Setting the Site to Show That It Is Under Construction

Once the Zenfolio account is opened, the website associated with the account is immediately made accessible online.

Also when the account was started, some site presets options were displayed allowing you to choose a customization scheme for the site.

However, you can choose to not display any content and instead display a notice that your site is under construction.

Here are all four steps needed to show an Under Construction page to your visitors:
  1. Set the All Photographs Group to Private in Access Control
  2. Customize the Homepage and Apply the Directory Layout
  3. Edit the Options to Hide All Elements Except for the Welcome Message
  4. Edit the Welcome Message to Show 'Under Construction'

1 Set the All Photographs Group to Private in Access Control

First you'll need to hide all of the contents of your site so that they are not displayed to site visitors. This will also prevent search engines from being able to index the contents of your site.

That is done by setting the All Photographs group to Private in its Access Control settings.

The All Photographs group is the top most group that contains all of your galleries and groups. You can go directly to the All Photographs group by clicking on Photos in menu across the top in the Dashboard.
Photos link in Dashboard

That will load the All Photographs group in the main window of the Dashboard.

Go to Group Access in the Toolbox column on the right to edit the group's Access Control settings.
In the Access Control panel, set the group to Private.
Set to Private

Click here for more details on setting a group to Private.


2 Customize the Homepage and Apply the Directory Layout

Next you'll need to apply a simple layout to your homepage. The layout is called the Directory Centered layout. This will allow you to minimize the number of items that can be displayed on your homepage.

The layouts are changed through Customize Website View.

‚ÄčIn the Dashboard, hover your mouse pointer over Website then click on Customize Website.

Website to Customize Website View
The page will refresh with a new customization menu at the top, confirming that you are in the Customize Website View.

Once in Customize Website View, click on Layout.
Layout in Customize Website View

The Layouts panel with all of the available layouts will then be displayed.

Scroll to the bottom and apply the Directory Centered layout.
Directory Centered Layout

Click here to for more details on how to go to Customize Website View and apply different layouts to the homepage.

Stay in Customize Website View for the next step.


3 Edit the Options to Hide All Elements Except for the Welcome Message

The next steps is to hide all elements displayed in the homepage. That is done through the Options panel in Customize Website View.

While still in Customize Website View, go to Options.
Options in Customize Website View

In the Options panel, set all elements to Hide except for the Welcome Message. Make sure to also scroll down to hide all of the available elements.
Hide Elements except for Welcome Message

Go to the Guestbook tab. Set the Guestbook to Hide.
Hide Guestbook

Stay in the Options panel for the next step.


4 Edit the Welcome Message to Show 'Under Construction'

The next part is to add the words, 'Under Construction' to the Welcome Message.

While in the Options panel, go to the Welcome Message tab.
Enter Under Construction into the welcome message field.
Enter Under Construction into Welcome Message

Click Publish to make the customization changes live on your site.
Publish in Customize Website View

Check your Work

To verify the results, log out of your Zenfolio then go to your site. It should be a mostly empty page with just your site's Display Name and 'Under Construction' displayed on the page.

If you still see thumbnails of groups and galleries, it means that either the All Photographs group has not been set to Private or you have not logged out of your account.

Continue to Work on your Site

You can go back to Customize Website View and customize your homepage and your site to your liking.

The changes that you make in Customize Website View will not apply to your actual live site until you Publish the changes.

Once you have completed customizing your site, click Publish to apply the changes in Customize Website View.

Also make sure to go back to your All Photographs group and set the group to 'Public' in its Access Control panel instead of leaving it set to Private. That way your site visitors will be able to view your images and search engines will be able to index your site.

Click here to see how to edit the Access Control setting of a group.