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Viewing Your Website Before Changing Your Nameservers Using Host Files

Adding entries to your hosts file lets you view the files you uploaded to your hosting account before changing your domain's nameservers. To do this, add your hosting account's IP address as an entry on your computer's host file.

If you need your IP address, see Finding Your Hosting Account's IP Address.

Now, you will add the entry into your hosts file. Host files are text documents that you can edit with any text editor. Add the Server IP Address and your domain name to your host file on an individual line. Follow the format of any previous entries for the order of the IP address and domain name.

Host file paths for popular operating systems:

  • Linux: /etc/hosts
  • Macintosh OS X: /etc/hosts
  • Macintosh OS 9: In System Folder>Preferences, in the System Folder, see if you have a "Hosts" file. If not, create one in a text editor.
  • WindowsXP Home: C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Windows NT/2000/XP Pro: c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Windows 95/98/Me: c:\windows\hosts
  • Windows 7/Vista: c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

NOTE: After your domain propagates be sure to remove the entry from your HOSTS file, as if you change plans or servers in the future, you will not be able to view your site.

NOTE: We do not condone or support modifying your system files, do so at your own risk.

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