How to Really Map a Namecheap URL to Your Static Azure Cloud Website

You finally buy that cute-sounding website address, and then some time later, you pick a cloud platform to host your website. These days, that’s starting to be a typical scenario. Cloud computing has brought the price of owning your own website down to very reasonable costs. Likewise, with the expansion of website domain addresses beyond the classic “.com” URL, the cost and ease of getting your own web address has improved. But when it comes time to use your shiny new website address you bought at a domain name registrar like Namecheap.com to deploy your website to your inexpensive Azure cloud account, that’s where things get a little tricky.

Both Namecheap.com and Microsoft offer online Help articles to walk you through the process, but not specifically for deploying a Namecheap.com registered domain to a static Azure cloud storage account. Namecheap.com provides generic instructions for routing your URL to ANY cloud provider, and Microsoft offers generic instructions for creating DNS zone settings for URLs registered at ANY domain registrar, but no two domain name registrars and cloud platforms are the same. In other words, once you try to customize the settings for a specific Registrar-Cloud pair, the instructions can be frustrating. This article provides help for making your Namecheap.com URL work with your static Azure cloud website.

You may ask, “why not just buy the URL domain and website hosting from the same company, either Namecheap or Microsoft?” You can certainly do that, though Microsoft, as of this writing, does not sell domain name registrations. If you’ve hosted sites with WordPress or Shopify, you should know how this works. But what if, say six months later, you decide to switch hosting providers or the company goes out of business?

It’s a best practice to have your domain registrar separate from the hosting provider to avoid having one company monopolize your online presence. You can probably apply this help to other pairings, but you will likely encounter some hiccups along the way. But if simplicity is your number one goal, then it might be more convenient for you to have one company take care of everything for you. No need to read the rest of this article. But for those who already have a URL domain registered with one company (in this case, Namecheap.com) and are looking to host a website on another company’s cloud platform (in this case, Microsoft Azure).

Namecheap.com is my registrar, but most domain registrars work in similar ways. Without further ado, I will skip the verbosity and get right to it. The process of configuring your URL to work with your cloud account is as follows:

1. Have your URL domain registration info from Namecheap.com handy

2. In your cloud account portal, setup storage accounts for static websites

3. Configure your Azure cloud account so that your DNS configuration is ready to go with your DNS nameserver

Both Namecheap.com and Microsoft have tutorials to help you (links are provided). I won’t repeat the steps here. I suggest reading that now before continuing. I will focus on the details that are not so obvious that can frustrate you.

Read the rest here!

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