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Smart hosting | BT Business

Smart hosting

If you're a new customer with an existing domain hosted by a supplier other than us, you can order BT hosting and email and have them configured to work with your existing domain.

Interested? See our web hosting pages for further information. Existing customers can request Smart hosting online via Manage services. There is no charge for this service.

To use externally hosted domains with BT services, you must own this domain or have access to modify the DNS configuration for the domain.

When we've received your request, you'll receive further instructions via email.

If you're switching your email to us, you must activate your email service and amend your DNS MX records to point to Microsoft Office 365.

If you need to make your website live and your domain is managed by another company, you need to amend your DNS A records.

Email - Amend your DNS MX records

To set up your email service with a custom domain that is not hosted by us, please use the following steps:

  1. Sign in to MyOffice using your username i.e. and your password.
  2. Click on Email Summary.
  3. Select your Primary User.
  4. Click Activate (this may take up to 30 minutes). Your email will be available to use when the activation is complete.
  5. You'll then receive an email asking you to update your MX records with your external domain host.
  6. When you've updated your external domain host you'll have to validate your domain for use with Office 365. Your email will be available to use when validation is complete.

Web hosting - Amend your DNS A records

To use an externally hosted domain name with the BT Business Web hosting services, you’ll need to reconfigure associated A records to point to our service IP address.

Please make sure that your BT website is fully built and working before you make this change, as your old website will stop working.

It’s easy to make changes to your domain name. To do this, contact the company that currently hosts your domain name and ask them to update your DNS A record to

You'll also want to change the records to allow users to find your website without entering ‘www’.

These changes will point your domain to your new BT Website and take up to 24 hours to take effect.

To find out who manages your existing domain you can look up the company using one of the websites listed below. Just visit one of these sites and enter your website address:

Setting up smart hosted domains to work with BT's web hosting

  • To start with you'll need to make sure that the DNS records for your domain name are pointing to us.
  • If you want to upload your site before changing your DNS records, you can do this as long as your web hosting is activated. You'll need to use the below settings in your FTP program:

Host name/address

User name

Your primary domain name


Your password

Once everything is uploaded to the public directory, you can preview your site by visiting the following location:

  • Just remember to replace "" with your own primary domain name.

Failed Smart hosting requests

A domain Smart hosting transfer request may fail for a number of reasons:

  • The domain does not exist. If this happens, please make sure that the requested domain name is spelt correctly.
  • The domain is restricted by BT. BT restrict many larger companies to prevent customers from attempting to use ineligible domains. Ineligible domains include Internet Service Providers, for example, Google, AOL and Yahoo. You cannot register domains in the format
  • The domain already exists in BT’s systems. This occurs when the domain is already used by another BT account. This issue can only be addressed by the domains technical help desk. If you order the domain by phone, the sales agent will make sure that your issue is passed to the technical help team. If you order the domain via My BT Business account, you can raise the issue via the DNS enquiry form.
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