How to Connect Your Namecheap Domain to Squarespace
How to Start a Blog: Part 4 (Connecting Your Namecheap Domain to Squarespace)

WARNING: this post is going to be super dry but super helpful if you need help connecting your Namecheap domain to your Squarespace website! If you chose to go with another domain registrar or blogging platform (besides Namecheap + SS) this post won't be much help to you but give Google a good search and you will easily be able to find step-by-step directions for connecting your domain! 

Let's get to it.

1. In your SS dashboard go to > Settings > Domains

 

2. Select "Use a Domain I Own" > "I want to connect a domain instead"

 

3. Enter your domain name > "Continue"

4. Ensure Namecheap is selected, and then click "Connect Domain". 

 

Your domain will appear in the Domains panel, with a note that says "Can't verify domain ownership."

Click your domain, then click DNS Settings. The DNS panel will open with the records you need to enter in your Namecheap account so your domain connects to Squarespace. (Keep this panel open for your reference.)

 

log in to Namecheap

At this point you will log in to your NameCheap account / dashboard and add the Required Data + Records to your DNS Table: 

> Select "Manage" on the line of your designated domain name and then > "Advanced DNS"


Add the first CNAME 

In the Advanced DNS section for your Namecheap domain, click "Add New Record" and add the following credentials:

> Type column = CNAME Record (use the drop-down menu)

> Host column = the unique code from the Host column in the Domains panel (reference your Squarespace domain panel...this is a random string of numbers and letters.)

> Value column = verify.squarespace.com

> TTL column = Automatic

> Click "Save All Changes".


Add the second CNAME

> Add New Record

Type column = CNAME Record (use the drop-down menu)

> Host column = www

> Value column = ext-cust.squarespace.com

> TTL column = Automatic.

> Click "Save All Changes".


Add your A Records

> Add New Record

> Type column = A Record (use the drop-down menu)

> Host column = @

> Value column = 198.185.159.144

> TTL column = Automatic.

> Click "Save All Changes".

Repeat this process until you've added the following 3 IP Addresses:

  • 198.185.159.145
  • 198.49.23.144
  • 198.49.23.145

Refresh

After changing your records, return to the Squarespace Domains panel, and click "Refresh" below the records.

The Current Data column in the panel will start to update and show if your records are entered correctly. Don't stress if you don't see immediate results! It can take up to 24 hours for this information to process.

Phew. That wasn't so bad, was it? If you have any problems or questions just shoot me a message, I'd love to help you! Or checkout my new 6-week Build a Badass Blog Coaching Program!

 

xx,

Riss

How to Connect Your Namecheap Domain to Squarespace
How to Start a Blog: Part 3 (Choosing a Domain Name)
How to Start a Blog // Part 3 (Choosing a Domain Name)

 

If you're not feeling totally overwhelmed and still planning to start your own blog / website, I have good news. We're finally getting to the good stuff. (Did you miss part 1 and part 2 of this series?)

It's time to pick your domain name! What the heck is a domain name anyways? Think of this as the street address you will give to your friends to physically find your house for a super fun Sunday brunch full of french toast and too much champagne. This is where your readers will find you! 

 

EXAMPLE
Domain Name: radmaverix.com
URL: https://radmaverix.com

 

Although this step is optional I would totally recommend buying a unique domain for your new website. Something that represents your blog topic / niche, your business name...something that depicts what you're all about, beautifully + concisely!

 

My best tips:

.COM is ideal. Although there are tons of other TLDs (top-level domains), .com is the most common and established; therefore what most internet users will assume when searching the WWW. I know, I know, it'd be super cool to have ilove.pizza but let's get real...you will probably be having a pizza party for 1 if people can't even find your address. (Please note, if you're in the UK or CA, and only providing services or conducting business within your respected country, .UK and .CA are great options if you're not planning to expand your business worldwide.)

Keep it simple. You want to be able to pass along your domain easily + effortlessly. Try to use keywords that exhibit your ideal brand or blog topic.

Keep it short. Try to keep your domain on the shorter side, if possible, to help prevent typing errors and confusion.

Leave room for growth. It's a good idea to create a domain name related to your niche but we don't want to limit your options too much. (Example: I chose to not add "blog" (theradmaverixblog.com) to my domain name because I knew at some point I wanted to expand into other areas (tees, coaching, etc).

 

Choosing a domain registrar

Once you decide on a domain name you will register / buy your domain name on a Domain Registrar site. There are tons and tons of domain registrars out there so do your research if you're not feeling confident in one or the other! I have used 3 different registrars and can confidently say I LOVE namecheap.com. It is super user-friendly and their 24/7 help-desk / IT dept. is top notch. TOP NOTCH, THE BEST OF THE BEST, THE BEES KNEES, 24/7 FREAKIN' SERVICE, YOU GUYS.

Popular Domain Registrars:

Hover

Namecheap

Dreamhost

Gandi

Name.com

HostGator

BlueHost

GoDaddy

 

How to Start a Blog // Part 3 (Choosing a Domain Name)

Registering with Namecheap

I always recommend Namecheap when my clients are creating new websites/blogs. (Need help? Check out my coaching packages here) If you're more of a DIYer, check out the screenshots below for registering a domain with Namecheap.com, it's literally 3 steps and BAM you have your very own domain! (Click on the photos to enlarge them)

1. Enter the domain you want to register and click Search.

2. If the domain is available, you will be able to add it to the cart by clicking the Add icon to the right of the domain name.

3. Create account + confirm order!


 

Are you starting a blog? What domain name are you thinking about choosing?

 

xx

Merrissa

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Please know, I would never share or talk about a product / service that I wouldn't recommend to a close friend or something I don't totally love &/or use myself. 

How to Start a Blog: Part 2 (Choosing the Best Blog Platform)
How to Start a Blog - Rad Maverix

This is part 2 of the How to Start a Blog Series and it may be the most overwhelming; choosing the best blogging platform FOR YOU. If you’re new to blogging then you’re probably asking yourself, “What even is a platform”? A blogging platform is the software or service that you will use to publish your content onto the internet in the form of a blog / website. It is simply a content management system.

Please note, I've seen people get really sensitive + defensive about their respective blogging platform. At the end of the day, you need to choose what fits best for YOU! Do your research if you're not 110% confident on which platform to use! The opinions in this article are just that...my opinions + experiences. 

A little history on the Rad Maverix website:

Rad Maverix originally started on the (free) Wordpress.com platform. Wordpress.com is great for beginner bloggers who don’t want the commitment of the monthly / annual fee of having a website but still would like to add a SMALL bit of customization to their blog. I emphasis SMALL BIT because you are pretty limited on the customization's available on the free software.

After a few months on Wordpress.com I felt a bit restricted on the design/customization side of things so I switched over to the self-hosted software, Wordpress.org. Both versions of WP, the .com and .org’s have essentially the same dashboard. So there was not a huge learning curve besides stepping into the shark pool I like to call the “Hosting biz”. When using the Wordpress.org software you have to provide your own hosting. Which means you have to do all of the maintaining on the back-end or contract it out. EW. I was on the .org for a couple of years and eventually got so tired of the maintaining / fixing / 'site not found' / 'bandwidth exceeded' bull that I didn’t even want to look at my website. I was spending SO much time maintaining and working on the back-end of Radmaverix.com that I felt discouraged and didn’t even have the time or energy to work on providing actual blog content! I have to add this disclosure, it may have been partially my chosen hosting company's fault that left such a bad taste in my mouth in regards to WP.org. Although the customer service was incredible I kept "exceeding bandwidth" and my site kept "going down" even though my traffic was not super high. 

Not to mention, while my blog was on Wordpress.org my actual Rad Maverix Shop was being hosted on Shopify. So I was losing A LOT of SEO optimization / google rank because I was sending my blog readers and shoppers to 2 different websites! YUCK! I only suggest Shopify to retailers / shop owners who don't plan to blog or don't really care to have a lot of customization on their blog. Shopify is an EXCELLENT software for shop owners and I 100,000% support it!

Fast forward to Jan 2016 and I finally made the leap to Squarespace. The only thing I can say, is I wish I had done it sooner. Now, my blog + shop is housed under one really pretty + polished tin roof. The only thing that stopped me from moving to SS sooner was the fact that (at the time) SS did not integrate with Paypal and a lot of my customers used Paypal at checkout when buying tees + tanks. I was scared to death that I could potentially lose a lot of customers because Paypal would no longer be an option at checkout. THEN, SS decided to jump on the bandwagon and integrate with Paypal late 2016. YAY! 

I've been on Squarespace for over a year now and it is still one of the best decisions I've made in my business to date.

 
This is a very short version of the Rad Maverix platform history. I don't want to bore you with the details but please know that I have spent many late nights fixing / crying / cussing and feeling super frustrated because my website JUST WOULDN'T WORK. I have had experience with Blogger (blogspot) as well and although a great platform for beginner bloggers, I've found a lot of blogspot.com users end up moving to Squarespace or Wordpress.org for better control and design options.
 
frontline-creative-178990.jpg

 

 

I’m only going to compare a few of the platforms I have had experience with but will provide you with a more extensive list of possible platforms if you’d like to do further research.


pros / cons


wordpress.org

Pros

  • The software is free and super easy to use ONCE you learn how to maneuver the Wordpress dashboard

  • You are in complete control + essentially own your data
  • You can upload and use plugins (more plugins = more customization's)
  • You can buy and install REALLY cute themes (ETSY!) and modify theme files
  • You can make money from it by using your own ads!
  • Custom Analytics and Tracking

Cons

  • Web hosting. This bit will cost you money somewhere from around $3 – $11 per month (as your site grows, your hosting costs will too as you are limited on traffic / space on your website).
  • You are responsible for updates / backups and preventing SPAM. There are, however, plugins to help with these tasks.
 

 

wordpress.com

pros

  • It’s free for up to 3GB of space. After that you will have to pay for space ($19.95 per year for 5GB) or ($289.97 per year for 100GB).
  • They make regular backups of your site.

Cons

  • They place ads on all free websites.
  • You cannot sell ads on your site unless you have over 25k page views / month
  • Cannot use plugins
  • Cannot use custom themes
  • Your site can be deleted at any time if they think it violates their Terms + Services
  • Analytics are limited.
 

 

squarespace

pros

  • Flexible pricing plans with a 14 day free trial period
  • Self-hosted (you don't need to pay for hosting)
  • Beautiful themes that are responsive to mobile devices.
  • Drag + drop web design / extensive styling options
  • SEO optimized
  • All plans are AD-FREE
  • No bandwidth or storage limit

Cons

  • There is not a free option
  • Harder to learn how to use other than other web builders
  • Integrations are limited to a select few services and tools

  • The Personal plan limits you on # of pages, 1 blog + 2 contributors

 

 

Points to consider before choosing a platform:

What is your monthly / annual budget?
What exactly do you need your blog / website for?
Will you have a shop? or blog only?
Do you want to sell ads?
How much control do you want?
How much customization do you want?

Does your brain hurt yet? I hope not! Although, it can feel a bit scary and overwhelming try not to worry too much about which platform to start out with. You can always test it out and move to a different platform at a later date. There are gobs of resources on the WWW that will help you move your content from one platform to another if you decided to ever change service providers (literally step-by-step guides!).

 

Here is a list of other blogging platforms to look into:

  • Blogger
  • Tumblr
  • Medium
  • Wix
  • Joomla
  • Ghost
  • Weebly
 
How to Start a Blog // Part 2 (Choosing a Blog Platform)

What is your preferred platform?

 

Riss