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Why Squarespace Domains Isn't Ready for Prime Time (Or Your Time)

I wanted to believe Squarespace could take over Google Domains. But sadly it's the trainwreck I feared.

Squarespace Domains review: works well in certain conditions, beyond that it's a no.
Squarespace Domains: sadly, not ready to take over every domain. If you have a basic domain (e.g., *.com, *.org), a simple setup, and a Squarespace website, it should work. Beyond that, it's a gamble.
Squarespace Domains β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†
Squarespace bought Google Domains. The transfer hasn't gone well. If you have a relatively simple, straightforward website (artist, interior decorator, photographer, service business) hosted on Squarespace there's no harm in using Squarespace Domains for your website. It keeps everything together and it is serviceable. BUT, if you're not using a *.com, *.net, or *.org top-level domain ending (TLDs) you could run into problems adding/editing custom DNS records. If you're looking for a domain host for a website not hosted on Squarespace ... buyer beware. I'd recommend using Porkbun instead. Oh, and customer service ... lacking, at best.

When Squarespace bought Google Domains, I wept a little.

I loved Google Domains because of its ease of use, no upsells, no calling ... an overall great experience for small businesses I recommend to everyone.

As a Squarespace user (Squarespace Circle) for the past 7 years, I also didn't quite trust Squarespace to pull it off. Don't get me wrong, Squarespace is one of the best website builders you can buy. As long as it stays in its lane: a website builder.

I'm not a fan of Squarespace Email Marketing because it's limited and overpriced for what you get and it doesn't integrate with anything. I recommend MailerLite (low-cost option, service business β€” it's what we use), Convertkit (creators), or Omnisend (ecommerce) instead.

In loving memory of Google Domains, our beloved simple domain hosting.
In loving memory of Google Domains, our beloved simple domain hosting. By Tara Bisme.

I'm not in love with the direction of Acuity Scheduling since Squarespace took it over. You can't go wrong with Calendly, or my personal favorite Book Like a Boss.

BUT ... if your business plan includes beautiful website, with decent search engine optimization (SEO), without all the hassles of a WordPress website, Squarespace is way better than, say, Wix (still overpriced hot garbage).

So yeah, I was skeptical about Squarespace stepping into Google Domains formidable shoes.

When the news broke, I did an exhaustive search, and narrowed it down to IONOS, Cloudflare Registrar, and Porkbun ... and then decided I'd take care of it "later."

Always a bad sign when I do that.

Fast forward to April, when I started getting notifications that my domains were migrating. I was on vacation, and didn't worry until my membership domain, wcb.community, migrated.

Boutique TLDs, like *.community, although not new, hasn't been around forever. When I bought it, it wasn't a problem because it was on Google Domains, which expanded its TLD offerings slowly.

My personal websites aren't exactly set and forget.

I occasionally make backend domain changes to meet the needs of the membership, including changes to Learnworlds, our membership platform.

For example, the migration to Squarespace Domains coincided with Learnworlds adding mass emails to its platform. I've been fiddling with the settings to maximize deliverability and wanted to add email forwarding so we don't have to set a reply-to for each message.

I should also pause here and say that I'm an experienced website developer who's mucked with websites, domain name system (DNS) settings, and techie bits for years.

I ran into a brick wall.

Every domain change was met with an error.

Squarespace domains review: I could not upudate custom records and migrated to Porkbun.
I could not get any custom records to update. And customer service was ... not helpful.

At one point I could delete a record.

But I was never able to add a record.

I'd say Squarespace customer service gave me the runaround, except ... I'm not even sure if you could even call it that. I didn't feel like they were reading the questions, because the answers were total nonsense. I couldn't get a live chat going β€” everything was done via emails, and sometimes I waited a long time for a response.

Squarespace Domains customer service experience. Lots of nonsense, no solutions.
This doesn't make sense.

When the answers weren't nonsense ...

It was clear there wasn't enough attention to detail ...

Squarespace Domains customer service referring to the wrong domain.
This is not the domain I sent the request about.

Ultimately, Squarespace admitted it could not adequately service my *.community website needs.

Because I needed these changes, I had no choice but to migrate ASAP.

I tested IONOS ... they've been calling me. Rock hard pass. I don't want upsells, let alone sales calls.

I don't know why I even considered Cloudflare Registrar. I don't enjoy managing records in Cloudflare.

I kept hearing about Porkbun occasionally in Facebook groups and articles. I took the plunge.

So far, so good. No upsells, simple interface, and it updates records quickly.

If you're not building a Squarespace website, or you're using a domain that doesn't end in *.com, save yourself the hassle and go to Porkbun.

Squarespace Domains

I recommend Squarespace Domains for an extremely narrow group of folks: businesses using Squarespace for a website, using a standard TLD (domain ending), such as *.com. Otherwise, it's a hard pass. Functionality is limited, customer service is slow and leaves a lot to be desired, and domain management isn't Squarespace's primary focus. If its other ventures outside of website building (e.g., email marketing, scheduling) are any indication, Squarespace will not make significant enough of improvements to justify going all in on Squarespace domains now or in the future.

Squarespace Domains

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