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Transferring a domain to Squarespace

If you purchased a domain from a third-party provider, you can transfer it to Squarespace and manage it within your site. Transferring your domain lets you manage all of your domain settings and billing in one place, with Squarespace as your domain host. This guide reviews how to transfer a domain registered elsewhere to Squarespace.

Before you begin

Timing

Domain transfer speed depends on your current domain provider. Some domains transfer within one day, while others can take closer to 15 days to complete. By keeping the recommended transfer settings intact, you shouldn’t experience any domain downtime.

To learn more, visit Domain transfer timing.

Pricing and billing

Here's how much it costs to transfer a domain to Squarespace and how registration works:

  • Pricing is based on the TLD, from $20 to $70.
  • To complete the transfer, you'll pay for one year of domain registration.
  • There's no extra fee for the transfer itself.
  • You'll keep the time remaining on your registration on top of the extra year you'll register through us.
  • If you're eligible, the additional year of registration could be free.
  • Your domain will renew at the same price at the end of its registration term.
  • Your domain includes free Whois Privacy and SSL.

For more details, see our FAQ.

Transfer requirements

Before getting started, ensure your domain is eligible for transfer. If you’re not sure if your domain meets these rules, check with your current registrar.

  • The domain’s TLD must be on our supported TLD list.
  • We don’t support registry premium domains.
  • Sixty days must have elapsed since you registered or transferred the domain with your current provider.
  • Your domain must be active with your current provider. If your domain is past due, but not completely expired, ask your provider if it's eligible for transfer before starting the process.
  • You’ll need to unlock your domain to transfer it.
  • We don’t accept domains with current registration terms longer than 9 years. 

If your domain doesn't meet these requirements, you can try connecting it to your site instead.

Provider-specific guides

Instead of following the general instructions on this page, you can use one of these step-by-step guides for transferring domains from the following providers:

Moving email records

If you have a custom email address linked to your domain, you can transfer your MX records to Squarespace along with your domain. Your MX records keep your email hosted with your current email provider.

Before transferring your domain to Squarespace, we recommend contacting your current email provider to ensure that there won’t be any restrictions or issues by moving to Squarespace. Some providers require keeping your domain hosted with them to keep your email account active. You may also want to back up any essential emails, contacts, or settings you may need.

See Step 5 for more information on transferring DNS settings.

Step 1 - Unlock your domain

Follow your current provider’s instructions to unlock your domain and make it available for transfer. Your domain can’t be transferred while it’s locked.

Step 2 - Get the authorization code

Get the authorization code from your provider. This may also be called an “EPP code” or “transfer key.” You might find this in your provider’s settings, or they might email it. Some providers may need a day or two to generate this code, so we recommend requesting it as soon as you’ve unlocked your domain.

You’ll enter this code during the transfer process so ensure you have access to it, or copy and paste it in a safe place before beginning.

Step 3 - Start the transfer in Squarespace

Begin the transfer process in your Squarespace site’s Domains panel.

  1. Confirm that you’re logged into the correct Squarespace site.  
  2. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  3. Click Use a domain I own.
  4. Enter the full domain name you’re transferring in the Domain Name box, and then click Continue.

enter_domain_to_transfer.png

  1. Click Transfer to Squarespace.

transfer_to_squarespace.png

A window will open, reminding you of the transfer requirements. Review the information and ensure that you've already taken all required steps.

If you see an error message at this point, ensure that your domain meets all of our transfer requirements. If it does, contact your current domain provider to investigate.

Step 4 - Prepare domain and authorize transfer

In the next window, you’ll confirm that you’ve unlocked your domain and you’ll enter your authorization code.

The Unlock Domain option should display a green check mark, which allows the domain to be transferred. If it displays a red ! instead, contact your domain provider for help, then click Refresh to try again. 

Next, in the field under Enter Authorization Code, add the authorization code from your provider.

Tip: The authorization code is a unique string of letters, numbers, and other characters. Because it can be a complex code, we recommend copying and pasting it instead of typing it.

When both options look correct, click Continue.

unlock_domain_and_enter_auth_code.jpg 

Step 5 - Review DNS settings

In the next window, confirm the DNS records to move to Squarespace. To minimize any downtime, we recommend keeping them all toggled to ON. Any options toggled to OFF must be managed manually.

  • Point to Squarespace - Change CNAME and A records to point the domain to Squarespace.
  • Keep Other DNS Records - Keep other DNS records intact, like MX records for email. Click View records to review the current DNS settings.
  • Move Nameservers to Squarespace - Move the domain's nameservers to Squarespace. If you toggle this option off, it’s not possible to move DNS records to Squarespace. 

If all settings look correct, click Continue.

Step_4_-_Transfer_DNS_Settings.jpg

Step 6 - Review and confirm registration details

In the next window, confirm the domain’s 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. These fields will automatically populate with information we detect from your Whois records with your original registrar. 

When everything looks correct and all required fields are complete, then click Continue. If you’ve added any new data, your Whois records will update when your transfer is complete. This won't disrupt the transfer process, but will ensure all contact records are correct when they move to Squarespace.

Step 7 - Confirm registration terms and billing

Note: If your site is on a trial, you'll be prompted to enter your payment information before this step.

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:

  1. Confirm the credit card on file.
  2. Confirm the total charge for one year of domain registration.
  3. Review the terms in the white box, including your domain’s new expiration date.
  4. If everything looks correct, click Transfer.

If your payment is successful, you’ll see a purchase receipt. Click Continue to return to your Domains panel.

confirm_transfer.jpg

Step 8 - Wait and test

After completing the steps above, your previous registrar needs to release the domain. Depending on the provider, this can take up to five days. This timing is out of Squarespace’s control, but we recommend logging into your provider’s account to see if you can confirm the release manually. If your domain transfer is still pending after 15 days and you’ve correctly followed all steps above, contact your provider for more details.

While your transfer is in progress, we don't recommend making any changes to your DNS settings, such as adding a G Suite email account. Wait until your domain is fully transferred before adding any new integrations.

Note: If your domain transfer is still pending after 15 days and you’ve correctly followed all steps above, contact your current domain provider for more details.

When the domain is fully transferred, you'll receive a "Thank you" email from customercare@squarespace.com 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, entered the authorization code incorrectly, or for other reasons. For a full list of scenarios, see our FAQ.

Tips

Cancel or remove the transfer

If you already confirmed the transfer in Squarespace, you may still be able to cancel it. If your Domains panel still lists the domain as Transfer In Progress, ask your current provider to deny it. This may or may not be possible, and depends on whether the current provider has already approved and released the domain.

If the transfer failed and you need to try again, you can remove the current transfer before starting over. While this step isn't necessary, you may find it easier to keep track of pending transfers. 

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain under Transfers In Progress.
  3. In the Transfer Failed box, click Done.

You may need to refresh your browser for the failed domain to disappear.

Next steps

After the domain transfer is complete, you can:

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Transferring a domain to Squarespace