How to use just a Cname or Subdomain with Zenfolio

Most Zenfolio plans include the ability to use a custom domain with the Zenfolio site.
Example custom domains include:
The option is also available to use a Cname/Subdomain with the Zenfolio site.

Examples of using just a subdomain for the Zenfolio account include: In these examples, the store and gallery parts of the domain are the subdomain.  This leaves the domain and available to use with another website.

Photographers usually choose this option when they want to use their Zenfolio site just for client proofing and selling prints while maintaining their domain for a separate portfolio website.

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 or in the address bar of your Zenfolio site.


This guide covers how to point just the Cname/Subdomain 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.

There are two steps in the process of using a Cname/Subdomain with your Zenfolio website.​

Step 1

These are the general steps required for pointing a Cname/Subdomain 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 a Cname record.
  1. Login to your account at your domain registrar.
  2. Open the DNS settings. Each domain registrar company will differ slightly in how to access DNS settings.
  3. Create a new DNS record making sure to select Cname for the record type.
  4. For the Host, enter the desired subdomain (photos, gallery, proofs, etc)
  5. Enter for the TargetValuePoints To or Destination field.
    Note: must be typed exactly. Do not replace the word custom.

The DNS settings should then look something like this: ​
Host Record Type Target, Value, Points To, Destination
photos, gallery, proofs, etc Cname

*Note: must be typed exactly. Do not replace the word custom.

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 the subdomain (photos, gallery, proofs, etc).
  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

​If 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:
  • Cname record pointing to Zenfolio was not created.
  • Cname Record is not pointing to  The custom part should NOT be edited or changed.
  • There is a wildcard cname/subdomain like * in domain's DNS records interfering with the use of the cname/subdomain created for use with the Zenfolio website.
  • 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.