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Pointing your Squarespace subdomain

You can use your Squarespace Domain’s Advanced DNS Settings panel to create a subdomain that directs your visitors to a different location. This is useful if you have another element of your brand on a second site, like a store or blog, or if you’d like to use a specific URL for another page of your current site.

Depending how you’d like your subdomain to behave, you can either forward it or set a new destination for it. This guide reviews both options.

What is a subdomain?

A subdomain is an extension of the “root” domain name that forwards to your site. The most common subdomain is "www," as in www.yourdomain.com, where “yourdomain.com” is the root domain.

While "www" will always point to your primary domain, you can create custom subdomains that point elsewhere. One example would be a domain like “blog.yourdomain.com,” where the subdomain is "blog." Your subdomain is the part that replaces the standard “www” and goes in front of your root domain.

Before you begin

  • This guide is for Squarespace Domains. You can register a free domain through Squarespace for the first year on an annual plan and register additional domains on any plan. To forward subdomains for a domain you purchased through a third-party, follow your provider’s documentation.
  • To forward your Squarespace primary domain instead of a subdomain, visit Forwarding your Squarespace Domain.
  • To direct the subdomain to the primary domain on the same site, rather than a specific page, visit Creating a subdomain for your Squarespace Domain.

Forwarding vs. setting a destination

Your subdomain configuration determines which URL displays in the browser once a visitor is taken to the new site. If you'd like your visitors to see the URL for the new site (thirdpartysite.com), you'll forward the domain. If you'd like visitors to see your custom subdomain in the browser (subdomain.yoursitetitle.com), you'll set a destination

Here’s a summary of the differences and requirements for each:

 

Forward a subdomain

Set a subdomain destination

When to use it

If you want to direct the subdomain URL to the new site’s URL

If you want to keep the subdomain URL intact on the new site

What you’ll start with

  • A new subdomain name
  • A target URL, either on the same Squarespace site or any external site
  • A new subdomain name
  • A target URL (CNAME) or IP address (A Record)

Example records (replace with your own)

Subdomain “blog” points to URL "mysite.com/blog" or “mysite.tumblr.com”

Subdomain “blog” points to CNAME "domains.tumblr.com" or A Record “72.32.231.8”

Forward a subdomain

Use the Forward Domain preset in your Advanced Settings panel to forward your subdomain to a new site.

Note: Ensure that the subdomain you’re using isn’t linked as a third-party domain in the Domains panel. This creates an error when you attempt to forward it. See Troubleshooting for more information.

Step 1 - Open Advanced DNS settings

Start with the site that's currently using the root domain from which you'll build your subdomain. In this example, our root domain is “createbeautifulwebsite.net.” Open Advanced DNS settings for the root domain. 

Step 2 - Add forwarding preset

From the Add Presets drop-down, select Forward Subdomain.

In the subdomain field, enter the name of the subdomain to forward, such as “blog.” In the URL field, enter the full URL of the domain or specific page you’d like to forward to. 

  • If you're forwarding to a Squarespace site, use your custom Squarespace Domain and specific page slug, such as “mysite.com/news.”
  • If you're forwarding to an external site, enter the full site URL, such as "mysite.tumblr.com." 

Click Add to complete the process.

In this example, we’re creating the subdomain “blog,” so the full subdomain URL will be “blog.createbeautifulwebsite.net.” We’re forwarding to our Tumblr blog at the URL “squareadventures.tumblr.com.”

Step 3 - Test

In a new private or incognito window, enter your subdomain URL. If your records are correct, you’ll be directed to the new page or site and that site’s URL will appear in the browser address bar.

Set a subdomain’s destination

Use the Custom Records area of your Advanced Settings panel to set a new destination for your subdomain. Before you begin, you should have either a CNAME (URL) or an A record (IP address) provided by the external site you're pointing to.

Note: Ensure that the subdomain you’re using isn’t linked as a third-party domain in the Domains panel. This creates an error when you attempt to forward it. See Troubleshooting for more information.

Step 1 - Open Advanced DNS settings

Open Advanced DNS settings for the root domain that you’ll add the subdomain to. In this example, our root domain is “createbeautifulwebsite.net.”

Step 2 - Add subdomain record

Scroll down to Custom Records. By default, you’ll see an @ in the Host column and an A in the Record column.

Replace the Host record with your subdomain. In this example, we’re creating the subdomain “blog,” so the full subdomain URL will be “blog.createbeautifulwebsite.net.”

The Record and Data entries depend on what your third-party site requires. Before adding records, verify the record type you need to point to:

  • If you’re pointing the subdomain to an IP address, keep the A in the Record column, then enter the IP address in the Data column.
  • If you’re pointing to a URL, switch the record to CNAME using the drop-down, then enter the URL in the Data column.

Click Add to complete the process.

Here, we’re pointing our subdomain to Tumblr, who provided the CNAME URL “domains.tumblr.com.”

Step 3 - Test 

In a new private or incognito window, enter your subdomain URL. If your records are correct, you’ll see the third-party site with your Squarespace subdomain URL in the browser address bar. 

If your subdomain isn’t pointing correctly, contact the provider for the site you’re pointing to and ask for the correct CNAME or A record for pointing your subdomain. For example, if you’re setting a Tumblr site as your destination, contact Tumblr’s support for the record type to enter in your Advanced Settings.

Troubleshooting

I’m seeing a “DNS Conflict Alert” message

You’ll see this message if the subdomain you're trying to forward or set to a destination is also linked in the Domains panel, which creates a conflict in your Advanced DNS settings. If you’re forwarding your domain, you don’t need to create and link the subdomain in your Domains panel.

Review your domain settings to see if this is causing the problem. If it is, you’ll see a subdomain linked in the Third-Party Domains section of the Domains panel, which looks like this:

You'll also see subdomain records like these in the original domain's Advanced Settings:

Use the following steps to resolve this: 

  1. Follow the steps in Disconnecting a third-party domain to remove the subdomain.
  2. Return to the original domain’s Advanced Settings panel and delete any custom records you’ve added for the subdomain.
  3. Click Save at the top of the page.
  4. Add your forward again using the Forward Subdomain preset or set your destination again with custom records.
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Pointing your Squarespace subdomain