How to Use Your Own Domain with Squarespace
Setting up a website at your own domain, rather than at a subdomain like yourname.squarespace.com or yourname.wordpress.com, is an important step if you want to promote your artwork online.
Having your own domain means you can put your website at any host, without changing your website address. For example, I could move my website www.christophertsongas.com from Squarespace to another host without changing my website address because I have my own domain.
Having your own domain also makes it easier for people to find your website by searching on Google and other search engines. Search engines consider domains when displaying search results, so if your name is part of your domain, your website will be more likely to come up when people search for your name. Squarespace also automatically secures your website with a security certificate, which improves your Google search ranking.
If you have your own domain, you can set up an email address at that domain (rather than using an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org). Having an email address at your own domain helps you appear more professional as an artist.
How to Register a New Domain
If you have not registered your own domain, and you want to use Squarespace to create your website, I recommend registering your domain through Squarespace. That will automatically configure your domain to use Squarespace for hosting, and make it easy for you to purchase Gmail for your domain through Squarespace.
To register a new domain through Squarespace, visit www.squarespace.com/domain-name-search and search for a domain that includes your name. If yourname.com is taken, try a domain like yournameart.com or artbyyourname.com. Squarespace includes privacy protection with all domain name registrations, which is important for avoiding marketing calls and junk email.
How to Use an Existing Domain
If you already have your own domain, you can either connect the domain to Squarespace, or transfer the domain to Squarespace.
If your domain is registered through a company like Namecheap.com that is primarily a domain name registrar, I recommend leaving it there and just connecting it to Squarespace instead of transferring it. That way, you won’t have to transfer your domain again if you eventually decide to move to another host. Here are instructions for connecting a domain to Squarespace: support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205812378-Connecting-a-domain-to-your-Squarespace-site.
If your domain is registered through a host like wordpress.com, I recommend transferring it to Squarespace. That way, Squarespace support will be better able to help you configure your domain to work with their platform, and can remind you to renew your domain before it expires. Here are instructions for transferring a domain to Squarespace: support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206542037-Transferring-a-domain-to-Squarespace.
Conclusion: Use Your Own Domain!
Having a website and email at your own domain will help you put your best foot forward as an artist. Squarespace makes it easy to use a domain you already have, or register a new one!