Squarespace vs Namecheap (2021): Which Is Better For Domain Registration?

Everything begins with a great domain. Whether you’re starting a blog or opening an online store, a strong domain name will not only add credibility to your site but also increase its visibility. A registered domain also gives you mobility, so you can change hosting services without losing your “online address”.

As its name suggests, Namecheap is one of the best places to go for cheap domain registration. The company offers hundreds of top-level domains at reasonable prices and great perks. Squarespace, on the other hand, is popularly known for its intuitive tools in making professional and high-quality websites. Outside of sleek templates and e-commerce features, however, the platform also allows users to buy and register domains.

But which one is better? Below, we compare the two to help you decide where you should register your domain.

Squarespace vs Namecheap Comparison Chart

NameSquarespaceNamecheap
 
PriceCheck Squarespace Plans HereCheck Namecheap Pricing Here
TypeWebsite building and hosting platformDomain name registrar
Best Known ForSleek templates and drag-and-drop website editorAffordable domain pricing and registration
Top Level Domains200+ TLDs450+ TLDs
SSL CertificateYesYes, multiple options
HostingYesYes
Website BuilderYesYes, available through hosting plan
StorageUnlimitedDepends on the plan
BandwidthUnlimitedDepends on the plan
Transfer DomainsSupportedSupported

Key Difference

Squarespace allows users to build a website while Namecheap primarily offers domain name registration and web hosting.

Here’s a look at Squarespace’s web editing interface

Known for its stunning templates and easy-to-use interface, Squarespace provides powerful tools to create and manage an online presence. The platform’s website editor makes use of intuitive drag-and-drop functionality that requires little coding or web development experience. Currently, users can choose from over 60 templates, all of which are customizable and mobile-responsive.

Squarespace also comes with built-in e-commerce features, so individuals and small businesses can also manage their own online stores. And since it sees itself as an online solution, you can also purchase, register, and manage a domain via the platform.

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Domain management is Namecheap’s bread-and-butter

Namecheap, on the other hand, offers general domain and hosting services at fairly reasonable prices. The company boasts of a reliable system of DNS servers across the US and Europe. Since its foundation in 2000, Namecheap has become one of the more reputable domain name registrars in the industry. It also provides several hosting solutions, including dedicated WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, as well as migration services.

Namecheap does have a website builder, which you can access if you buy a shared hosting plan. But it also integrates with other site builders. Like Squarespace, Namecheap’s website builder includes customizable templates, e-commerce payments, as well as a drag and drop interface.

Domain Registration and Management

Namecheap has more options for top-level domains, as well as a simpler domain management interface, compared to Squarespace.

Namecheap offers the most popular TLDs

A Squarespace subscription entitles a user to a free custom domain for one (1) year. This automatically renews after the eligible period. Soon after, your domain will be charged based on standard rates inclusive of applicable taxes. Domains purchased through the platform are currently hosted by two registrars: Tucows and Squarespace Domains LLC.

Paid Squarespace subscribers can also register additional domains. The platform has over 200+ top-level domains (TLDs) in its directory, including the most popular options like .com, .net, and .org. Your Squarespace domain can also be used to point to another site or forward to a subdomain.

Being a standalone domain registrar, Namecheap will give you more options. The company has nearly 500 of the most popular domains offered at competitive prices, including country code TLDs as well as a wide selection of generic TLDs proposed by ICANN. Registering on Namecheap also gives users a free email address for a 2-month trial.

But perhaps what makes Namecheap a really popular choice is its interface. The platform’s control panel is uncluttered and easy to navigate. This makes managing domains, changing DNS settings, or even transferring a domain less cumbersome. It’s hard to say the same for Squarespace since the website builder has to balance a host of other features, too.

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Features

Both Namecheap and Squarespace offer a number of features with their respective domain registration services.

Squarespace is still best know for its powerful website builder

Buying a domain on Namecheap comes with a number of perks. For instance, you get quick access to one of the more advanced domain name generators in the market. It’s fairly easy to use and should give you a head start in choosing across the hundreds of domains available.

Registering with Namecheap also gives users free products and services. A .com domain, for instance, already includes WhoisGuard privacy protection, basic DNS, and Positive SSL. Premium add-ons to bolster your website’s security are likewise available, including multiple options when it comes to SSL certificates.

Squarespace, on the other hand, only offers a single SSL certificate although it’s generated for free with your site. Like Namecheap, the platform offers full DNS control as well as free WHOIS privacy. Moving domains between Squarespace sites is also fully supported.

Namecheap gives users exclusive offers on security, hosting, and private email options. The company also provides a modest selection of app and service integrations. As expected, Squarespace will give you more features outside of domain registration. SEO, e-commerce, marketing, and blogging tools are all integrated with the website builder. Namecheap’s website builder isn’t as dynamic as Squarespace’s yet.

Pricing

Namecheap offers hundreds of domains at competitive prices although Squarespace does offer a one-year free promo for first-time annual subscribers.

Here’s a sample of the TLD pricing offered by Namecheap

Squarespace offers a free domain during the first year. However, this promo is only available to Squarespace sites on annual billing. Paid monthly, these plans can cost between $16 to $46. Paid annually, however, monthly fees are discounted.

When registering with Squarespace Domains for a regular domain, you can choose from a range of TLDs. These domain extensions are priced anywhere between $20 to $70 for a one-year registration. If you’re transferring a third-party domain to Squarespace, the TLD must also be on Squarespace’s list. Transfer fees are the same as the regular registration fees.

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Namecheap, on the other hand, lives up to its name with its relatively affordable domain registration pricing. However, it isn’t as simple as Squarespace’s. Domain prices on Namecheap vary widely. In addition, one can opt for package deals and offers, so you’re not only paying for a domain but also for hosting, privacy protection, and costlier SSL tiers.

For comparison’s sake, however, a .com domain with Namecheap on its own costs $8.88 for registration, $12.98 for renewal, and $8.58 for a transfer. On Squarespace, the same extension will cost you $20 for registration, renewal, and transfer. Of course, the first year will be free if you avail of the earlier mentioned promo. In succeeding years, however, this will be charged on top of your subscription in succeeding years.

Verdict

Squarespace’s domain registration is great if you plan to build a website on the platform. Otherwise, you’ll find Namecheap’s domain pricing more competitive and flexible.

Squarespace

Best for its website builder

Namecheap

Best for its domain pricing

Do you need to build a website right away? Do you need to have everything set up? If your answer to these questions is yes, then register a domain with Squarespace. While a regular domain extension on the platform is more expensive than Namecheap’s, you do get access to the platform’s versatile website builder. Everything is covered, too — hosting, security, and storage. Plus, you have a number of features to scale your website. That’s the incentive.

If you’re not in a hurry to build a website or are still canvassing for the right platform, then register a domain with Namecheap instead. The company has one of the more reliable sets of DNS servers in the industry and offers a broad range of packages and deals to its customers. Namecheap also comes with a solid website builder just like Squarespace. But it’s domain is best used with other site builders or content management systems like WordPress, for example.

Simply put, you’ll benefit most from registering a domain on Squarespace if you use it within Squarespace’s ecosystem. Meanwhile, Namecheap will give you greater flexibility and mobility so you don’t feel tied down to a particular website builder or platform.

FAQs

📌 Can I transfer a domain that’s registered elsewhere to either Squarespace or Namecheap?

Yes, both Squarespace and Namecheap support domain transfers. Keep in mind, however, of applicable fees.

📌 Do I need to register my free custom domain from Squarespace immediately?

Yes, your free domain must be registered within one year from the start of your website subscription.

📌 Does Namecheap’s website builder support e-commerce payments?

Namecheap’s website builder includes a range of payment tools like Easypay, PayPal, and Skrill.

📌 Can I register a domain on Squarespace even without a Squarespace account?

To register a domain on Squarespace, you also need a Squarespace account.