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Connecting a Dotster domain to your Squarespace site

If you purchased a domain from Dotster and want to keep it registered with them, you can connect it to your site by following this guide. In this process, you'll change a few settings in your Dotster account. After completing these steps, your domain will stay registered with Dotster, but it will connect to your Squarespace site. Before you begin, review our requirements for connecting a third-party domain.

Tip: We recommend transferring your domain to Squarespace instead of connecting it. Here are some reasons why you might want to transfer your domain:

  • You can move all aspects of managing it to your Squarespace account so you won't need to pay for it through a third party.
  • Your domain could qualify for one free year of service.
  • Squarespace can help with any issues with your domain directly.

Your domain must be eligible to transfer. Learn more about the differences between transferring and connecting or get started with a transfer here.

If you still prefer to connect your domain, we recommend contacting Dotster to ensure you have a hosting plan that allows for both domain hosting and full access to your DNS settings for domain mapping. You don't need a plan with website hosting if you're building a website on Squarespace.

Step 1 - Start the connection in Squarespace

To connect your domain, start in the Domains panel:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains. You can also press the ? key while any panel is open and search domains.
  2. Click Use a Domain I Own.
  3. Enter the full domain name you’re connecting in the Domain Name box, and then click Continue.
  4. Click Connect From Provider.
Note: If you see a message that says "This domain is already connected to another Squarespace site," check your other Squarespace sites to find where the domain is connected. Then disconnect it from that site.
  1. Select Dotster from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click Connect Domain.
  3. In the message that appears, click OK.
  4. A new panel will open with the records to create in your Dotster account. Keep this panel open for your reference.

Step 2 - Log into Dotster

  1. Go to www.dotster.com and log into your account.
  2. In the Dashboard, find the domain you're connecting to Squarespace and click Manage.
  3. In the left panel, click DNS & Nameservers.

You'll now copy the records from the Domain panel so your Dotster domain correctly links to your Squarespace site.

Note: Don't delete MX records during this process. MX Records connect your email address, and deleting them could interfere with your email service.

Step 3 - Add the first CNAME

In the first line of your Squarespace DNS Settings, copy the unique code that appears directly below the Host column. The unique code is a random string of numbers and letters that must point to verify.squarespace.com.

Your domain records may be green or red, depending on what Squarespace is seeing from your domain provider.

sqsp_-_first_cname.jpg

In your Dotster account, click Add DNS Record.

In the pop-up that appears, add the following records:

  • In the Name field, paste the unique code from your Squarespace panel.
  • From the Type drop-down, select CNAME.
  • In the Content field, enter verify.squarespace.com
  • From the TTL (Time To Live) drop-down, select 1 hour.
  • Leave the Priority field blank.

Click Add DNS.

You'll now have a CNAME with your unique Host code pointing to verify.squarespace.com.

Note: If you don't add this CNAME, or if it's entered incorrectly, the domain will unlink from your site after 15 days. If this happens, you can start over to reconnect the domain.

Step 4 - Add the second CNAME

In the second line of your Squarespace DNS Settings, www appears directly below the Host column. This record must point to ext-cust.squarespace.com.

sqsp_-_second_cname.jpg

In your Dotster account, click Add DNS Record. In the pop-up that appears, add the following records.

  • In the Name field, enter www
  • From the Type drop-down, select CNAME.
  • In the Content field, enter ext-cust.squarespace.com
  • From the TTL (Time To Live) drop-down, select 1 hour.
  • Leave the Priority field blank.

Click Add DNS.

Note: If you have an existing CNAME with the Name www in your DNS Records, edit the record so the Content is ext-cust.squarespace.com

You'll now have a CNAME with www pointing to ext-cust.squarespace.com.

Step 5 - Add A Records

In the last four lines of your Squarespace DNS Settings, you'll see four IP addresses in the Required Data column. Using the steps below, create four A Records in Dotster matching these values.

sqsp_-_a_records.jpg

In your Dotster account, click Add DNS Record. In the pop-up that appears, add the following records.

  • In the Name field, enter @
  • From the Type drop-down, select A.
  • In the Content field, enter 198.185.159.144
  • From the TTL (Time To Live) drop-down, select 1 hour.
  • Leave the Priority field blank.

Click Add DNS.

Then repeat this process with the following IP addresses:

  • 198.185.159.145
  • 198.49.23.144
  • 198.49.23.145

You'll now have four A records pointing to the following IP addresses:

  • 198.185.159.144
  • 198.185.159.145
  • 198.49.23.144
  • 198.49.23.145
Note: If you have existing A Records, edit any with a blank or * Host Name so that Points To matches the values above. If the host name is blank, you'll only see your domain name in the Host field. If you see other A Records in your account that don’t match what’s shown in this guide, such as Mail or Email records, don't delete them. Deleting other records could interfere with your email service.

Step 6 - Wait for the connection to complete

Congratulations, you've finished connecting the domain!

It can take 24 to 72 hours for the connection to start working properly. While you wait:

  • You can return to your Squarespace DNS Settings, click Refresh below the records, and the Current Data column will start to show if your records are entered correctly. When the domain is correctly linked, it will appear in the Domains panel with a Connected label.
  • It’s normal to see errors in the Domains panel or when visiting your domain for up to 72 hours after completing the steps in this guide. If you see any error messages after 72 hours has passed, see the next section.

Troubleshoot with the DNS record checker

If we detect that your records weren’t set up properly, your domain will appear in the Domains panel with the message Can’t verify domain ownership.

To troubleshoot, use the DNS checker tool in the Domains panel to see the exact CNAME and A Records to fix with your domain provider.

Click the domain in the Domains panel, and then click DNS Settings. For detailed instructions, visit Checking your domain mapping records.

Getting more help

For more help with settings in your Dotster account, contact their support team at (800) 401-5250. To help them understand your issue, you can use our sample message. You can also visit their documentation.

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Connecting a Dotster domain to your Squarespace site