If you have a domain with Dotster, 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. You may also find Dotster's guide helpful as you work on the transfer.
Before you begin the transfer, consider reviewing:
- The pricing and billing details.
- Our domain transfer requirements.
- The timing involved in transferring a domain.
- The steps needed to move your custom email address.
Step 1 - Log into Dotster
- Go to Dotster and log into your account to prepare your domain for transfer.
- In the My Domains dashboard, find the domain you're transferring to Squarespace, then click Manage.
Step 2 - Verify domain contact information
Ensure that all contact information is correct. The Administrative Contact's email address receives all communications about the transfer.
- In the left panel, click the Contact Information tab.
- In Contact Information, click the Administrative tab.
- Confirm the information shown is correct.
- If the information is incorrect, click Edit Contact Info, make necessary changes, then click Save.
Note: For a smooth transition, the person listed as the domain's Administrative Contact should handle the transfer. If you’re the administrator, ensure that the email address listed for your domain is accurate and accessible.
Step 3 - Unlock your domain
You need to unlock your domain before you transfer it:
- In the left panel, click Transfers and review the settings on the page.
- Use the Domain Lock toggle to unlock your domain.
- Use the Domain Privacy toggle to disable your domain's privacy.
- Ensure that your domain is at least 60 days old and shows a green dot next to this requirement.
For more help with these settings, visit Dotster's documentation.
Step 4 - Get authorization code
To complete the transfer, get an authorization code from Dotster:
- On the Transfer page, click Email Auth Code.
- Dotster sends your authorization code to the email address shown on the Transfer page. You’ll need this code during the transfer process, so ensure that you have access to the email.
After you receive the transfer code, continue with the steps below and start the transfer in Squarespace.
Step 5 - Start the transfer and enter the authorization code
Begin the transfer process in your Squarespace site’s Domains panel:
- Open the Domains panel for the Squarespace site you're transferring to.
- Click Use a domain I own.
- Enter the full domain name you’re transferring in the Enter domain field, then click the arrow.
- Click Transfer Domain.
- In the Authorization Code field, paste the authorization code, then click Save and Continue.
Step 6 - Review and confirm the registration details
In the Registration panel, confirm the contact information associated with the domain is correct. These fields automatically populate with registration information we detect from your WHOIS records with your original registrar. For help formatting these fields, visit Domain contact information.
To review and edit the 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.
- Make any necessary changes to the information. Your changes will update on your WHOIS records when your transfer is complete.
- When everything looks correct and all required fields are complete, click Save and Continue.
Step 7 - Enter or review your payment information
In the Payment Information panel, the card attached to your site appears as the payment method. If your site is on a trial, you'll enter your credit card information. When everything looks correct, click Save and Continue.
If you have any trouble entering your credit card information, ensure you're using a payment method we accept.
Step 8 - Review your order
In the Review Order panel, you'll see the details for the transfer. 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:
- Review the payment information.
- Confirm the total charge for one year of domain registration.
- Review the terms near the bottom of the panel, including your domain’s new expiration date.
- If everything looks correct, click Confirm and Purchase.
- You'll see a message confirming you've initiated the transfer. Click Done to return to your Domains panel.
Step 9 - 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:
- In the Domains panel, you'll see a "Transfer pending" message under your domain.
- 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 Dotster and unlock the domain. After unlocking the domain, this message will clear.
- Authorization code needed - This message displays if Dotster 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 10 - Review DNS settings (optional)
While you wait for the transfer to complete, you can review your domain's DNS settings:
- In the Home menu, click Settings, then click Domains. Or, if there's a ☰ in the top-left corner, open that menu and click Domains.
- Click the domain that's pending transfer, then click Review your DNS settings.
- To delete records you no longer need, click the red trash can.
- To create a new custom record for your domain, click Add record
As you review the DNS records, keep in mind:
- While the domain is transferring, the DNS Settings panel can only display MX, TXT, A, CNAME, and SRV records. These records are imported from your domain provider. You can compare the records in the Squarespace DNS Settings panel to your provider's settings to determine if any are missing.
- If you have a custom email address attached to your domain, leave the MX records in place.
Step 11 - Wait for the transfer to complete
The transfer needs time to process. To check the status of your transfer:
Dotster 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 Dotster 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 Google Workspace 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, Dotster rejected the transfer, or for other reasons. For a full list of scenarios, see our FAQ.
Cancel or remove the transfer
If your domain transfer is pending, you may be able to cancel it. For more information, visit Canceling a domain transfer.
If the transfer failed and you need to try again, you can remove the current transfer before starting over.
After the domain transfer is complete, you can:
- Cancel your Dotster account if you no longer need it. You’ll now manage all domain settings and billing through Squarespace.
- Set this as your primary domain.
- Choose to hide the domain’s “www” prefix.
- Enable SSL for your site, if you haven't already.
- Add a custom email address through our integration with Google Workspace.
- Register additional domains.
- Review your domain invoice.