Compare domain management in different Office 365 subscriptions

 

As you're considering which Office 365 subscription will best meet your needs, keep in mind the following differences in how you work with domains in a Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses subscription compared to a Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises subscription.

Functionality Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises

Adding and managing your domain

After you add and verify your domain in Office 365, Office 365 automatically configures Microsoft Exchange Online and Lync Online. When you add your domain, you’re required to point your DNS name server records to Office 365-hosted DNS servers. Name servers tell other computers on the Internet where to deliver your email and how to find your website.

After you switch your name server records, Office 365 hosts all DNS records for your domain so you no longer manage DNS records for your domain at your domain registrar. This means that if you want to make updates to your DNS records for your domain, you do that in the DNS manager on the Office 365 Admin page.

> [!IMPORTANT] > You still retain your billing relationship with the domain registrar for your domain.

With a Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses subscription, you can add second-level domains, such as contoso.com, or contoso.co.uk. You can’t add third-level or greater domains, such as partners.contoso.com. For more information about domain name levels, see Domain names.

After you add and verify your domain, you go to your domain registrar's website and use the information provided by Office 365 to configure the required DNS records for the Office 365 services in your subscription.

After you add your domain to Office 365, you continue to manage your DNS records at your domain registrar, or on premises, if you manage your own DNS file locally, for example, to add or update MX or CNAME records.

With an Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises subscription, you can add any level domain that you’d like, such as contoso.com, partners.contoso.com, or marketing.contoso.com.

Setting up a public-facing website

When you sign up for Office 365, a SharePoint Online website that you can customize and use as a public-facing website is provided for you. After you add your domain to Office 365, you can update Office 365 so that the address (URL) for that website uses your domain name—for example, www.contoso.com. For more information, see Use a custom domain name for your SharePoint Online public website.

If you already have a public-facing website before you sign up for Office 365 and you want to continue to use it instead of setting up a new one, you can. Your email and IM will be hosted on Office 365, with your custom domain, if you've added it to Office 365, and your website is hosted with another provider. For more information, see Move your email to Office 365 and keep your current public-facing website.

> [!NOTE] > You can't import your existing public-facing website to Office 365. So if you choose to use SharePoint Online, instead of keeping your current website, you have to design and populate the new website from scratch.

When you add your domain to Office 365, you can keep hosting your current website with another provider without doing anything further. This is the default configuration. Or if you like, you can customize a SharePoint Online website, and then take a few additional steps to use that website with your custom domain in Office 365. To learn more, see Use a custom domain name for your SharePoint Online public website address.

Adding subdomains

You can add second-level domains, such as contoso.com, but you can’t add subdomains, such as partners.contoso.com. Be aware that if you choose to host your website on SharePoint Online, Office 365 will automatically prepend “www” to the beginning of your domain. So if you configure you website on contoso.com, the address of your website will be www.contoso.com.

There are no restrictions on the number of domains that you can add to your account.

You can have a multiple subdomains: for example, www.contoso.com, www.partners.contoso.com, www.partners.marketing.contoso.com, and so on.

There are no restrictions on the number of domains that you can add to your account.

Flexibility when configuring Office 365 services with your domain

When you add your domain to Office 365, email and IM are set up to automatically use your domain, hosted by Office 365, and you can’t change email and IM on your domain to be hosted with another hosting provider. You can add multiple domains to Office 365, and host Office 365 email and IM on any of those domains.

In addition to getting a SharePoint Online team site with Office 365, you also get a public-facing SharePoint Online website that you can customize. If you already have a public-facing website that uses your custom domain address up and running with another hosting provider, you can choose to continue hosting your website with that provider.

After you add your domain to Office 365, you can set up email, IM, and SharePoint Online to use your domain hosted by Office 365, or you can host some or all of those services on your domain with another provider. If you add multiple domains to Office 365, you can host any of the services on any of the domains. For example, you could use email with one domain name and use another domain name for the address of your SharePoint Online public-facing website.

Adding multiple domains

Regardless of your subscription, you can add multiple domains to Office 365. However, you can’t add the same domain to different Office 365 accounts. So, for example, when you add your domain to Office 365, you can't create another Office 365 account and add the same domain name to that account.

Regardless of your subscription, you can add multiple domains to Office 365. However, you can’t add the same domain to different Office 365 accounts. So, for example, when you add your domain to Office 365, you can't create another Office 365 account and add the same domain name to that account.

See Also

Work with domain names and DNS records in Office 365
DNS basics
Add your domain to Office 365