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Transferring a Bluehost domain to Squarespace

If you have a domain with Bluehost, you can transfer it to Squarespace by following this guide. You may also find Bluehost's guide helpful as you work on the transfer.

When you transfer your domain, you can manage your domain settings and billing from your Squarespace account.

Before you begin the transfer, consider reviewing:

Step 1 - Log into Bluehost

Begin your domain transfer by logging into your Bluehost account:

  1. Go to www.bluehost.com and log into your account.
  2. In the sidebar, click Domains.
  3. Find the domain you want to transfer, and click Manage

Step 2 - Verify domain contact information

To confirm that your domain's contact information is up to date:

  1. Click the Contact tab, and review the information listed in the Registrant, Admin, and Billing sections.
  2. Ensure that all contact information for the Admin is accurate. All communications regarding the transfer will be sent to the Admin's email address.
  3. You can change the information listed by clicking Edit, then Save, after updating your details.
Note: Only edit the Admin's contact information, not the Registrant's. If you edit the Registrant, check the box to opt-out of the 60-day transfer lock to prevent your domain from locking. For a smooth transition, the person listed as the Admin should handle the transfer.

Step 3 - Unlock your domain

Unlock your domain to enable the transfer:

  1. Click the Security tab.
  2. In the Transfer Lock section, switch the toggle off to unlock your domain.

Step 4 - Disable Domain Privacy

Bluehost requires you to disable the domain’s privacy for the transfer to succeed. During the transfer your WHOIS contact information will be public, but the privacy will automatically re-enable after your domain successfully transfers.

In the Domain Privacy section of the Security tab, switch the toggle off to disable your domain’s privacy. 

Step 5 - Request the Authorization/EPP code

To authorize the transfer, we will ask you to enter an authorization code. Bluehost sends the code to an email address in the domain’s contact information:

  1. In the Security tab, scroll down to the Transfer Authorization / EPP Code section.
  2. Select an email address from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Send Code
  4. You’ll receive the code via email.

Step 6 - Start the transfer and enter the authorization code

Begin the transfer process in your Squarespace site’s Domains panel:

  1. Confirm that you’re logged into the correct Squarespace site.  
  2. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  3. Click Use a domain I own.
  4. Enter the full domain name you’re transferring in the Domain Name field, then click Continue.
  5. Click Transfer to Squarespace.
  6. In the Enter Authorization Code field, paste the EPP code, then click Continue.

Step 7 - Review the DNS settings

In the next window, confirm the DNS records to move to Squarespace. To minimize any downtime, we recommend keeping them all toggled to ON. Any options toggled to OFF must be managed manually.

  • Point to Squarespace - Change CNAME and A records to point the domain to Squarespace.
  • Keep Other DNS Records - Keep other DNS records intact, like MX records for email. Click View records to review the current DNS settings.
  • Move Nameservers to Squarespace - Move the domain's nameservers to Squarespace. If you toggle this option off, it’s not possible to move DNS records to Squarespace.

If all settings look correct, click Continue.

Step 8 - Review and confirm the registration details

In the next window, confirm the domain’s registration details. Ensure that the address shown in the Email Address field is correct, as this is how we’ll notify you that your transfer is complete.

These fields automatically populate with information we detect from your WHOIS records with your original registrar. For help formatting these fields, visit Domain contact information.

When everything looks correct and all required fields are complete, click Continue. If you’ve added any new data, your WHOIS records will update when your transfer is complete. This won't disrupt the transfer process, but will ensure all contact records are correct when they move to Squarespace.

Step 9 - Confirm the registration terms and billing

Note: If your site is on a trial, you'll be prompted to enter your payment information before this step.

By transferring your domain to Squarespace, you’ll be charged for one additional year of domain registration with Squarespace. Pricing is based on your domain’s TLD, and may be free if you’re eligible.

To confirm the transfer:

  1. Confirm the credit card on file.
  2. Confirm the total charge for one year of domain registration.
  3. Review the terms in the white box, including your domain’s new expiration date.
  4. If everything looks correct, click Transfer.
  5. You'll see a message confirming you've initiated the transfer. Click Okay to return to your Domains panel.

Step 10 - Approve the transfer through Bluehost

Bluehost will automatically approve the transfer within five days of completing the process in Squarespace. To speed up the transfer, you can approve it in the Transfer panel of your Bluehost account. For more details, see their documentation

Step 11 - Check the transfer status and fix issues

Next, return to the Domains panel to confirm the transfer is in progress. If there's an issue with the domain, an error message will display.

To check the status of your transfer:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains. You'll see a "Transfer pending" message under your domain.
  2. Click your domain, then click Refresh to see the current status.

Transfer status error messages

If your domain displays an error message, you can clear it depending on the message:

  • Domain is locked - This message displays if the domain is locked, which blocks the transfer. To fix the issue, log into Bluehost and unlock the domain. After unlocking the domain, this message will clear.
  • Authorization code needed - This message displays if Bluehost rejected the authorization code you entered in Step 6. To fix the issue, ensure the authorization code is correct, enter it in the error message's text field, then click Submit. We suggest copying and pasting the code for accuracy. After entering the correct authorization code, this message will clear.

Wait for the transfer to complete

Bluehost should release the domain to Squarespace. If your domain transfer is still pending after 15 days, and you’ve correctly followed all steps above, contact Bluehost for help. This timing is out of Squarespace’s control.

While your transfer is in progress, we don't recommend changing your DNS settings or adding a G Suite email account. Wait until your domain is fully transferred before adding any new integrations.

When the domain is fully transferred, you'll receive a "Thank you" email from customercare@squarespace.com, and the domain will appear in the Domains panel with a green label.

Troubleshooting failed transfers

If your domain fails to transfer, you’ll get an email from Squarespace. This can happen if you entered wrong information in the registration field, Bluehost rejected the transfer, or for other reasons. For a full list of possible causes, see our FAQ

Tips:

Cancel or remove the transfer

If your domain transfer is pending, you may be able to cancel it:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain that's pending transfer.
  3. Click Cancel transfer.
  4. Confirm the cancellation.

If your Domains panel still lists the domain as Transfer In Progress, ask Bluehost to deny it. This may or may not be possible, and depends on whether they've already approved and released the domain.

If the transfer failed and you need to try again, you can remove the current transfer before starting over. While this step isn't necessary, you may find it easier to keep track of pending transfers. 

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain under Transfers In Progress.
  3. In the Transfer Error box, click Dismiss.

You may need to refresh your browser for the failed domain to disappear.

Next steps

After the domain transfer is complete, you can: 

Getting more help

For more help with transferring from Bluehost, contact their support team. You can also visit their documentation.

 

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Transferring a Bluehost domain to Squarespace