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Preview your website using hosts files

Updated Apr 6th at 15:24 BST

Sometimes you need to preview your website files on your hosting account prior to pointing your domain to your hosting account. You can do this by adding entries to the host file on your local computer. Keep in mind that we do not support modifying your system files, you are doing so at your own risk.

Start by finding the location of your host file:

    OS
    Host File Location

    Windows (10, 8, 7, XP, etc.)
    c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

    Macintosh OS X
    /private/etc/hosts

    Linux
    /etc/hosts

Now, add an entry to your host file for your domain and hosting account using the following format:

[your hosting account's IP address] [your domain name]

For example:

12.0.0.1     coolexample.com     www.coolexample.com

Save the changes to your host file and navigate to your domain name using your preferred browser. The website files on your hosting account will load, allowing you to preview your website.

Warning: After you are done previewing your website, and point your domain name to your hosting account, be sure to remove the entry from your host 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.

More info: If you don't know the IP address of your hosting account, you can always contact Hosting Support so that we can gladly advise on the matter.