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How to preview your website on our servers

Posted 16th November, 2020

Whether we just migrated your website to ourselves, or you just want to develop a website without making it live right away as you work on it, here are a few tips that will show you how to see the website without it actually being live from ourselves yet. Included will be instructions for every popular OS currently in use.

Windows 10

You will need to open Notepad using administrator priviledges, you can easily do that with the search function. Type Notepad -> Right click on it -> choose "Run as administrator"; like so:

Run notepad as admin

Now Notepad will open with the priviledges necessary to add your text. Once your notepad is open you need to click on "File" top left corner and "Open" to open the file. In the field you will write the following path and click "Open".

c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Here, at the bottom of the file you will put the formula: IP Address of our server yourdomainname.com www.yourdomainname.com , and "Save". At the end the only line you should have looks like

209.97.189.168 byaton.com www.byaton.com

Hostsfile windows10

You can see the formula, followed by how the line is actually supposed to look. Once you have saved the file, you can open your website in your preferred browser and you will now see the website from our servers offline.

For Windows 7 you will open "Run" and enter the text editor+path instead, like so:

Hostsfile Windows7

notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

After this, you will proceed with the same steps as for Windows10.

Ubuntu

For Ubuntu you will need to use the Terminal instead to edit the hosts file. Open up the Terminal and you will write the following to edit your file:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

Ubuntu nano

The file will open in the terminal, similarly to Windows you will add the line at the bottom.

To save the file but keep it open afterwards press Ctrl+o . To close the file and save press Ctrl+x then you will be asked if you want to save the changes you've made. Type y for Yes or n for No then press Enter.

Line Added

Mac

For Mac you will have to follow the same directions as Ubuntu, as they both require the Terminal to edit the file. Nano is a text editor so the commands will be exactly the same as above. Pictures included for visual help:

Mac nano command
Mac nano

Quick preview in browser

We also have created a tool you can use to preview your site quickly without setting up the above. You will need to go here: https://sitepreview.org/

You only need to enter your domain name, the tool will automatically pick up which server your website is on. However if there is any error or if you have your domain name added to multiple servers from us, you might want to untick the box "Lookup IP against mysecurecloudhost.com nameservers" and enter the IP manually in the second field.