Introduction to domains

A domain name is the URL or web address where visitors find your site. Every Squarespace 5 site comes with a built-in Squarespace domain (yourdomain.squarespace.com), which you can replace with a custom domain.

Custom domains give your site a professional look, strengthen your brand, and make it easy for visitors to find you on the web. Manage and connect your domains by opening the Website Management bar and clicking Custom Domain.

Creating a domain

You can purchase domains from third party providers, such as GoDaddy or Namecheap. Although you'll connect the domain to your Squarespace 5 site, you'll pay for and manage the domain with the third-party provider, also known as a domain host.

You can also register one free domain name through Squarespace if you’re on a Yearly or Bi-yearly Squarespace plan. You can't register more than one domain through Squarespace with Squarespace 5.

Connecting a domain

Domains registered through Squarespace connect to your site automatically. To use a domain name you already own, or to use a TLD/extension we don’t currently support, you’ll follow a process called domain mapping. 

In addition to our general instructions, we have step-by-step guides for these popular providers:

Multiple domains

You can connect more than one domain to your Squarespace site. All domains and subdomains will automatically redirect to the primary domain. It's not possible to connect a custom domain to a specific page on your site.

To choose which domain is primary:

  1. Open the Website Management bar and click Custom Domain under Structure.
  2. Hover over the domain and click Make Primary.

Transferring a domain

How you transfer a custom domain depends on a couple factors:

  • Where you registered the domain (Squarespace domain or third-party domain)
  • Where you're moving the domain (Squarespace 7 or another host)

Moving a third-party domain to Squarespace 7

To move a third-party domain to Squarespace 7, follow these steps:

  1. Unlink your domain from your Squarespace 5 site
  2. Connect the domain to your Squarespace 7 site

Moving a Squarespace domain to Squarespace 7

Contact us and we'll move the domain to your new Squarespace 7 site.

Include this information if you have it:

  • Subject: Move domain from 5 to 7
  • The custom domain (Example: www.yoursite.com)
  • The Squarespace URL for your original Squarespace 5 site (Example: yoursite.squarespace.com)
  • The Squarespace URL for your new Squarespace 7 site (Example: yourothersite.squarespace.com)
  • The full name and last four digits on the credit card(s) used to pay for each site

Moving a Squarespace domain to a third-party host

Contact us and we'll unlink your domain manually.

Include this information if you have it:

  • Subject: Move domain
  • The custom domain (Example: www.yoursite.com)
  • The Squarespace URL for your Squarespace 5 site (Example: yoursite.squarespace.com)
  • The full name and last four digits on the credit card(s) used to pay for your Squarespace 5 site

Moving a third-party domain to a third-party host

Before connecting your domain to a site hosted by another provider, unlink it from your Squarespace 5 site.

  1. Log into your Squarespace 5 site.
  2. Click Website Management and then Custom Domain.
  3. Hover over your domain name and click Unlink.

You can now connect the domain to your new site. 

Custom email

If you don't already have a custom email address for your domain, such as info@customdomain.com, you can use G Suite to create one.

Glossary

Here are some common terms you may see when managing your domains with Squarespace.

  • A Record - A Records point a domain or subdomain to an IP address. When you map a third-party domain to your site, we recommend creating four A Records in your provider's DNS settings.
  • Built-in domain - Your Squarespace site comes with a built-in domain using the name you gave on our signup page and ending in squarespace.com. Sometimes we'll use your name and a random string of numbers or letters. You can change this built-in domain at any time.
  • CNAME Record - CNAME Records are used to alias one name to another. When connecting a domain to Squarespace, you’ll create a CNAME Record in your provider’s DNS Settings.
  • DNS - DNS (Domain Name Server or System) is the web server that translates a website IP address into a legible domain name. When using a third-party domain with Squarespace, you’ll need to change DNS settings in your domain registrar’s account. 
  • Domain privacy - Domain privacy is included with Squarespace domains at no additional cost. To protect your personal information, we hide your name and contact details from WHOIS. 
  • IP address - Your IP address is a unique number that represents your device on the Internet. 
  • Nameserver - A nameserver is a specialized server that tells a browser where to go when your domain name is entered in the address bar. If you purchased a domain from a third party, you should keep your nameservers set to your provider's default settings.
  • Primary Domain - Your primary domain is the main domain name that always appears in a browser address bar no matter which domain a visitor used to open your site. You can change your primary domain at any time.
  • Subdomain - An extension of your domain name that forwards to your site. For example, help.squarespace.com and blog.squarespace.com are subdomains of squarespace.com.
  • TLD - Also known as a domain extension, a TLD (Top Level Domain) identifies the most general part of the domain name in an Internet address. The TLD always follows the last dot in a URL. For example, .com, .org, and .net are TLDs.
  • Who.is - A public internet record directory that provides information about all registered domains, including owner contact information, availability, and its registrar.
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Introduction to domains