Adding a domain to Ecwid Instant Site

In order for a site to be published online, it needs to have an address. A domain is a URL, the virtual address of a website. For example, mystore.com. When customers visit your site, your URL appears in their browser's address bar.

When you register an Ecwid account, you get a site with your store – Instant Site. It has a free domain, or URL, in the form of https://store12345.company.site. You can change the part store12345 anytime, as well as to buy a custom domain or use an existing domain with your Instant Site. Having your own domain improves your SEO, which helps you get better placement in search engine results.

Editing Instant Site subdomain

You can use the secure Ecwid domain for the Instant Site for free. By default, your URL is something like https://store12345.company.site, where ‘12345’ is the ID of your store.

You can change the “store12345” part and use your store name instead, so it looks like https://mysuperstore.company.site. That way, it reflects your brand, and your customers can easily find it in search results.

To change the Instant Site URL:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Website → Domain.
  2. In the Site Address block, click Change Address.
  3. Type in your desired name in the Use our subdomain field:

Enter your custom subdomain

  1. Click Save.
If you've specified the Instant Site address as your store location, after updating the web address of your Instant Site remember to update your store location as well.

Connecting your own domain

If you already own a domain name, you can use it with your Instant Site. If you don't have one, you can buy it from third-party companies that sell domain names. Check where you can buy a domain name.

To connect your domain to the Ecwid Instant Site, you will need to make changes both in your Ecwid admin panel and in your domain registrar account.

In the Ecwid admin

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Website → Domain.
  2. In the Site Address block, click Change Address.
  3. In the pop-up, put the cursor in the Use your own domain name field and enter your custom domain name there:

Enter your domain name

  1. Copy the IP address that you see under the Use your own domain name field (you will see it after you place the cursor in this field.)
  2. Save the changes.

In the domain registrar account

  1. Log in to your domain registrar's account. If you do not know who your domain registrar is, you can check it out in online domain checkers like whois.domaintools.com
  2. Create an A-record for your custom domain (your-domain.com) and point it to the IP-address you copied from your Ecwid admin.
  3. To make your Instant Site available at www.your-domain.com as well, create a CNAME record for your custom domain your-domain.com and specify www as a name/alias for it. You will need to add the following to DNS record:
    www IN CNAME @
    or
    www IN CNAME your-domain.com
  4. If you are not sure how to make these changes, contact your domain registrar support for more detailed instructions.
  5. Wait for the changes to propagate. It can take from 2 to 48 hours for domain changes to propagate.

Once the setup is complete and the changes are propagated, your Instant Site will become available at the specified addresses via a secure HTTPS connection encrypted by an SSL certificate from Ecwid.

If you open your domain name straight after you add the A-record and CNAME there, you will most likely see "This site can’t be reached" message. That's expected behavior. Give it from 2 to 48 hours for the changes to propagate on the side of the domain and for Ecwid to connect the domain name to your store. 

Where to buy a domain

If you want your site to run on your own domain, you should purchase a domain from a domain registrar. Use any domain name registrar that you are comfortable with. Ecwid doesn't sell nor host domain names.

Some of the most popular domain registrars are:

General steps of buying a domain:

  1. Go to the domain name registrar you chose.
  2. Type in your domain into the search box and click Search Domain.
  3. Select the extension you need (for example .com or .biz) and add the domain to your cart.
  4. Complete the registration process and make the payment.
Domain registrars might prompt you to buy additional features, so before paying make sure there are no additional items in your cart that you don’t need.
  1. The domain is now yours.
We provide free SSL certificate for Instant Site — after you connect a custom domain to your Instant Site, it will run at https:// automatically. In case you connect your custom domain to a site created with the help of a third-party platform, we strongly recommend purchasing an SSL certificate for your own site.


FAQ

How do I transfer my existing domain to Instant Site?

If you want to use your existing domain with your Instant Site, you are supposed to keep the domain with your current domain provider (so, there is no transfer) and just add a few records to your domain settings to point your domain to Ecwid IP address. See above how to connect your own domain with Instant Site.

Can I connect a subdomain of my domain to Instant Site?

Yes. If you run your main site on your custom domain, you can connect its subdomain to Instant Site (e.g., shop.your-domain.com). This can be done in the same way as connecting a custom domain:

1. In your Ecwid Admin, go to Instant Site settings , specify your custom subdomain (example: shop.your-domain.com) in the Use your own domain name field and copy the Ecwid IP address that you'll see below (when your cursor is in the field).

2. In your domain account, add an A record for your subdomain and point it to your Ecwid IP address.

If you wish to also use www.shop.your-domain.com, add a CNAME record to your domain settings (example: www.shop.your-domain.com IN CNAME shop.your-domain.com).

Why am I getting an error when trying to access my Instant Site?

The link to visit your storefront from the Ecwid admin uses the web-address that you've specified as your store location. Make sure that the right address of your Instant Site is entered in Settings → General in the Store location (URL) field.

If you don't recall your Instant Site address (for example, you've tried different subdomains during initial setup or haven't used your store for a while), you can find your Instant Site address in your Ecwid admin in Website → Domain → Site Address or in Overview → Instant Site → Manage Instant Site and update the web-address there if needed.


Related articles

Connecting your GoDaddy domain to Ecwid Instant Site
Instant Site SEO settings
Understanding domains

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