How to Use Your Own Domain for Your Squarespace Website

When you sign up for your Squarespace account, you are given a unique Squarespace URL that looks like this: http://youraccountname.squarespace.com. If you want complete control over the branding of your site or simply want a unique URL, you can map, or point, a custom domain to your Squarespace account.

You have three options for setting up a custom domain for your site:

  • Transfer a Squarespace-managed domain from your Squarespace 5 site.

  • Register for a free domain from Squarespace.

  • Link an existing domain you already own.

You begin the process of setting up a custom domain by clicking one of three buttons at the top of the Domains screen. You find the Domains screen in Site Manager→Settings→Domains.

image0.jpg

You will not see the Register Free Domain button if you did not sign up for annual or biannual billing.

How to transfer a Squarespace-managed domain

You can transfer a domain you registered through Squarespace, called a Squarespace-managed domain, from your Squarespace 5 website to your Squarespace 6 site.

To move your Squarespace-managed domain from your Squarespace 5 site to your Squarespace 6 site, do the following:

  1. Click the Transfer Squarespace 5 Domain button at the top of the Domains screen.

    A transfer domain dialog box appears.

  2. Enter the Squarespace-managed domain you are transferring.

  3. Enter the login and password information for your Squarespace 5 site.

  4. Click the Transfer Domain button.

    The domain is added to your list of domains as a domain managed by Squarespace.

With this option, you can transfer only domains registered through Squarespace from your Squarespace 5 website.

How to register your free domain from Squarespace

If you sign up for annual or biannual billing, you can register for a free domain through Squarespace, called a Squarespace-managed domain.

To register for your free domain through Squarespace, do the following:

  1. Click the Register Free Domain button at the top of the Domains screen.

    The Register Free Domain dialog box appears.

  2. Enter a domain you want to register.

    Type the domain you want to register and choose the extension (.com, .org, .net, .biz, .info) in the drop-down menu in the domain field.

  3. If you see a notice telling you that the domain is not available, repeat Step 2 with another domain name.

  4. Click the Add button.

    A confirmation dialog box appears, indicating that the domain is available.

  5. Click the Register button.

    The domain is registered and added to your list of domains.

It can take up to 72 hours for a newly registered domain to begin working. A blue clock icon appears next to the domain to indicate that it’s not available to use yet. When the domain is available and working, the blue icon disappears.

With annual or biannual billing, you can register only one domain through Squarespace. Make sure you choose the domain you want.

How to point an existing domain to Squarespace

To point an existing domain to Squarespace, you must first purchase a domain from a domain provider. Following are three top domain providers:

Each of these domain registrars offers services in addition to registering your domain, such as getting your own e-mail address at your domain. See your domain provider for details after you've registered your domain.

To point your domain to Squarespace, you must modify your domain’s DNS settings. Typically, you'll need to set the DNS CNAME to the following Squarespace URL:

www.squarespace6.com

and then set your domain’s DNS A record to Squarespace’s IP address:

65.39.205.57

Contact your domain provider for details on how to point your domain in its system. Squarespace provides some guidelines on pointing domains for the three providers just listed as well as a few other popular domain providers at Squarespace Help.

After you've pointed your domain’s DNS settings to Squarespace, you have essentially pointed the domain to Squarespace’s front door. To finish the domain pointing, you need to claim your domain in your Squarespace account by adding your domain to the Domains setting:

  1. Click the Link Existing Domain button.

    The Link Existing Domain dialog box appears.

  2. Type your domain.

  3. You do not need to type the http:// part of the domain name.

  4. Click the Add button.

    The domain is added to your list of domains.

Your domains will work with and without the www. prefix.

Your website automatically uses a custom domain as the default domain for your account. If you have more variations of your domain, you can point those to your Squarespace account and then choose which domain to use as your primary domain by clicking its Make Primary link, which you see when you hover your mouse cursor over the domain.

Your Squarespace URL is never removed from your account, and your site will still be accessible from your Squarespace URL. If you have external links pointing back to your site using your Squarespace URL, you may want to change these to use your custom domain.

If you create your own links to pages or resources on your site, use a site-relative URL instead of a full URL. A site-relative URL does not include the domain at the beginning of the URL. For example, the following is a full URL:

http://youraccount.squarespace.com/gallery/

If you point a custom domain and have a link to a page using the full URL, anyone clicking that link will be redirected to that page using your Squarespace URL and not your custom domain. Instead, create links to internal pages using the relative URL:

/gallery/    

A web browser will know to go to the page under the domain being used to view the site.

Any Squarespace-generated links in your site create site-relative URLs, so switching full URLs to site-relative URLs will need to be addressed only if you manually create your own links within your content.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com