Preview your website using host files

Adding entries to your hosts file lets you view the files you uploaded to your hosting account before changing your domain's nameservers. To do this, add your hosting account's IP address as an entry on your computer's host (your computer). Where that files is depends on your operating system (OS):

OS Host File Location
Windows (8, 7, XP, etc.) c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
Macintosh OS X /private/etc/hosts
Linux /etc/hosts

You may need to make a copy of your hosts file to another location to make the changes then copy it back.

Now, add an entry for your domain/hosting account using the following format:

[your account's IP address] [your fully qualified domain name]

For example:

12.0.0.1     coolexample.com

You can also add the www version of your domain. You can add that version to the same line, like so:

12.0.0.1 coolexample.com www.coolexample.com

How you find your IP address depends on the type of hosting account you're using:

After your domain propagates be sure to remove the entry from your hosts file. If you do not remove the entry and change plans or servers in the future, you will not be able to view your site.

We do not support modifying your system files, do so at your own risk.


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