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Transferring a DreamHost domain to Squarespace

If you have a domain with DreamHost, you can transfer it to Squarespace by following this guide. When you transfer your domain, you can manage all of your domain settings and billing from your Squarespace account.

Before you begin the transfer, consider reviewing:

Step 1 - Log into DreamHost

Go to DreamHost and log into your Web Hosting Control Panel to prepare your domain for transfer. From the dashboard, click the Domains drop-down, then click Registrations

Step 2 - Unlock domain

Find the domain you'd like to transfer. Ensure that the Locked? option says No. If it doesn't, click Yes to unlock it. 

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Step 3 - Verify domain contact information

Scroll down and check Modify WHOIS. Ensure that the email address shown in the Admin and Registrant tabs is correct, or update it if needed. Click Modify WHOIS! to save changes.

For help changing your contact information, visit DreamHost's documentation.

Note: For a smooth transition, set the domain's admin and registrant contact as the same person first, then let that person handle the transfer. If you’re the person, ensure that the email address listed for both is accurate and accessible.

Step 4 - Request authorization code 

In the Domains drop-down, click Reg. Transfer. Scroll down to the Auth Code section and click Reveal Auth Code

Depending on your domain's TLD, you may see a Send Auth Code option instead. Click this to email the authorization code to the domain registrant. 

You’ll enter this code during the transfer process, so copy and paste it in a safe place before continuing, or ensure that you have access to the email. 

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Step 5 - 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 authorization code, then click Continue.

Step 6 - Review 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 7 - Review and confirm 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 8 - Confirm 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.

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Step 9 - Accept the transfer from DreamHost

After you've entered your authorization code, DreamHost sends an email to the domain's registrant with a link to approve or deny the transfer. If you don't click the link, DreamHost will automatically approve the transfer within five days of entering your authorization code.

Step 10 - 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 DreamHost and unlock the domain. After unlocking the domain, this message will clear.
  • Authorization code needed - This message displays if DreamHost rejected the authorization code you entered in Step 5. 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.

Step 11 - Wait for the transfer to complete

DreamHost 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 DreamHost for more details. 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, DreamHost rejected the transfer, or for other reasons. For a full list of scenarios, 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 DreamHost 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 DreamHost, contact their support team. You can also visit their documentation.

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Transferring a DreamHost domain to Squarespace