Does Squarespace Own My Domain?

Does Squarespace Own My Domain?

The domain is the address that people have to enter in order to visit your Squarespace website. It's an important part of your branding and customers will make a judgment about a brand based on your domain. If you’re looking to start a Squarespace website now, but don’t want to be tied to the platform, to move later on, then you might be concerned that buying your domain from them means that they keep control of your domain.

However, this is not the case as we describe here.

Does Squarespace Own My Domain - Browser window with an'example.com' address.

The Difference Between Domain and Website

The website is the set of files and folders that create the look, content, and other features of a website that customers can look at. The domain is the address that your users will enter to access the website. The two combined create a website that people will interact with.

Any set of website files can be attached to a domain name, in theory, as long as the settings within the website files associate the files with that domain name and the files are on the right server.

Therefore, a domain is not a website and you can change the website design, platform, and anything else on a domain at any time.

Buying a Domain From Squarespace

There are several registrars that you can buy a domain name from. Squarespace is one of the registrars that allow you to buy a domain name. These are bought on a license for a certain length of time. This could be for one, two, or another few years. These domains are, therefore, not owned by you, but rather leased to you.

Why do you buy a domain from Squarespace, you are still technically the owner of the domain. You’re in control of it. Squarespace is only the middleman that enables you to buy the use of the domain and will register it for you.

Does Squarespace Own My Domain - Man purchasing a domain online.

Moving from Squarespace

The biggest problem with Squarespace is that people are concerned that if they move from Squarespace to another platform they will not have access to their domain anymore. This is not true. You will still have control of the domain and can have the domain point to other website files in a folder.

You will still need to use Squarespace to renew your domain regularly. But this can be done automatically for you on an auto-renew. There also might be an option to transfer your website’s domain to a new registrar.

Clarifying Domain Ownership with Squarespace

Initial Domain Registration

When a domain is registered through Squarespace, the user is listed as the owner of the domain, not Squarespace. This setup ensures that the individual or entity that registers the domain retains full ownership rights over it.

Squarespace acts as a registrar, facilitating the registration process and managing the domain on behalf of the user. The distinction between the registrar and the domain owner is crucial for understanding who controls the domain's use and management.

Domain Renewal and Ownership Continuity

Domain ownership is contingent upon timely renewal before the expiration date. If a domain is not renewed on time, it risks being released back into the public domain pool, where it can be registered by someone else.

Squarespace sends reminders for upcoming renewals to prevent accidental lapses in ownership. Maintaining control over a domain requires attention to these renewal notices and ensuring that the registration fee is paid annually.

Transferring Domains Away from Squarespace

Users have the right to transfer their domains away from Squarespace to another registrar at any time. This process is governed by ICANN rules, which ensure that domain owners can move their domains freely between registrars. A transfer does not affect the ownership of the domain; the original owner retains ownership throughout the transfer process. Squarespace provides support and instructions for users wishing to transfer their domains, emphasizing the user's control over their domain.

Domain Privacy and Security Features

Domain Privacy Protection

Squarespace offers Domain Privacy Protection to safeguard your personal information from being publicly accessible. This feature is crucial for avoiding unwanted spam and protecting your privacy online. It ensures that your contact information is not exposed in public domain registries, a valuable service for all website owners.

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SSL Certificates for Security

Every domain registered through Squarespace comes with an SSL certificate at no additional cost. This certificate encrypts data between your site and its visitors, ensuring a secure connection. It's an essential feature for website security, protecting against data breaches and enhancing visitor trust.

Transferring and Connecting Domains

Squarespace supports both transferring existing domains to their platform and connecting domains registered elsewhere. This flexibility allows users to easily integrate their domains with Squarespace websites. Whether transferring or connecting, Squarespace provides comprehensive tools and guides to facilitate the process, ensuring a seamless transition for your online presence.

Conclusion: Does Squarespace Own My Domain?

No, Squarespace does not own your domain. You have complete control over your domain and can use another platform with the domain if you wish. There are also possibilities of you transferring your domain from Squarespace to a new registrar. All Squarespace does is act as a middleman allowing you to buy a domain and register it with the appropriate organizations.

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