How to Brand Your Office 365 Login Page

Being a business owner can be extremely rewarding and quite lucrative; however, being a successful business owner today can be a challenge. There is so much competition, which means that you really have to step up your game if you are going to stand out from the crowd. Being unique and different from every other business in your niche will draw your targeted audience to your business, and turn them into paying customers. The more paying customers you have, the more successful your business will be.
There are many different ways that you can make your business stand out and give it a unique vantage point. One tactic that many business owners are using to make them stand out from their competition is customizing their Microsoft Office 365 login page.

Why You Should Customize Your Microsoft Office 365 Login Page?

Today, the business world is become more and more cloud-based. Organizations are always on the lookout for ways that they can improve the experience of their users while still maintaining their corporate brand and image.
Microsoft Office 365 has always provided a certain degree of branding for corporations who choose to make use of Active Directory Federation Services, or AD FS, for identity federation for their on-premises environment. And, just as you might expect, these branding options have grown, have become much easier to use, and now much more feature rich.
But, what if you are a business owner who isnt using identity federation? Do you have the ability to customize your Office 365 account? Well, yes, you do! You can add custom branding to your Office 365 sign-in page. By doing so, your users are redirected when they sign into your Office 365 services. While it can become a little confusing to do this because the functionality is configured for Microsoft Azure and not for Office 35, and is provided as a component of the Basic or Premium Edition of Azure Active Directory, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are ways that you can customize your login page with ease.
You probably already know that the Azure Active Directory is the identity and access management service that is used by Office 365. When you sign up for an Office 365 tenant, an free edition Azure Active Directory is instantly created for you.

Upgrading Your Azure Active Directory

You can take advantage of the free Azure Active Directory by upgrading to either the Basic or the Premium edition of the Azure Active Directory. If you want to try it out before you commit, you can sign up for a 90 day trial period.

Get a Microsoft Azure Subscription

You will need to access a Microsoft Azure subscription. If you dont already have one, you can easily create one by signing into your Office 365 account as a global administrator. Once you are signed in, you can visit the management page, where you will be presented with several options:
  • You can click the sign up for Windows Azure link, which will take you through the process of creating a Microsoft Azure subscription. Once you have created your subscription, you can then navigate to the Active Directory, which is located on the left-hand side of the navigation pane. Here, you will see your Azure Active Directory. Click on the name and you will be given access to a getting started page. From here, you can select try it now, which will allow you to activate your Azure Active Directory Premium trial.

Activate Your Azure AD Premium Trial

Azure Active Directory Premium improves your directory by adding extra features, such as:
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Policy driven management
  • End-user self-service
Your trial will be active for a period of 90 days, and begins on the date you activated it. If you want to upgrade to a paid version, you have to purchase an Azure Active Directory Premium account.
Azure Active Directory Premium is licenses separately from Azure Services, so when you confirm your activation, you agree to the user agreement and the privacy policy that is offered by Microsoft Azure. When your trial is set up, the first thing you need to do is assign some licenses. At the very least, you must assign a license to your admin user. This is a crucial step because the Customize Branding option will not appear in your subscription until your admin user has been assigned a license.

Customizing Your Login Page

Once your Microsoft Azure subscription is set up, you can begin customizing your login page. There are three areas on your login page that can be customized:
  1. The background color and the illustration
  2. The banner logo
  3. The sign-in page text
Each of these three elements have particular requirements.
  • The background: You can upload a custom image to your background, which will be visible to any users who are signing into your login page. In order to access the background illustration, you will need to meet the following requirements:
    • 1420×1200 pixels
    • JPG or PNG image format
    • 500 KB in size
You also have the option to choose and set a background color. You can do this by entering an RGB color in the hexadecimal format. This is especially useful if the background illustration that you are using has any transparent areas.
It should be noted that the image will automatically be resized to the appropriate size in order to accommodate different screen ratios. The resizing process will start from the bottom right corner to the top let corner. With this in mind, make sure that you keep any elements that are of particular importance to the top left corner of your login page.
It should be noted that the image will automatically be resized to the appropriate size in order to accommodate different screen ratios. The resizing process will start from the bottom right corner to the top let corner. With this in mind, make sure that you keep any elements that are of particular importance to the top left corner of your login page.
Your Logo: Now you can upload your companys logo. This process is similar to the background illustration. The banner logo also has specific requirements, including:
280X60 pixels
  • JPG or PNG format
  • 10KB in size
  • Your Text: Lastly, you can ass some specific text to the login page to further customize it. This text will be displayed on the bottom right of the page. Keep in mind that only plain text will be supported here, and only up to 265 characters.
Once you have chosen the right customizations for your login page, you can then click on the Customize Branding button directory properties in you Microsoft Azure subscription in order to make the changes stick.
When the customization process has been completed, the changes that you have made will be activated immediately. You can easily test your configuration by following the URL for Microsoft Online, plus your domain name.
Do note that the user experience with your customization efforts will vary based on the device and the access method. Wherever the page is being accessed, however, it will be properly resized for the device that it is being displayed on.
Customizing your login page really is that simple! And doing this customization process can really make your business stand out from the competition and improve your success overall. Customization can take a matter of a few minutes, and it can make a big difference in the way that you do business.