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April 15, 2016 View Original Article

Squarespace now sells you domain names directly so you can sidestep GoDaddy

Website builder Squarespace is adding an extra string to its bow today with the launch of Squarespace Domains, a service that helps users procure more than 200 top-level domain (TLD) names, priced from $20 to $70 a year.

Founded in 2004, Squarespace has built a solid reputation in the creative realm, with a DIY platform for building and hosting websites and a content-management system (CMS) for bloggers. And from today, anyone can search for their preferred domain across a multitude of TLDs, including .academy, .camera, .pizza, .plumbing, and more.

Squarespace is also touting WHOIS Privacy as a free add-on for subscribers. This means that when you register a domain name, your personal details will automatically be hidden in the WHOIS public database, something that GoDaddy and other providers charge for. Other perks include a “beautiful ad-free parking page,” and will soon include SSL certificates and free domain-name transfers.

This move pits Squarespace against some major competitors, oldies such as GoDaddy, as well as relative newcomers, like Google, which offers a similar service in the U.S.

In many ways, it’s surprising the New York-based company has not offered domain name registration as part of its package before now, though historically, the company has offered a free domain as part of a Squarespace annual subscription. It certainly makes sense — rather than having to mess around with different vendors, you can now do everything from within the one platform.