Welcome to 24Moves Consulting’s series of help guides! As a leading provider of marketing-focused IT and design services, we primarily work with WordPress. However, we understand that our clients have diverse needs, sometimes involving other platforms such as Wix and Squarespace. We’re here to assist you, regardless of your platform of choice.

Today, we’ll discuss the steps for transferring a domain from Wix.com to Squarespace.com. This might seem like a daunting task, especially for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of domain management.  This step-by-step guide is designed to walk you through the process, ensuring minimal downtime for your website.

NOTE: This is a basic guide for domain transfer, if your domain has 3rd party settings, such as email handling or authentication records, you need to make sure and copy these settings to your new Squarespace account.

Not everyone has the time or the inclination to handle domain management tasks on their own. If you’d prefer to have experts take care of it, 24Moves is here for you. Whether it’s domain transfer, website setup, or ongoing support, we have the knowledge and experience to handle it efficiently and effectively.  To find out more about how 24Moves can assist you, feel free to contact us at any time.

A few things to note about DNS settings and Domain Transfers

DNS Setting changes can crash your website.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Do not make major DNS setting changes just prior to a major campaign.  It can take up to 72 hours for changes to take effect.
  • Do not transfer a domain to an account you do not own.  For example, you are the owner of the domain, don’t put it in the name of your developer, designer or IT contractor.  The domain should be in an account that you own, under your name, just like your business property lease!
  • DNS settings are rarely permanent; if you make a minor mistake, it’s easy to correct.
  • DON’ PANIC – Sometimes, you may encounter an error on your website while making domain changes.  This can occur for several reasons.  If you type in the right DNS settings correctly, many errors resolve themselves over time.  For example:
    • Your browser is “caching” data.
    • The Internet database of Domain settings may be slow.
    • Some settings may take up to 72 hours to complete.

A Note About This Article

Squarespace and Wix like to move things around or change the navigation structure on their websites.  The general steps won’t change and should be followed in order.  However, the steps’ locations, or the buttons’ names, may occasionally change.  For this reason, and to prevent confusion, I won’t be providing screenshots for this tutorial.

Before getting started, make sure your Squarespace website is set up correctly, ready to receive your domain.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Squarespace Site

Before we can redirect your domain to Squarespace, we must ensure that your Squarespace site is properly set up and ready to go live.  There are many settings for Squarespace website, and each individual page includes important settings that are important to your site’s performance and SEO.  But for the sake of the domain, there are some critical steps to take:

Here’s how you do it:

First, let’s ensure your Squarespace billing is active:

  1. From your Home Menu, click Settings.
  2. Click on Billing & Account > Billing.
  3. Make sure your site is on an active billing plan. If it’s not, select a plan and complete the payment. This is important as SSL certificates, which provide website security, are only available for Squarespace sites on a billing plan.

Next, we have to make sure your website is publicly available.

  1. These steps assume your new Squarespace website has already been completed.
  2. Log into your Squarespace account.
  3. Click Settings from your Home Menu.
  4. Click on Site Availability.
  5. Select Public, then click Save. Your site is now live, but won’t be discoverable until you connect your domain.

Lastly, we need to make sure SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which encrypts your visitors’ connection to your site, is enabled:

  1. From your Home Menu, click Settings.
  2. Click on Developer Tools, then SSL.
  3. Select Secure (Preferred), then click Save.

Now that your Squarespace site is set up and SSL is enabled, it’s time to start the process of moving your domain from Wix to Squarespace.

Step 2: Retrieve your Current DNS Settings

Before we start the transfer, we need to make sure we have a record of all DNS settings for your domain.

Since Wix doesn’t show the entire DNS record, we’ll use an external DNS lookup service to retrieve these settings.

  1. Go to a DNS lookup service like DNS Checker.
  2. Make sure the “Record Type:” box shows that “ALL” is selected.
  3. Enter your domain name into the search field and click Lookup DNS.
  4. You will see a list of all DNS records for your domain. You will need these some of settings later when setting up your domain on Squarespace.
  5. You can either make screenshots of all of this information (make sure and scroll!).  Or you can click the button to download the records as a text file.

Step 3: Connect your Wix Domain to Squarespace

Important: Domain transfers can take several days to complete. To avoid downtime for your website, we’ll initially point your Wix domain to your new Squarespace site. This means that while Wix is still hosting your domain (waiting for the domain transfer to complete), it will direct users to your Squarespace site.

Now, we’ll ensure your domain points to your new Squarespace site while we wait for the transfer.

  1. Log into your Squarespace account.
  2. From the Home Menu, click on Settings, then Domains.
  3. Click Use a Domain I Own.
  4. Type the domain you’re transferring, then click Continue.
  5. Click Connect From Provider.
  6. Select Wix from the drop-down menu, then click Connect Domain.  If it does not exist, select “Other”.
  7. A new panel will open, do not close this window.  These are the records you must enter in your Wix account. Keep this panel open for your reference.

Step 4: Update Wix Domain DNS Settings

We’ll need to temporarily update your DNS settings in Wix to ensure your domain points to your new Squarespace site while the transfer is in progress. These are the settings provided by Squarespace in the previous step.

Important note: This is the part where many people panic a little.  Several DNS settings must “propagate” across the entire internet and don’t always go in order.  For example, you may see an SSL error or a Squarespace “Verify Domain” message for a period of time.  If you typed in the information correctly, don’t panic. Just be patient with everything to finish transferring.  It rarely takes longer than 2 or 3 hours for the propagation to complete.

  1. Log in to your Wix account.
  2. Click on the dropdown to select the website.
  3. Click Domains.
  4. Click the circle icon with “…”
  5. Select “Manage DNS Records”
  6. Update your DNS settings according to the values provided by Squarespace in the previous step.
    • Make sure you put the CNAME and A records in the right places.
    • The SquareSpace page you still have open will show you a “Current Data” and “Required Data” column.  Look for the “Current” value on your Wix settings and change it to the SquareSpace “Required” data.
    • Make sure to remove any conflicting records.
    • Your domain name in “Wix” settings may appear as “@” on Squarespace settings; that’s ok.
  7. Once you’ve updated your DNS settings, click Save.

Please note that it may take up to 72 hours for these changes to take effect due to DNS propagation.

Step 5: Prepare your Wix Domain for Transfer

Now let’s prepare your domain for the transfer from Wix.

  1. Log in to your Wix account.
  2. Go to Domains in the My Domains section.
  3. Click the relevant domain.
  4. Click the “More Actions” icon (Circle with “…”)
  5. Click “Transfer Away from Wix”
  6. Click “Transfer Domain”
  7. Click “I Still Want to Transfer”
  8. This will send an authorization code to the email associated with the domain registration. Make a note of this code, as you will need it when you transfer the domain to Squarespace.

Step 6: Begin the Transfer to Squarespace

With your Wix domain ready, it’s time to begin the transfer process on Squarespace.

  1. Log into your Squarespace account.
  2. Click on Settings from your Home Menu.
  3. Click on Domains.
  4. Click Use a Domain I Own.
  5. Enter the domain you’re transferring, then click Continue.
  6. Click>.
  7. Squarespace will show you the cost of the transfer. Review this, then click Continue.
  8. Enter your billing information and complete the payment.
  9. Enter the authorization code you received from Wix and click Submit Transfer.

Step 7: Confirm the Transfer and Recreate DNS Records

Once the transfer is completed, you’ll need to recreate any custom DNS records that you previously had on Wix.

  1. In your Squarespace account, go to Settings > Domains.
  2. Click on your transferred domain, then click DNS Settings.
  3. Recreate your Wix DNS records in Squarespace.

Note that changes to DNS settings can take up to 72 hours to propagate across the internet.

Step 8: Confirm your Domain Setup on Squarespace

Once your DNS records are set up, and the domain transfer is complete, it’s crucial to ensure that your domain is correctly linked to your Squarespace site. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Log into your Squarespace account.
  2. From your Home Menu, click on Settings.
  3. Select Domains to view your list of domains.
  4. Find the domain you’ve transferred and click on it. You should see a green label that says Connected next to your domain name if the domain is correctly linked.
  5. If the label is not green or says Not connected, click on the domain name to check the settings. Squarespace will display error messages and guidance on how to resolve any issues.

Note: It can take up to 72 hours for your domain to connect to Squarespace after you change your settings fully. If your domain doesn’t connect after 72 hours, contact Squarespace support for further assistance.

Step 9: Verify All Hyperlinks and 3rd Party Products

Next, make sure your new Squarespace website is working correctly with the domain change.

  1. Open all web pages and click on all hyperlinks.
  2. Ensure everything loads correctly and the domain is correctly used on all hyperlinks.
  3. Check all 3rd party plugins, utilities, and iframes.  This includes maps!
  4. Check all links to external files, such as PDFs, images, and videos.

Wrapping Up

Transferring your domain from Wix to Squarespace may seem a little complex at first, but by following these steps you’ll have your domain moved in no time. Remember, moving your domain also gives you the benefits of Squarespace’s domain management and support. Happy transferring!

Welcome to 24Moves Consulting. We understand that handling IT and design services can sometimes be complex and time-consuming, especially if you are juggling many different responsibilities in your business. That’s where we come in. Our specialty lies in providing top-notch, marketing-focused IT and design services. While our main expertise is WordPress, we also offer a comprehensive range of services on other platforms like Wix and Squarespace.

If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably considering moving a domain from Wix to Squarespace. Let us handle the technical details! To learn more about how 24Moves can assist you, feel free to contact us anytime.