anything which you have registered as a domain.
    3. You cannot change the address of the My site collection.
      This is because you cannot create a site collection using the "My site host template".  In addition, even if you could find a way to create a custom site collection based on the My site host template, you could not change set the my site host location to this new url, because the textbox is greyed out and cannot be edited.  I'm looking around to see if this is only disabled on the client side.

      It seems that the url for my sites would be better like this:


      as opposed to:


      This is because I generally use the word "my" before I say something, not after.  I can't say "stereo my" or "tv my" or "fridge my", but somehow I'm explaining that "sharepoint-my" is the way it has to be and cannot be changed.

    I've found that the public web site functionality is quite limited, but only because of the user interface which is provided.  I.e.  You can turn on/off features and make a huge amount of (required) changes by browsing to:

    http://<your public web site domain>/_layouts/settings.aspx

    I really like SharePoint, but when it comes to SharePoint online, it's almost like it returns a CAML response saying "half baked edition".  There are reasons for everything, but when it comes to SharePoint online, I can't make sense of the decisions which were made.  Trying to explain these deficiencies to a customer is really quite difficult.

    Oh well...

    • Proposed as answer by Keenondots Thursday, November 2, 2017 9:18 PM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 5:25 AM
  • Your statements are correct.  What you are missing is that most of what you are seeing is because you are in a multi-tentant system, not just because MS change the UI.  For example, you can't create your own MySite host because you are already sharing a MySite host with other tenants in the system.   Multi-tenancy allows this sharing while hiding the fact that you are sharing.  It doesn't provide for each tenant to have their own MySite host.  I agree that I don't care for the way the naming was done, but thats the way it is and you'll habe to live with it.

    If you want to understand the underlying reasons for a lot of these things then read up on Multi-tenancy.  That's what is at the heart of most of it.  Here's one of the best coverages available:


    Paul Stork SharePoint Server MVP Chief SharePoint
    Architect: Sharesquared Blog: http://dontpapanic.com/blog
    Twitter: Follow @pstork
    Please remember to mark your question as "answered" if this solves your problem.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 11:07 AM
  • Do I understand that correctly that Microsoft SharePoint Online is a mess of limitations and restrictions that can't even be used to do anything practical at all? So you can add tons of domain names like intranet.mydomain.net, internal.mydomain.net, extranet.mydomain.net and then you can choose which of them should be the public-facing website and all the rest will just do nothing? But you can still add them and redirect them to SharePoint? Just so users can see a not so funny page not found page?

    And that public-facing website is just extremely ugly.

    Saturday, September 1, 2012 8:11 AM
  • You can customize the public facing website, but you need to be familiar with SharePoint Developer and working and creating Master Pages.   I agree it is limited, but with some PowerShell scripts and little effort in the Developer, you will have a more pleasing site.  I have recently began customizing our site with menus and the whole 9 yards.

    http://www.qubelogic.net; http://www.kubelogic.net; and I have two more in the works.  Also, the 2013 version has a lot more customization and flexibility.  Looking forward to the upgrade.

    Thursday, April 18, 2013 3:59 PM
  • don't mislead readers: PowerShell is not available for Office365/Sharepoint Online.

    but yes great customisations can be done if the right designers are doing it and if time allows, please refrain from editing Master Page, especially now in 2013 there are other best practice ways using Design Manager.

    Saturday, September 7, 2013 5:49 PM
  • Sorry Francois but yes it is, albeit in a very cut down form.


    And why say refrain from editing the MasterPage? Microsoft gave you the ability to connect Dreamweaver, and to use the MasterPage (via the design manager) snippets to build your own Master Page for exactly the reason that people wanted to be able to customise SharePoint and have their public facing web sites look less SharePointy..

    The article below shows you how to build a SharePoint 2013 MasterPage and apply it to your Office 365 site.



    Please ensure that you mark a question as Answered once you receive a satisfactory response. This helps people in future when searching and helps prevent the same questions being asked multiple times.

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:29 AM
  • Yes I am aware of the remote cut-down powershell. Would use it for managing sites but not for customise it.

    Not editing MasterPage directly I meant, yes you should edit in Dreamweaver or other apps which is a great improvement and then upload the HTML file into Design Manager which will convert it into Master format, but not edit (anymore) the MasterPage in SPD like before.


    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:50 AM
  • Ah gotcha.. it sounded like you were saying don't customise the masterpage.

    I actually use SPD 2013 to edit my Masterpages directly in the Masterpage library of my dev environment once I've created the minimal masterpage. I tried using Dreamweaver and other editors, but I kept suffering from lots of authentication errors and other issues.

    In the end SPD 2013 gave me the best experience, just no designer view 8-)


    Please ensure that you mark a question as Answered once you receive a satisfactory response. This helps people in future when searching and helps prevent the same questions being asked multiple times.

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:38 AM
  • Do you have more information on how to redirect the ISP to the internal address?


    Tuesday, March 11, 2014 9:05 PM
  • This is just blatantly wrong.  There has always been a SPO accessibility via PowerShell, you just have to know how to use it.  Its far easier now that it was, but I have been working with SPOP and SPO for that past 10 years and have always used powershell.  You are obviously mis-informed
    Tuesday, October 15, 2019 5:42 PM