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Connecting a third-party domain to your Instant Site

Every site has a domain, or URL that appears in a browser's address bar. For example, mystore.com. When you register an Ecwid account, you get a site with your store, Instant Site. It is located on a free URL in the form of store123.company.site that you can edit.

Instead of using the default URL, you can connect a domain purchased from a third-party registrar. That way, customers can enter your custom URL to their browser to open your online store. Having your own domain improves your SEO, which helps you get better placement in search engine results.

Connecting a third-party domain requires manual setup both in your store admin and in your registrar account.

Where to buy a domain

To use a unique web-address for your site, you need to purchase a domain from a registrar. Use any domain registrar that you are comfortable with.

Some of the most popular domain registrars are:

You can buy a domain directly from Ecwid. That way, your domain connects to Instant Site automatically without you having to manually set it up.

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. Remember that your Instant Site is secured with a free TLS certificate, so you don't need to purchase it extra.

That’s it. Once you purchased a domain, it’s yours, and you can now connect it to your Instant Site.

Connecting a third-party domain to Instant Site

A custom domain is connected to your Instant Site in two steps: first you make adjustments in your Ecwid admin, then you set up the domain in your domain registrar account. Steps are the same for connecting a newly purchased domain and for a domain you’ve owned for some time.

Connected domains are not transferred to Ecwid. So all domain settings are located in your registrar’s account where you can manage it if needed.

If your site doesn't have a domain yet and you're interested in acquiring one, you can purchase a domain directly from your Ecwid admin. This eliminates the need for manual setup of your new domain.

You can also use a custom subdomain like store.example.com with your Instant Site. 

Step 1 — Setting up domain in the Ecwid admin

To begin with, you need to specify your domain name in your Instant Site settings:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Website → Domain.
  2. In the Domain name and site address block, click Connect Existing Domain.
  3. In the Specify a domain name field enter your custom domain name (without www):

    domain name.png

  4. Click Next Step.
  5. You will see a popup that contains an IP-address. Copy that IP-address. You will need it to set up your domain in your registrar account.
  6. Click Save.

Step 2 — Setting up domain in the domain registrar account

To finish the domain setup, you should make changes in your registrar account. Below you’ll find general steps for making changes. You can also check the list of domain registrars, find your third-party service and follow the precise steps of setting up.

To set up domain in your 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.

    Make sure to delete other A or AAAA records for your root domain (@), so they don’t conflict with the A record pointing to your Ecwid Instant Site.
  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

    If you are not sure how to make these changes, contact your domain registrar support for more detailed instructions.
  4. 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 TLS certificate from Ecwid.

Note: If you open your domain name straight after adding DNS records, you will most likely see the "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. 

You can use a custom domain on any paid plan. If you downgrade to a Free Ecwid plan, your custom domain will be replaced with a free Ecwid subdomain.

Disconnecting a third-party domain from Instant Site

After you disconnect a domain, it will no longer open your Instant Site. Visitors will see a blank page instead. Still, your Instant Site will be available on the default free domain.

To disconnect a domain from your Instant Site:

  1. From your store’s admin, go to Websites.
  2. Under the section with your domain name, click the disconnect it from your store link.
  3. Click Disconnect Domain.

Related articles

Connecting your GoDaddy domain to Ecwid Instant Site
How to Buy the Perfect Domain Name for Your Store (blog)
What’s in a Domain? (blog)

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