Domain names are IP (internet protocol) addresses that are human-readable. Instead of users having to remember a number like 315.912.7.25 to visit a site, they just enter company.com.
With Squarespace sites, users can enter a built-in domain name (company.squarespace.com) or a custom domain name (company.com). Custom domains can be connected, transferred or registered on Squarespace.
Connect a domain from a domain registrar (e.g. GoDaddy, Hover, Namecheap) to Squarespace.
Transfer a domain from a domain registrar (e.g. GoDaddy, Hover, Namecheap) to Squarespace. Then, manage the domain through Squarespace.
Register a domain on Squarespace Domains. Then, manage the domain through Squarespace.
In this post, I’m going to share how to register a domain name with Squarespace Domains — the most enjoyable way to search, register and manage domains!
Step 1. Get Ready
Make a list of multiple domain names to register. Keep the domains under 16 characters and ensure they're memorable and easy to spell (e.g. dropbox.com).
Consider registering singular and plural business names (e.g. apple.com, apples.com) and common typos (e.g. aple.com). Also, consider registering domains for products and services (e.g. iphone.com, icloud.com) and, if possible, register domains for future products and services (e.g. applecar.com).
Additionally, consider registering domains on the most popular TLDs (top-level domains) and register domains that'll safeguard your business against opportunists. For example, the now-defunct Toys ‘R’ Us did this years ago by registering kinky domain names like sex-toys-r-us.com, kinkytoysrus.com and adult-toys-r-us.com. They even registered toysrussucks.com, burgers-r-us.com and cigars-r-us.com.
- Avoid domain hacks (e.g. rad.io)
- Avoid domains with numbers or dashes (e.g. 3-folk-singers.com)
- Avoid domains that form unintended words (e.g. childrenswear.com)
- Avoid domains that sound untrustworthy (e.g. ready2workwithu.expert)
- Avoid domains that are similar to other businesses (e.g. donalddonuts.com)
- Avoid domains that are difficult to spell (e.g. limousineandchauffeur.com)
- Avoid domains that could be trademark conflicts (e.g. loneyplanetinsurance.com)
Step 2. Search Domain Names
Search for a domain name from either the front end or back end of Squarespace:
- Account Dashboard > Domains > Get a Domain
- Home panel > Settings > Domains > Get a Domain
If you've previously registered a domain from a third party registrar, you can connect a domain to Squarespace for free or transfer a domain for $20 to $70. For example, if you currently have 6 months remaining on a domain subscription, after transferring it to Squarespace and paying the $20 to $70 registration fee — you'd now have 1.5 years left on the domain subscription.
Step 3. Claim Domain Name
Enter the domain name you'd like to register. A list of suggestions will begin to populate. Domains will either be one of the following:
- Free (Annual Squarespace Billing Plan)
- Available ($20 to $70)
Squarespace Domains offers more than 200 top-level domains (e.g. .com, .net, .org, .online), but not ccTLDs (country code TLDs) like .uk, .au, .jp, nor premium domains that have already been registered and made available for resale.
Most registrars like GoDaddy sell domains for as low as $.99 and then charge about $10 for WHOIS privacy and $19 to renew — totaling about $30 per year. With Squarespace Domains, however, there's no hidden fees and no upselling. You pay $20 for most domains and they renew at the same rate and include free WHOIS privacy.
Additionally, Squarespace Domains automatically generates free SSL certificates (HTTPS) for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Since Google now marks all HTTP sites as “not secure" in Chrome — SSL should be top of mind on your website to-do list.
To view more domains, click Explore "All" Domains. Squarespace offers several categories:
- Legal & Financial
- Arts & Design
- Real Estate
- Home Services
- Food & Drink
- Travel & Leisure
- Health & Wellness
Select one or more TLDs by clicking a highlighted row. To deselect a domain, click again. Click "Continue to Checkout" (see image).
If you don't already have a Squarespace account, you'll be prompted to create one.
With an annual Squarespace billing plan, new users are eligible for 1 free custom domain name (if available) or a credit to transfer a domain to Squarespace.
Step 4. Add Domain Name to a Website or Move it to Parking Page
Add Domain Name to a Website
Select the Squarespace website to add the domain name. If you're a contributor to more than one site click "Yes, choose which site" (see image).
A page will then appear with the sites you own. Choose a site to add the domain name.
Move Domain Name to a Parking Page
If you don't have an active site yet or aren't ready to add your domain to an active site, click "No, just buy a domain."
Domains that aren't connected to active sites are hosted by Squarespace on an ad-free parking page. If someone visits the parked domain, they'll see the following:
- Background video (desktop)
- Background image (mobile)
- Your domain in the center of the page
- Squarespace logo in the top left corner
- Text at the bottom of the page: "We're under construction. Please check back for an update soon."
Domains can't be moved from a site to a parking page. However, if you cancel a site, the domain will automatically be moved to a parking page. Alternatively, if you register a domain and move it to a parking page, you can then move any other domain to a parking page.
Step 5. Register Domain Name
Enter your contact information. This information should contain the owner of the domain, not a team member.
Click "Continue" when finished (see image).
On the next page, add Payment Information. Click "Continue" when finished.
Include the country code at the beginning of your phone number for .co or .me TLDs. Also, the Organization field is required. If you're not registering a domain for an organization, enter the domain owner's name.
Step 6. Review Order
Confirm the domain name is spelled correctly or incorrectly if you're registering a typo domain like aple.com.
If applicable, enter an offer code.
In order to avoid interrupted service, Squarespace sets domains to auto-renew. This setting can be disabled at any time from the Billing panel. When auto-renew is unchecked, the domain will be canceled at the next billing cycle.
When ready, click "Place Order" (see image).
Squarespace takes a few seconds to register the domain. Don't close the page or refresh until this process completes.
Step 7. Review Purchase Receipt
Review the Purchase Receipt. When finished click "Continue" (see image).
You'll receive a receipt via email in Step 10 and a record of all purchases with downloadable PDFs can be found here: Home panel > Settings > Billing & Account > Invoices.
Step 8. Access Domains Panel
The domain will immediately appear in the Domains panel. Navigate to Home panel > Settings > Domains > Click the domain name (see image).
Parked domains will be presented with a welcome pop-up. Click "Start."
For professional email (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) with G Suite, click "Add Email." If not, click "Next."
To build a website or online store, click "Build a Site." If not, click "Done."
To share how you heard about Squarespace, select an option in the drop-down menu and click "Submit." If not, click "Done."
The domain name will immediately appear in the Domains panel. Navigate to the Home panel > Click the domain name.
Most domains resolve within an hour, but can take up to 72 hours. When you see a green status indicator in the Domains panel or can type the domain's URL into the browser — the domain is connected.
To quickly access the Domains panel, use the shortcut "/" or "?" and type "do." Click "Domains."
Step 9. Manage Domain Name
Access and manage the domain on a website 2 ways:
- Account Dashboard > Domains > Click the "..." > Click "Go to Site."
- Home panel > Settings > Domains > Click the domain (see image).
Access and manage the domain on a parking page 3 ways:
- Account Dashboard > Websites > Click the "..." Click "Go To Site"
- Account Dashboard > Domains > Click the "..." Click "Manage Domain"
- Home panel > Click the domain
Domains Panel: Manage the Domain
- Set a Primary Domain. In this post's example, I purchased a secondary domain (bentosites.net), so I don't want to set that as a primary domain since bentosites.com is the primary domain.
- Remove “www” from your domain
- Access DNS and nameserver settings
- Access registration information
- Disable/enable auto-renew
- Disable/enable Whois Privacy
- Lock domain
Squarespace allows a 5-day grace period to rename, replace or cancel registered domains. After 5 days, the Cancel Domain button (see image) disappears from the Domains panel.
Step 10. Verify Domain Name
Within 24 hours of registering a domain name, Squarespace sends an email that requests verification of the new domain. If the domain isn't verified within 15 days of registration, it'll be suspended.
If you previously verified a Squarespace Domain with the same email address that you registered with, Squarespace may automatically verify the new domain and not send an email.
Additionally, Squarespace will send another email, thanking you for registering a domain on an active site or offer a $20 credit (for parked domains) if you add a website to the domain within 1 year (see image).
If you decide to cancel the domain click "Uncheck Auto-Renew" in the Domains panel. This will set the domain to expire at the next billing cycle. To disconnect the domain from your site during this time, edit it's DNS settings.
You just learned how to register a domain name with Squarespace Domains. Registering a domain has never been this easy nor looked this good.
Squarespace Domains: How to Register a Domain Name first appeared on the Bento Sites Blog by Jeff Shibasaki.