Static website hosting in Azure Storage

You can serve static content (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and image files) directly from a storage container named $web. Hosting your content in Azure Storage enables you to use serverless architectures that include Azure Functions and other Platform as a service (PaaS) services. Azure Storage static website hosting is a great option in cases where you don't require a web server to render content.

App Service Static Web Apps is a great alternative to Azure Storage static website hosting and is also appropriate in cases where you don't require a web server to render content. App Service Static Web Apps provide you with a fully managed continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) workflow from GitHub source to global deployment.

If you need a web server to render content, you can use Azure App Service.

Setting up a static website

Static website hosting is a feature that you have to enable on the storage account.

To enable static website hosting, select the name of your default file, and then optionally provide a path to a custom 404 page. If a blob storage container named $web doesn't already exist in the account, one is created for you. Add the files of your site to this container.

For step-by-step guidance, see Host a static website in Azure Storage.

Azure Storage static websites metrics metric

Files in the $web container are case-sensitive, served through anonymous access requests and are available only through read operations.

Uploading content

You can use any of these tools to upload content to the $web container:

Viewing content

Users can view site content from a browser by using the public URL of the website. You can find the URL by using the Azure portal, Azure CLI, or PowerShell. See Find the website URL.

If the server returns a 404 error, and you have not specified an error document when you enabled the website, then a default 404 page is returned to the user.

Note

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) support for Azure Storage is not supported with static website.

Regional codes

The URL of your site contains a regional code. For example, the URL https://contosoblobaccount.z22.web.core.windows.net/ contains regional code z22.

While that code must remain in the URL, it is only for internal use, and you won't have to use that code in any other way.

The index document that you specify when you enable static website hosting, appears when users open the site and don't specify a specific file (For example: https://contosoblobaccount.z22.web.core.windows.net).

Secondary endpoints

If you set up redundancy in a secondary region, you can also access website content by using a secondary endpoint. Because data is replicated to secondary regions asynchronously, the files that are available at the secondary endpoint aren't always in sync with the files that are available on the primary endpoint.

Impact of the setting the public access level of the web container

You can modify the public access level of the $web container, but this has no impact on the primary static website endpoint because these files are served through anonymous access requests. That means public (read-only) access to all files.

The following screenshot shows the public access level setting in the Azure portal:

Screenshot showing how to set public access level in the portal

While the primary static website endpoint is not affected, a change to the public access level does impact the primary blob service endpoint.

For example, if you change the public access level of the $web container from Private (no anonymous access) to Blob (anonymous read access for blobs only), then the level of public access to the primary static website endpoint https://contosoblobaccount.z22.web.core.windows.net/index.html doesn't change.

However, the public access to the primary blob service endpoint https://contosoblobaccount.blob.core.windows.net/$web/index.html does change from private to public. Now users can open that file by using either of these two endpoints.

Disabling public access on a storage account does not affect static websites that are hosted in that storage account. For more information, see Configure anonymous public read access for containers and blobs.

Mapping a custom domain to a static website URL

You can make your static website available via a custom domain.

It's easier to enable HTTP access for your custom domain, because Azure Storage natively supports it. To enable HTTPS, you'll have to use Azure CDN because Azure Storage does not yet natively support HTTPS with custom domains. see Map a custom domain to an Azure Blob Storage endpoint for step-by-step guidance.

If the storage account is configured to require secure transfer over HTTPS, then users must use the HTTPS endpoint.

Tip

Consider hosting your domain on Azure. For more information, see Host your domain in Azure DNS.

Adding HTTP headers

There's no way to configure headers as part of the static website feature. However, you can use Azure CDN to add headers and append (or overwrite) header values. See Standard rules engine reference for Azure CDN.

If you want to use headers to control caching, see Control Azure CDN caching behavior with caching rules.

Multi-region website hosting

If you plan to host a website in multiple geographies, we recommend that you use a Content Delivery Network for regional caching. Use Azure Front Door if you want to serve different content in each region. It also provides failover capabilities. Azure Traffic Manager is not recommended if you plan to use a custom domain. Issues can arise because of how Azure Storage verifies custom domain names.

Permissions

The permission to be able to enable static website is Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts/blobServices/write or shared key. Built in roles that provide this access include Storage Account Contributor.

Pricing

You can enable static website hosting free of charge. You're billed only for the blob storage that your site utilizes and operations costs. For more details on prices for Azure Blob Storage, check out the Azure Blob Storage Pricing Page.

Metrics

You can enable metrics on static website pages. Once you've enabled metrics, traffic statistics on files in the $web container are reported in the metrics dashboard.

To enable metrics on your static website pages, see Enable metrics on static website pages.

FAQ

Does the Azure Storage firewall work with a static website?

The storage account has a built-in firewall feature, but this firewall does not affect the static website endpoint. It can be used only to protect other storage endpoints, such as the blob, file, table, and queue service endpoints.

Do static websites support Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)?

Yes. However, there is no option to use Social Identity Providers, such as Google authentication or Facebook, using OpenID.

How do I use a custom domain with a static website?

You can configure a custom domain with a static website by using Azure Content Delivery Network (Azure CDN). Azure CDN provides consistent low latencies to your website from anywhere in the world.

How do I use a custom SSL certificate with a static website?

You can configure a custom SSL certificate with a static website by using Azure CDN. Azure CDN provides consistent low latencies to your website from anywhere in the world.

How do I add custom headers and rules with a static website?

You can configure the host header for a static website by using Azure CDN - Verizon Premium. We'd be interested to hear your feedback here.

Why am I getting an HTTP 404 error from a static website?

This can happen if you refer to a file name by using an incorrect case. For example: Index.html instead of index.html. File names and extensions in the url of a static website are case-sensitive even though they're served over HTTP. This can also happen if your Azure CDN endpoint is not yet provisioned. Wait up to 90 minutes after you provision a new Azure CDN for the propagation to complete.

Why isn't the root directory of the website not redirecting to the default index page?

In the Azure portal, open the static website configuration page of your account and locate the name and extension that is set in the Index document name field. Ensure that this name is exactly the same as the name of the file located in the $web container of the storage account. File names and extensions in the url of a static website are case-sensitive even though they're served over HTTP.

Next steps