Note: While our most popular guides have been translated into Spanish, some guides are only available in English.
Introduction to domains

A domain name is the URL or web address where visitors find your site. With a Squarespace site, you can replace your built-in Squarespace domain (yourdomain.squarespace.com) 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, transfer, and connect your domains in the Domains panel. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.

Hosting

Web hosting and domain hosting, though closely related, are two different services. Learn more about the differences and what Squarespace offers.

Using a domain you already own

If you purchased a custom domain from a third-party provider, you can either transfer it to Squarespace or connect it. In most cases, we recommend transferring, which helps you manage all aspects of your site in one place.

  • Transferring lets you manage both your domain and website through Squarespace.
  • Connecting keeps your domain with your current host while pointing it to your Squarespace site.

Learn more about the differences.

Register domains through Squarespace

Registering domains through Squarespace is the fastest way to get new custom domains for your site. Visit our Squarespace domains guides to learn how to register one free domain, purchase multiple domains, remove the “www” from your domain, get full DNS control and Whois privacy, and more.

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Transfer domains to Squarespace

If you purchased a domain elsewhere (like GoDaddy, 1&1, or Hover) you can transfer it to Squarespace. When you transfer a domain, it will move to Squarespace, and you can pay for it and manage its DNS settings from your account. Visit our guide to transferring domains to learn how to prepare your domain with your current provider and move it to Squarespace.

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Connect domains to Squarespace

If you purchased a domain elsewhere and can’t transfer it to Squarespace, you can still use it for your Squarespace site by following a process called domain mapping. Visit our guide on connecting third-party domains for step-by-step help and guides for adding subdomains.

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Manage your domains

These guides help you prioritize and transfer your custom domains.

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Custom email addresses through G Suite by Google

With our partnership with G Suite by Google, you can create an email address for any custom domain you use for your site. You can also connect to services like Google Calendar and Google Drive.

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 (with .squarespace.com at the end) using the name you gave on our signup page. Sometimes we'll use your name and a random string of numbers or letters as your built-in domain. You can change this built-in domain at any time.
  • CNAME Record - CNAME Records are used to alias one name to another. When mapping a domain to Squarespace, you’ll create two CNAME Records in your provider’s DNS Settings.
  • DNS - DNS are web servers that translate 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. Short for Domain Name Server (or System).
  • Domain privacy - Domain privacy is included with Squarespace domains at no additional cost. To protect your personal information, we can hide your name and contact details from Whois. With most registrars, domain privacy is a paid service that is added on to your subscription.
  • Forwarding - A way to direct your domain to a different page or site with the other site’s URL displaying in the browser address bar. You can forward a Squarespace Domain using a preset in your Advanced DNS settings. 
  • 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.
  • Pointing - A way to direct your domain to a different page or site while keeping the original URL in the browser address bar. You can point a Squarespace Domain using custom records in your Advanced DNS settings. 
  • Preset - A pre-configured record or set of records for a common domain task, such as configuring email or directing your domain elsewhere.   
  • Primary domain - Your primary domain is the main domain name 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