How can I test or preview my website before DNS propagation is completed?

Once you have created a website hosting account with us you may wish to preview your website before you change the NameServers and switch your live site to us.

Alternatively if you have registered a domain name through us you may want to see your site before the DNS propagation has completed.

This is particularly relevant for CMS driven sites such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla etc.

To do this you will have to "force" your computer to visit our server directly rather than looking up the DNS records to find your website.

This is done by editing your local hosts file.

For Windows users this will typically be found at C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

You can use a text editor such as Notepad to do this.

For Mac users this will typically be found at /etc/hosts

You can access this from within Terminal using the nano editor by running the following command:
sudo nano /etc/hosts

By default there will at least be a line shown as shown below but there may also be some other entries.

127.0.0.1       localhost

What you will need to do is add the IP address of the server and your website domain name directly below the last entry as follows:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx       yourdomain.com

Where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP address of the server, which can be found in your cPanel by selecting "Server Information" under the GENERAL INFORMATION box at the top right hand side of the screen.

Where yourdomain.com is your own websites domain name.

Once you have saved this file you will need to flush your DNS cache.

For Windows users this will typically be run from the command prompt as:
ipconfig/flushdns

For Mac users on OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and OS X 10.12 (Sierra) this will typically be run from Terminal as:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

For Mac users on OS X 10.13 (High Sierra) this will typically be run from Terminal as:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
sudo killall mDNSResponderHelper
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache

Once you restart and clear your browser cache if you enter yourdomain.com into your browser it should now take you directly to your website on our server.

Important.
Once you have finished testing or DNS has propagated correctly we would advise that you edit your local hosts file to remove the "forced" entry.

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