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Connecting a HostGator domain to your Squarespace site

If you purchased a domain from HostGator 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 HostGator account. After completing these steps, your domain will stay registered with HostGator, 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.

Before you begin

  • Check your HostGator plan in the Account Packages section of the HostGator site. To connect your HostGator domain with Squarespace, you need to be on a Shared Hosting plan (Hatchling, Baby, or Business). View HostGator's hosting plans here. If you are on a Shared Hosting plan, the package number will begin with SH.
  • Once you connect your domain by following the steps in this guide, you must leave it registered with HostGator to keep it connected to your Squarespace site.
  • Review all other requirements for connecting a third-party domain.

Step 1 - Open the Domains panel

Depending on your plan:

  • In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  • In the Home Menu, click Domains.

You can also press the ? key while any panel is open and search domains.

Step 2 - Link your domain

Click Use a Domain I Own. Enter the full domain name you’re linking in the Domain Name box, and then click Continue.

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Click Connect From Provider.

Note: If you see a message that says "This domain is already connected to another Squarespace site," check any other Squarespace sites you manage to determine where the domain is connected. Then disconnect it from that site. For help logging into the correct site, visit Managing multiple sites.

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Select Other from the drop-down menu.

Click Connect Domain. You’ll see a message letting you know that the connection to your domain is in progress. Click Okay to continue.

A new panel will open with the records you need to enter in your HostGator account so your domain connects to Squarespace. Keep this panel open for your reference.

Step 3 - Log into HostGator’s Web Host Manager (WHM)

When you signed up for web hosting with HostGator, they emailed you a link to your Web Host Manager (WHM) login page with your username and password.

Go to the URL provided in your email from HostGator to log in. For help with logging in, contact HostGator by following their help article.

Once logged into cPanel, scroll down to Domains and click Advanced DNS Zone Editor.

You’ll now copy the records from the Squarespace Domains panel so your HostGator domain correctly links to your Squarespace site.

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

Step 4 - Add the first CNAME

In your Squarespace Domains panel, 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.

In the Add a Record box of your cPanel:

  • In the Name field, paste your unique code.
  • In the TTL field, enter "14400"
  • In the Type field, select CNAME
  • In the CNAME field, enter "verify.squarespace.com"

Click the Add Record button.

You should now have a CNAME with your unique code pointing to verify.Squarespace.com.

Step 5 - Add the second CNAME

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

In the Add a Record box of your cPanel, enter the following values:

  • In the Name field, enter "www"
  • In the TTL field, enter "14400"
  • In the Type field, select CNAME
  • In the CNAME field, enter "ext-cust.squarespace.com"
Note: You may already have a CNAME set up with a www Name. If so, edit this existing CNAME so that Points To is ext-cust.squarespace.com. (Without the last ".")
Note: When adding www to the Name field, the system will auto-populate your full domain name.

Click the Add Record button.

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

Step 6 - Add A Records

In the last four lines of your Squarespace Domains panel, copy the IP addresses that appear in the Required Data column. Create four A Records in cPanel matching these values.

In cPanel, enter the following values:

  • In the Name field, enter your domain without the www, like "yourdomain.com"
  • In the TTL field, enter "14400"
  • In the Type field, select A
  • In the Address field, enter "198.185.159.144"

Click the Add Record button.

Repeat this process three more times and enter these values in the Address field.

  • 198.185.159.145
  • 198.49.23.144
  • 198.49.23.145

You should now have a 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: You may already have some A Records in place. If so, edit any existing A Records so the Address matches the values above. You can delete any other A Records that don’t match what’s shown in this guide, but don't delete any Mail or Email records. Deleting these could interfere with your email service.

Step 7 - Refresh

After changing your records, return to the Squarespace Domains panel, and click Refresh below the records.

The Current Data column in the panel will start to update and show if your records are entered correctly. It can take up to 72 hours for this information to process.

To go the previous panel, click the arrow in the top-left corner.

Step 8 - Wait and test

If all records are entered correctly, your domain will connect to your site within 24 hours. At times, it can take up to 72 hours. Visit the Domains panel at any time to check your progress.

When the domain is correctly linked, the domain will appear in the Domains panel with a Connected label.

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 HostGator account, contact their support team at (866) 964-2867. To help them understand your issue, you can use our sample message. You can also visit their Support page.

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Connecting a HostGator domain to your Squarespace site