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Using custom domains for the client portal
Using custom domains for the client portal

How to white-label your client-facing URLs

Updated over a week ago

📣 Note

Only account admins, super admins, and owners are able to customize client portal URLs.

When you create a project in HoneyBook, your clients can access all of their files, messages, payments, meetings and other job-specific details from their end, too. We call this the client portal—it’s the perfect way for everyone to stay organized and up to date while showcasing your unique brand.

When you create a project and add a participant, there's no other action needed—your client will automatically have access to their client portal.

You can take things a step further by customizing the domain of that client portal space through customized URLs in HoneyBook. You have two options customizing your client portal URL in HoneyBook: customizing the HoneyBook domain or adding your own domain.


How to customize your client portal URL

Let’s dive into the two options you have for white-labeling URLs inside of your HoneyBook account. We’ll also provide step-by-step instructions on how to add a CNAME record from several of the most popular website hosts.

Using the HoneyBook domain

Your client portal will default to use our domain through an auto-generated URL of prefix.hbportal.co/app. Once you start your HoneyBook membership, the prefix portion becomes customizable.

To customize using the HoneyBook domain:

📣 Note

You will only be able to edit the prefix once you are a subscribed member. You are only able to edit three times, so choose wisely!

1. From any page, click your profile photo in the top right corner of your screen > select Company Settings from the menu.

2. Select the Domain & Client Portal tab.

3. In the URL field, locate the Use our domain section. Click the Edit Prefix button and enter text to adjust the prefix to your liking.

  • You will only be able to edit the prefix, which is the text before .hbportal.co/app/

  • If you need to adjust the prefix after you’ve claimed it, click the pencil icon again to edit

4. Click Save when you're ready.

Using your company domain

If you’d like to give your clients an even more customized and integrated experience, you’ll want to consider using a subdomain.

To add a subdomain:

1. From any page, click your profile photo in the top right corner of your screen > select Company Settings from the menu.

2. Select the Domain & Client Portal tab.

3. In the URL field, under the Use your company subdomain section, click Use company subdomain.

4. From here, a window will pop up prompting you to complete 3 mandatory steps.

5. Enter your domain name. Be sure that you already own the domain name AND that there is no subdomain entered.

📚 Tip

Worried about making a mistake? No problem! We’ll verify your domain in real time once you move on to the next step. If something's wrong, we’ll let you know.

6. Choose your subdomain. This is the fun part! You can choose any name you’d like your clients to see when they access your HoneyBook files, messages, and other relevant job details. The maximum length for this subdomain name is 63 characters.

7. Click NEXT: Create Subdomain.

8. Create the subdomain with your website host. Depending on what domain host you use and entered, the next steps will vary between a) or b) below.

a) If you use GoDaddy, Ionos, or Google Domains as your domain host, you can use our Easy-Connect feature to create your subdomain without leaving HoneyBook.

  • A pop-up window will appear from your domain host. Log in with your credentials for this domain host, and click Confirm

  • Close the window and click Activate Subdomain

  • You'll see another window stating, "Please confirm that you’ve successfully logged in to your domain host and approved the subdomain," where you'll hit Confirm

  • If you were not able to log in to your domain host successfully, click Cancel to close the prompt and click Launch the domain host again in the bottom left to try again

b) If you use any other domain host, you'll want to go to your domain host site and create your CNAME record name.

Every domain host has their own set of instructions, though they’re all a relatively similar set of steps, on how to set up a subdomain within your domain. We’ve linked to a few commonly-used sites below for your convenience.

If you don’t find your domain host listed here, we recommend searching your domain host’s help center for “CNAME record” or “adding a subdomain” to find specific instructions.

Our members' most commonly-used sites:

Note

Regardless of your chosen domain host, you'll need to point your CNAME to "ssl.honeybook.com" for your custom domain to work.

Once you’ve customized and connected your subdomain, we’ll process the registration of the subdomain on our side. No action necessary from you during this process, but it may take a few hours to finalize.

You can track this progress through the status underneath your custom subdomain. It will state “connecting domain…" then “active domain” once the domain is officially connected.

📣 Note

During the connection process, the only active domain will be the default HoneyBook domain.

When the subdomain is officially connected, your Domain & Client Portal tab will look slightly different to reflect these changes. PLUS, you’ll receive a confirmation email. From this email, you can even test out the new subdomain on your website!


Troubleshooting your company domain

If there is a failure in syncing your subdomain with HoneyBook you’ll see a red exclamation and the message "domain connection failed." You'll also receive an email notice of the failed connection.

Some common reasons a subdomain fails:

  1. Typos: check your spelling on both the HoneyBook registration page AND on your web host’s CNAME Record

  2. Combination of domain is already taken

  3. Combination of subdomain is already taken

  4. OR, if you used our easy-connect feature, your subdomain has likely failed because the step where you logged in to your domain host didn't work

📣 Note

At this time, you will not be able to undo or change your subdomain once registered. In order to remove the registered subdomain or start over you’ll need to contact our Support team by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page


Why use white-labeled URLs with your clients?

One of the most important and consistent experiences you give your clients is your branding. It’s at the forefront of every interaction you have with them. Brand awareness, from a business ownership standpoint, will come across to clients as attention to detail, trustworthiness, and professionalism.

Allowing your clients to experience a consistent, branded experience with you allows your clients to gain trust and feel a sense of loyalty to your business and your brand. That translates to repeat clients and high quality referrals!

With custom domains, you will put your best foot forward every time.


Technical terminology to know

1. Domain names: mainly used as names for website (aka your website URL).

In short, instead of having to type each website's IP into our browsers, domain names give websites their own good looking name that can be easily memorized and used by everyone to get to your site.

For example, to access our website, all you need to enter into your browser is honeybook.com, instead of our IP address, which is a string of random numbers like 99.86.38.67. They can have multiple different extensions, such as .com, .net, .org. Domain Name registrations are usually not free and a registration and renewal fee is required for the domain.

2. Subdomains: dependent on standard domains.

They are like an additional level to a domain name. Meaning, you have to first have the domain name, and then add the subdomain as a kind of additional location or page within that website.

Let's say for example you own the domain honeybook.com. You can create additional subdomains for your domain like blog.honeybook.com. Since you already own the domain honeybook.com, subdomains for the domain do not require any additional fees, and you can usually set them up pretty easily.

3. Mapping: The process of connecting a domain or subdomain to your site.

4. DNS: Stands for “Domain Name System” which are web servers that translate an IP address into a legible domain name.

5. CNAME record: Stands for “Canonical Name” record and is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that maps one domain name to another. This can prove convenient when running multiple services from a single IP address.

Imagine a scavenger hunt where each clue points to another clue, and the final clue points to the treasure. A domain with a CNAME record is like a clue which can point you to another clue (another domain with a CNAME record) or to the treasure (a domain with an A record).

For example, suppose www.example.com has a CNAME record with a value of ‘example.com’ (without the ‘www’). This means when a DNS server hits the DNS records for www.example.com, it actually triggers another DNS lookup to example.com, returning example.com’s IP address. In this case we would say that example.com is the canonical name (or true name) of blog.example.com. All CNAME records must point to a domain, never to an IP address.

Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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