Many users opt to test their websites before modifying the name servers on their domain to point to our servers. This allows you to develop the website, whilst the old one runs elsewhere. There are two options for such testing, one designed for novice users, and another designed for advanced users.
Using the VIPControl temporary URL viewer
This is the easiest method for testing your website. It does not however, support .htaccess functions. If you wish to use .htaccess functions, please refer to the other methods detailed below.
- Login to your VIPControl.
- Click the Manage my Hosting button on your VIPControl dashboard.
- Click the blue cog button on the relevant hosting service and then select Temporary URL from the options.
- Enable the feature, and browse to the URL provided.
Modifying your computers hosts file
This method involves making a small adjustment to your computers Hosts file. This allows you to customise where your domain points without relying on DNS. Depending on your operating system, the location of your hosts file may vary:
Windows: The host file is usually found in C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
Linux and MacOS X: You can find the hosts file under /etc/hosts
As the file is a simple text file, you can edit it using your favourite text editor (such as Notepad or Wordpad). If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may need to run the program as an Administrator. Add an entry into your hosts file as follows:
192.0.2.1 www.yourdomain.com yourdomain.com subdomain1.yourdomain.com
Remember to replace the IP address with the servers IP address – you can obtain this from within your VIPControl by going to your Hosting Services section and going to the Service Details. The subdomain entries simply refer to any subdomains that you may also with to test (such as store.yourdomain.com).
For more information on how DNS works, we suggest watching the informative video made by DNSMadeEasy: