How to Unpublish Site or Temporarily Take it Offline

This guide provides information for those looking to temporarily take their Zenfolio website offline or to those that would like to temporarily unpublish their site (but want to continue to work on their site from being the scenes).

Unfortunately, the only way to completely remove the site from the web is by closing the Zenfolio account.  When an account is closed, the site is not only taken offline but all of the photos and content in the site are permanently deleted.  Also permanently deleted are all of the site settings and site customizations set by the photographer.

While the account is active, the actual site will always remain online and accessible.  However, there are some changes that a photographer can make to their site to accomplish something close.

Please click the links below to jump directly to the desired section:  

Temporarily Unpublish the Site

To temporarily unpublish the site while still allowing the photographer to continue to work on their site from behind the scenes, the photographer would need to edit their site's customization so that most of their homepage is empty and void of any site navigation tools and of most site content and information.

That is done by customizing the homepage to make it mostly empty and by making the photos and content in the site inaccessible to site visitors.

Emptying the Homepage

  1. Start by going to Customize Website View.
  2. Go to Layout and then apply the Directory Centered layout
  3. Go to Options then go to the Page Elements tab, then set all available elements to Hide.
  4. Publish your changes and exit Customize Visitor View.
See this link for how to go Customize Website View and access Layout and Options.

Making the Photos and Content inaccessible to Others

These next steps happen in the Dashboard.
  1. Go to Photos in the top menu.
  2. Select the top level group (called All Photographs by default but this can be renamed by the photographer).
  3. Go to Group Access and set the group to Private.
  4. If there are any groups and galleries that are set not to follow the default settings, navigate to that item and set it to Private as well.
See this link for how to set an item to Private.

That will result in your homepage being a page with just your site's display name and copyright.  Also it will make your photos and galleries inaccessible to anyone but you.

You can then continue to customize your site in Customize Website View at your leisure.  Just make sure not to Publish your changes until you’re ready to apply them to your live site.

Also do not forget to set the All Photographs group and any other edited items back to Public or Locked with a Password to allow clients to access those items again.


Temporarily take the Site Offline - For Pro and Advanced Subscribers

This option is only available to users with the Pro or Advanced plans.

If you would like to take your homepage offline temporarily, follow the two steps below.
  • Use the External Homepage feature - Use this feature to redirect site visitors to another website. You can use any website to direct the client to e.g. or

    See this link for how to use the External Homepage feature.
  • Set to Private - Edit the Access Control settings of your top level group (called All Photographs by default but this can be renamed by the photographer) and set it to Private.

    See this link for how to set an item to Private.
Once you're ready to allow access again, use the External Homepage feature to set your default homepage page as your site's homepage. Then edit your top level group's Access Control setting back to Public.

With this option, it will not be possible to customize the homepage. If you would like to able to continue to customize the homepage, please use the steps listed above.