Testing a website at its new IP address

How do you check that your new website is working without updating the DNS for the domain?

Well, if you know the new IP address, you can “trick” your home computer/browser to show the site you want, rather than the old site.

1) For Windows 7, click on the Start Menu, choose “All Programs” >> Accessories.
Next right-click on Notepad, and choose “Run as administrator”

2) Choose File, then Open…
In the File name: type in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\*.*
Find the “hosts” file, click on it, then click on the “Open” button.

3) Scroll down to the very bottom of the file, and add in a new line in this format, IP Address (whitespace) domain name:


111.222.33.44     www.example.com
44.55.66.77       new.example.com

Once you save the file, you’ll instantly be able to type in the domain name that you want to test. With the above example, that means typing in http://new.example.com will take you to the server at the IP address of 44.55.66.77. And if instead you typed in http://www.example.com, you would hit the server located at 111.222.33.44.

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