Making the Choice: Transferring vs. Connecting a Third-Party Domain to Shopify

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Did you know that Shopify offers the ability to host third-party domains? Whether you already have a domain or are considering buying a third-party domain, read on to decide which option is best for you.


Transferring a Domain

Transferring a domain to Shopify means you will manage your domain settings directly from your Shopify admin, instead of your third-party domain provider account. This includes DNS settings, domain payment, and renewal.


For example, if you purchased a third-party domain from GoDaddy, you will no longer need to log in to your GoDaddy account to manage your domain after transferring it to Shopify. You can access your domain settings directly from your Shopify admin.


Transferring a domain provides the same outcome as purchasing a domain directly from Shopify.


Pros of Transferring a Domain

By transferring your domain, you adopt a one-stop-shop approach, making things easier for yourself. You don't need to remember your password for your third-party domain provider account, and you can contact Shopify directly for help with the domain instead of the third-party host.


Cons of Transferring a Domain

There are a couple of limitations to be aware of when transferring a domain:

  • Your domain must have been registered more than 60 days ago to be eligible for transfer.
  • Check if your domain is eligible for transfer here.
  • When you transfer your domain, you need to pay to register it with Shopify for 12 months. The 12 months are added to your domain's current expiry date. For example, if your third-party domain expires in 6 months, it will expire in 18 months once you transfer it to Shopify.


Connecting a Domain

Connecting a domain to Shopify means you will continue to manage your domain settings from your third-party domain provider.


For example, if you purchased a third-party domain from GoDaddy, you will still manage your domain settings, payment, and renewal directly from your GoDaddy account when you connect it to Shopify. With this option, your domain remains with the third-party provider you purchased from.


Pros of Connecting a Domain

By connecting your domain instead of transferring it, you have the freedom to manage your domain from outside of Shopify. This option is suitable if you prefer not to have all your domain management in one place.


Additionally, if you want to point your domain to your store for a few months and then point it somewhere else, you can easily do so when you connect instead of transferring.


Cons of Connecting a Domain

When you connect a domain, you need to ensure it is correctly pointing to your Shopify store. Although not necessarily a con, connection errors may occur. If a connection issue happens, you will need to contact your third-party domain provider for support, rather than Shopify.


To point your domain to Shopify, you will need to edit your domain settings from your third-party domain account. This page provides instructions on which settings you need to change.



Whichever option you choose, having a custom domain for your Shopify store is crucial. Custom domains drive brand awareness, build trust, and act as an online business card, creating a safe place for customers to visit, inquire, browse, and learn more about you and your business without needing to directly contact you.


Did you know this article is part of a three part series? Check out our other articles below!

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