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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. After completing these steps, your domain will stay registered with HostGator, but it will connect to your Squarespace site. You may also find HostGator's guide helpful as you work on the connection.

Before you begin, review our requirements for connecting a third-party domain.

Tip: If your domain is eligible, we recommend transferring it instead of connecting it. Learn more about the differences between transferring and connecting or get started with a transfer.

Before you begin

  • Check your HostGator plan under Hosting Packages in the Dashboard 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). To view HostGator's hosting plans, visit their hosting price chart.
  • After 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 - Start the connection in Squarespace

To connect your domain, start in the Domains panel:

  1. In the Home menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  2. Click Use a domain I own.
  3. Enter the full domain name you’re connecting in the Enter domain field, then click the arrow.
  4. Click Connect domain.
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. After finding the site, disconnect the domain.
  1. Select Other from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click Connect domain.
  3. In the message that appears, click Continue.
  4. A new panel will open with the records to create in your HostGator account. Keep this panel open for your reference.

Step 2 - Log into HostGator

Log into your HostGator account portal with your username and password. For help with logging in, visit HostGator's help article.

To open the domain's DNS settings:

  1. Click Hosting in the left sidebar.
  2. Find the domain you're connecting to Squarespace, then click cPanel. Your control panel will open in a new tab.
  3. Under Domains, click Zone Editor.

You'll now copy the records from the DNS Settings panel of your Squarespace site into your domain's settings.

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, a unique code 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 your HostGator Zone Editor, you'll add a new record with these values:

Host

Type

Data

Copy and paste the unique code under Host on the first line.

CNAME

verify.squarespace.com

  1. Click CNAME Record.
  2. In the Name field, paste your unique code.
  3. In the CNAME field, enter verify.squarespace.com
  4. Click Add A CNAME Record.
Notes:
  • When adding your unique code to the Name field, the system will auto-populate your full domain name. This is expected and won't change your CNAME record.
  • 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.

Host

Type

Data

www

CNAME

ext-cust.squarespace.com

  1. Click CNAME Record.
  2. In the Name field, enter www
  3. In the CNAME field, enter ext-cust.squarespace.com
  4. Click Add A CNAME Record.
Notes:
  • If you see an existing CNAME with a www Name in your Zone Records, edit this CNAME so the Record is ext-cust.squarespace.com . Click Manage in the Zone Editor to view and edit existing records.
  • When adding www to the Name field, the system will auto-populate your full domain name. This is expected and won't change your CNAME record.

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. Create four A records in HostGator matching these values: 

Host

Type

Data

@

A

198.185.159.144

@

A

198.185.159.145

@

A

198.49.23.144

@

A

198.49.23.145

  1. Click A Record.
  2. In the Name field, enter your root domain, like yourdomain.com
  3. In the Address field, enter 198.185.159.144
  4. Click Add An A Record.

Repeat this process three more times using the following values in the Address field:

  • 198.185.159.145
  • 198.49.23.144
  • 198.49.23.145
Notes:
  • If you have some existing A records, edit them so the Address matches the values above. Click Manage in the Zone Editor to view and edit existing records.
  • 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 6 - Wait for the connection to complete

Now that you've entered the records, it can take 24 to 72 hours for the connection to start working properly. While you wait:

  • You can watch the connection's progress. Return to your Squarespace DNS Settings, click Refresh below the records, and the Current Data column will show green labels as your domain connects. 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 our tips below, or visit Troubleshooting domain connections.

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 DNS Settings panel to see the exact CNAME and A records to fix.

Getting more help

For more help with settings in your HostGator account, contact their support team. To help them understand your issue, you can use our sample message. You can also visit their documentation.

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Connecting a HostGator domain to your Squarespace site