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How to Create a Mastodon Server

Mastodon has skyrocketed in popularity after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

Eugen Rochko founded it in 2016 after being dissatisfied with Twitter.

Since its launch, the app has had a lot of mixed reviews.

To join Mastodon, you need to choose a server to join and create an account on it.

Since Mastodon is decentralized, each server is run by its users, and you can create one as well.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to make or create a Mastodon server using managed hosting, customize, and promote it.

Step 1: Pick a managed hosting provider

  1. Finding a managed hosting provider is easier than running your own Mastodon server.
  2. With managed hosting, you don’t need to install or update anything.
  3. The only technical thing that you need to do is to buy a domain name.
  4. Choose between these managed hosting providers: Masto.host, Hostdon, Spacebear, Ossrox, or Weingärtner IT.

Step 2: Buy a domain name

  1. You need to buy a domain name from a domain name company (e.g. myserver.social).
  2. You can buy a domain name from namecheap.com or godaddy.com.
  3. Get help from both your domain name provider and your Mastodon hosting provider to set up your domain.
  4. Make sure to use a computer to set up your Mastodon server.

Step 3: Add a public email address

  1. You need to add a public email address to your server.
  2. You can create a new email address or use forwarding addresses.
  3. Add your email address on Mastodon > Preferences > Administrations > Site Settings > Business E-Mail.

Step 4: Moderate your server

  1. Set up server rules by navigating to Preferences > Administration > Server Rules.
  2. If you want to make your server invite-only, go to Preferences > Administration > Site Settings > Registrations Mode > Approval Required.
  3. Edit your moderation preferences by navigating to Preferences > Moderation.

Step 5: Block posts or users

  1. Any server on the Fediverse can interact with your server by default.
  2. Block posts or users by selecting the “…” link followed by “Open moderation interface”.
  3. You can block servers by navigating to Preferences > Moderation > Federation and adding the domain name of the site.

Step 6: Customize your server

  1. Choose a dark or light theme and add your own artwork, texts, or emoji.
  2. You can add custom CSS at the bottom of the Site Settings page.
  3. Adjust the server settings by going to Preferences > Administration > Site Settings.

Step 7: Promote your server

  1. Start promoting your Mastodon server on other social media platforms.
  2. You can promote your server on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and others.
  3. Here’s an example of a tweet, “25 slots left if you’d like to join my Mastodon server using this link: example.com”.

Further reading

How to Join Mastodon (Twitter Alternative)

List of Twitter Blue Features

Why is Twitter Blue Not Showing?

About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Tower of Fantasy, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.