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How can I preview my website, before changing the DNS records for my domain?

You can access your domain using a browser, even if its DNS records are not yet set up or the DNS propagation time has not passed completely. In order to do so you need to have an active hosting account.

You can use this method if you haven’t pointed your domain with an A record or you haven’t set up the Name Servers, or you want to see the changes you made, without having to wait for the DNS propagation time.

In order to access your website you will need to add your domain to the hosts file in your operating system. This way your domain will load up directly from the server, but only for your computer. This is very useful if you are transferring your website to SuperHosting.BG and you want to make sure that everything is working correctly before having the domain redirected.

The hosts file is located in a different place if you are using different operating systems:

Operating systemVersionLocation of the hosts file
Windows7, 8, 10C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
macOSMac OS X 10.2 and next/private/etc/hosts
Unix/Linux /etc/hosts
Android /system/etc/hosts
iOSiOS 2.0 and next/system/etc/hosts

Editing the hosts file in Windows

For example, if you want to edit the hosts file and you are using Windows you can copy the file from C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and paste it on your desktop. Then, you can open it with a text editor like Notepad. In the end of the file you need to add the IP address of the server on which your hosting account is located and the domain with which it is associated.

Example:

91.196.0.1 mysupersite.com www.mysupersite.com

You will need to change the example information with your domain and the IP address of the server on which your hosting account is located.

You can find what is the IP address of the server that you need to put in the hosts file in cPanel in the General Information tab under Shared IP Address.

After you have added your information in the hosts file you need to save it and place it back into the directory you extracted it from in the first place. In the example above, since it is Windows OS, you need to save it to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc.

Next, you just need to restart your browser and type in your domain in the address bar. Now it will load up your website from your hosting account with us.

After you have completed your tests it’s good practice to delete the changes you made in the hosts file, by following the same exact procedure.

Updated on 06.04.2020

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