Pointing a Custom Domain to Zenfolio using an A-Record & CNAME Record

Get a Domain Name
Most Zenfolio plans include the ability to use a custom domain with the Zenfolio site.

Example custom domains include www.evanchungphoto.comwww.tracephotographs.com, and www.willnicholls.co.uk.


This guide covers how to point the entire custom domain to Zenfolio. 

If you have not already registered the custom domain with a domain registrar, please do so before following these steps as these changes are made with the domain host. See this guide for more info.

If you already have your own domain name that you wish to use there are two important steps in the process of setting it up as your Zenfolio site.  
  • The first step is to edit your domain registrar's DNS settings, including the A-Record and CNAME.  
  • The second step is done in your Zenfolio account where you link your account to your custom domain. 
The A Record allows web browsers to know the location (IP address) of your website. The settings below will point web browsers to your Zenfolio site when your Domain Name is used. Zenfolio will then direct visitors to your Zenfolio website. The IP address used by Zenfolio is an IPv4 address (not IPv6).

The CNAME record is a type of record in the DNS which specifies that the domain name is an alias. The Alias name is the sub-domain you want to use. For example "www", or "photos" which will display as www.yourdomainname.com or photos.yourdomainname.com in the address bar of your Zenfolio site.


Step 1:

These are the general steps required for pointing a custom domain to Zenfolio. These changes are made to your custom domain's DNS records with your domain host. Please check with your domain host for more specific steps for how to add an A record and Cname record.
  1. Login to your account at your domain registrar.
  2. Open the DNS settings. If you have more than one domain, select the domain you want pointed to your Zenfolio website (only one domain can be pointed to your Zenfolio website).
  3. Create a new DNS record.
  4. In the Domain field input @.
  5. In the Type or Record field input or select A if required.
  6. In the IP, Target, Value, Points To or Destination field, enter Zenfolio's IPv4 IP address:
  7. Create another record but this time, select Cname or Subdomain for the record type.
  8. For the new Subdomain/Cname record, enter www for the Host. 
  9. Enter custom.zenfolio.com for the TargetValuePoints To or Destination field.
    Note: custom.zenfolio.com must be typed exactly. Do not replace the word custom.


The DNS settings should look something like this:
Host Record Type TargetValuePoints To, Destination
@ A
www Cname custom.zenfolio.com
Once you have finished these settings, feel free to proceed to Step 2 below but please note that it may take up to 48 hours for the DNS changes to apply.


Step 2:

Following the instructions in Step 1 directs your custom domain web traffic to Zenfolio. The next step is to set the domain to your Zenfolio account. 
For Zenfolio users that signed up after May 10 2018, please click here for updated instructions using the new Photos Page in the Dashboard.
  1. Return to your Zenfolio account then go to Settings.
  2. Go to Website.
  3. Go to Custom Domain.
  4. Select Point a custom domain name to your Zenfolio pages.
  5. Enter your domain name. Be sure the domain you enter begins with www.
  6. Click Test DNS Setup.

DNS Test New Edit View


If the Test comes back with the message The domain name is configured correctly, click Save and you are done.

DNS Test Good Results

‚ÄčIf it comes back with This domain is not configured correctly, then you will need to wait longer or check your settings at your domain registrar.

DNS Test Results Bad

Some common issues to look for:
  • A record pointing to Zenfolio was not created.
  • There are multiple A records. There should only be one A record and it should be the one pointing to
  • Cname Record is not pointing to custom.zenfolio.com. The custom part should NOT be edited or changed.
  • Domain is using nameservers from another service. The domain should use the domain host's default nameservers.
If you've verified that your account has the correct DNS Settings and after 48 hours your custom domain is still not working, please send an email to Customer Support for assistance. Please include a screenshot of your DNS settings from inside your Domain Registrar account. See the illustrated guides for examples.