Squarespace website hosting: which one to choose

There are lots of types of Squarespace website web hosting. For example, there are web, domain, VPS, shared, cloud and others. Though some of them may seem closely related, they’re all quite different. Here in this guide we’ll dive deeper into differences and similarities between the types of Squarespace website hosting all so that you could choose the one that meets your needs.

About Squarespace hosting

There are different types of hosting Squarespace provides its users with. We’re going to discuss Squarespace web hosting and domain hosting.

What is web hosting on Squarespace

Let’s consider your web content as a store. A web host here grants the physical space where you can display products from your store - texts, images, videos and other content published on your website.

In case you’ve chosen to build a website with Squarespace, then Squarespace becomes your web host. Squarespace as a host provides a place on the web allowing you to display your content, and also tools to create and manage that content. Every Squarespace site is stored on Squarespace servers.

What is Squarespace domain hosting

A domain stands for a domain name, for example, www.yourdomain.com, that can be used by your Squarespace website visitors to find you on the web. It’s like a street address leading people towards the needed location.

Domain hosts commonly store domain names and make their registration much easier. So, if you’re creating your Squarespace website, you'll automatically get assigned with a built-in domain.

Tip: Squarespace built-in domains do not redirect to your custom domain.

BONUS: 80+ Elfsight plugins for Squarespace

What is DNS hosting

Squarespace website DNS hosting is a service running Domain Name System servers. In some cases, domain name registrars provide DNS service with registration, but free DNS services exist as well - they are usually sponsored by some large providers and telecommunication services. Also, lots of third-party DNS hosts provide Dynamic DNS.

This type of web hosting service is the best possible when in a situation where the provider has numerous servers in different locations around the globe providing resilience and minimizing latency for users all over the world. By placing DNS hosts closer to end users, DNS queries have to travel a much shorter distance, resulting in faster web address resolution.

What is VPS web hosting

A VPS stands for virtual private server. It is a virtual operating system, that is there to reside within a parent server and apply virtualization technology to grant dedicated resources to some other virtual servers.

The private, emulated VPS hosting environment is created on some device - host (computer or any other tool connected to others and creating some sort of network), parent server or even a cluster of servers.

And however VPS copies lots of the qualities of a “real” physical server, it’s still a piece of software, acting with the same processes and functionality. In most cases, VPS grants users with the following opportunities:

  • Accessing their VPS environments from anywhere.
  • Having allocated bandwidth for each instance. This helps to make sure that the performance won’t be affected by other companies on the server.
  • Getting more bandwidth and storage.

VPS usually uses a parent server to host multiple virtual servers which are separated from one another. And by using a software that is called a hypervisor, a provider can implement a virtual layer on the top of the operating system to segment the servers. The separation helps users to apply their own operational system and software, which results in creating their own really private server.

VPS is good for:

  • Hosting web servers
  • Hosting 1-10 sites - Squarespace-based or any others
  • Building and providing cloud-based services
  • Creating and providing virtual workstations for remote workers
  • Storing files to provide an access to them from anywhere in the world
  • Databases

Now that you know what VPS is and how it works, you can make a decision whether it’s a type of web hosting that suits your Squarespace site.

What is Shared hosting

Shared web hosting is a type of hosting allowing you to host your Squarespace website on a single physical server that is also hosting some additional sites. There are some additional tools and opportunities available within the host server that make accessing your Squarespace website much easier.

There are hundreds and even thousands of users that can be hosted within the same server. And they can benefit from it as it means that they divide the costs as well. This “collective” usage makes this type of web hosting one of the most inexpensive ones and really suitable for small Squarespace website owners. Lots of bloggers, small businesses and other website owners choose to start with this sort of web hosting.

Shared servers are analogous to computers because they both have hard drive space, a central processing unit (CPU), and RAM. All these resources are also shared with all other users that are hosted by the server. This makes secure storing of all the saved files, data, and information possible.

When a user attempts to access your website from their computer, the data stored on the server is sent to the user by the host. Shared web hosting reaps benefits of the best server utility as each individual Squarespace site generates a different amount of traffic at a different period of time.

Below you’ll find a list of benefits a user of a shared web hosting gets:

  • Low prices. As we’ve mentioned above, the costs of this service tend to be low due to other users contributing to its costs.
  • Flexibility There are multiple plans for a user to choose from. And they’re all aimed at fitting the needs of large amounts of sites hosted within one server.
  • Security. Websites, also utilizing your shared server, can’t access your website’s data. Some web hosting companies also provide some additional security features.
  • No-problem setup. It’s really quick and easy to set up a Squarespace website on a shared server.
  • Easy to handle maintenance. Usually, the shared server is maintained by a web host provider and does not require any actions on your side. So you can focus on developing your Squarespace site and growing your business, not hosting issues.

So, if you don’t have a lot of knowledge of web hosting, want to save money, value your time and are more interested in developing your Squarespace site, then shared web hosting is for you.

What is Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting stands for the process of outsourcing some business’ storage and computing resources to a service provider offering its infrastructure services in a utility model. The cloud provider - host - oversees setup, cloud infrastructure, security, and maintenance. Sometimes customers are allowed by a host to configure hardware and applications, as well as scale servers online. Compute and storage resources are spread across hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) that require I/O load balancing in a cloud infrastructure configuration.

It's a much cheaper model in comparison to a classic dedicated host server model. The last one means that businesses have to build their own data centers and manage them. They can result in really high expenses for an organization.

Here are some pros cloud hosting model for Squarespace offers:

  • Cloud hosting allows Squarespace site owners to save a huge amount of money on owning and managing data centers.
  • Squarespace website owners get the ability to scale more efficiently, paying only for the hosting services and resources they need.
  • Companies choosing cloud hosting get all data protection benefits - from high availability to fast disaster recovery.
  • Using cloud hosting guarantees flexible and cost-efficient scalability in creating applications, Squarespace websites and other services.

To sum up, cloud hosting is great for those Squarespace users, who want to have near perfect uptime and are planning to grow their servers as they see fit, without experiencing any delay.

You can also use cloud-based web application to upgrade your website. Try Squarespace Google Reviews plugin for free!

What is dedicated hosting

One more type of hosting to consider - dedicated hosting. This model presumes that a physical server is provided by a host to a single client. The client is given complete control over the machine, so it can be optimized according to their needs and requirements, performance and security included.

The hosting provider here grants the physical server and environment, as well as technical support and associated services. And here are some reasons why a Squarespace website owner might want to consider using a dedicated hosting:

  • It guarantees more control. Control over the dedicated environment is performed by a host company’s IT staff.
  • More flexibility. Companies are given an opportunity to easily change server configurations, take advantage of new software and adjust all the options to make them meet their needs.
  • Improved performance. Any team behind a Squarespace website has a chance to optimize a dedicated host server to support their most demanding services.
  • Great security. If there are some particular security demands a company needs to fulfill, the host server can be customized.

So in case your Squarespace website has more personalized demands, there’s a chance to fulfill them by choosing dedicated hosting.

How to transfer a domain to Squarespace

In case you’ve bought a domain form some third-party provider, it can be transferred to Squarespace. After it is transferred, you get an option to manage all of your domain settings from your Squarespace website account.

Your third-party domain can be transferred to a paid Squarespace site, a trial one, and if you don’t have a site yet, you can begin with a domain transfer.


The list below will provide you with all the necessary info about the price on transferring domain to Squarespace:

  • The pricing model is based on TLD and costs from $20 to $70. To get more precise info on your domain’s transferring price, find the info on the your Domains panel.
  • The transfer can be completed after you pay for one year of domain registration.
  • The transfer itself does not require any extra fees.
  • The domain will be renewed at the same price after its registration term ends.
  • The domain you’ve transferred to Squarespace will include free Whois Privacy and SSL.

And there are some transfer requirements your domain must fulfill.

Transfer requirements

Your domain must be eligible for transfering to Squarespace before beginning the process. Make sure that:

  • The domain’s TLD must be on the Squarespace’s supported list.
  • Sixty days must have elapsed since the domain was registered or transferred with your current provider.
  • Your domain must be active. If it is about to expire, make sure that it’s eligible for transfer before starting the process.

The list of ineligible domains include:

  • Domains with nine or more years remaining on registration.
  • Subdomains - Squarespace will attempt to transfer the root domain in this case.
  • Domains including the words "squarespace" or "sqsp".
  • Registry premium domains.

In case you have some custom email address linked to your existing domain, then your records will be transferred to the Squarespace website panel along with your domain.