How can I test or preview my website before switching DNS?

More Complex or Content-Managed Sites - Host File

In the event your site needs to use the domain name to operate i.e. Wordpress / Joomla / Magento, you can use a local host file method.

Windows

1.  Locate the HOSTS file on your computer. Typically it is in one of the following locations:

Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7 - C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
Windows 95/98/Me - C:\windows\hosts

2.  Open this file with a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad (in later versions of Windows, you may need to run Notepad as an administrator to gain access to the file.

3.  Once the file is opened, consider performing a "Save As" so you have an original copy of the file that you can restore later.  You will see two columns of information, the first containing IP addresses and the second containing host names. By default, a windows hosts file should be similar to the following:

127.0.0.1 localhost



You can add additional lines to this file that will point requests for a particular domain to your new server's IP address. You will find your IP address in your new account e-mail. This needs to be replaced below where X.X.X.X is shown.
 
127.0.0.1 localhost
X.X.X.X example.com
X.X.X.X www.example.com


4.  Save your changes and then restart any currently open browsers

5.  Once restarted you can then simply navigate to www.example.com this will then load from your new account with Smart Hosting ignoring your current DNS setup.
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