How to test your site before pointing your domain name to Quadra Hosting

Article Details
URL: https://support.quadrahosting.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=196
Article ID: 196
Created On: 18 Apr 2013 03:36 AM

Answer Quadra Hosting offers Instant Access URL (aka temporary url) so you can test your web site before actually pointing your domain name (i.e. redelegating) to your Quadra Hosting account. This way you can be sure that your site will be working fine after it's pointing to your Quadra Hosting account.

The Instant Access URL can be found in the control panel -> Web Options area.

It normally looks like this:
http://dXXXXXX.iXXX.quadrahosting.com.au/

Sometimes however, your web site must be accessed using its real domain name, and no amount of persuasion would change its mind. For example, it might check the domain name it is being accessed with and if it is not the same as the real name, it will redirect you to the real domain name, which at this point is not yet pointed to your Quadra Hosting account.

One way to get around this is by overridding the DNS resolution on your computer using the "hosts" file. Each operating system has its own version of hosts file and it is stored in various places.


Operating SystemLocation of hosts file
Mac, Linux/etc/hosts
Windowsc:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

While you can edit these files by hand, it can be quite tricky with permission issues and having to remember their locations.

Step 1 - Install HostAdmin browser extension for Firefox or Chrome


There's an extension for Firefox and Chrome called HostAdmin that can help you edit this file easily. Click on the relevant link below for your chosen browser:

HostAdmin for Firefox
HostAdmin for Chrome

Once installed, you can override your domain name On Your computer Only so that when you typed www.yourdomain.com it will go to your Quadra Hosting's account.

WRITE Permission to Hosts File

WRITE Permission to Hosts is needed, thus HostAdmin could modify your Host Files. XP users need NO additional setting. However, BEWARE that some viruses can also add entries to your hosts file to hijack your DNS system on your computer. Once you're done working with HostAdmin, remove the write permissions.

Here is a guide for you to gain write privilege for Vista/7/Linux/MacOS users

To grant write permissions:

Windows: Run Command Prompt as Administrator, then type this command inside the Command Prompt window:
cacls %windir%/system32/drivers/etc/hosts /E /G Users:W
Linux and Mac OSX
sudo chmod og+w /etc/hosts

To revoke write permissions:

Windows Vista/7

cacls %windir%/system32/drivers/etc/hosts /E /R Users

Linux and Mac OSX

sudo chmod og-w /etc/hosts

Step 2. Install "The Addon Bar (restored)" plugin on Firefox

This will allow you to see the ip address of the sites you're browsing, and allow you to access HostAdmin easily. Firefox version 29 and newer removed the status bar / addon bar. This allows you to restore it to work with HostAdmin more easily.

The Addon Bar Plugin for Firefox

Step 3. Find out your web site's ip address in Quadra Hosting

Go to your Quadra Hosting control panel, click Domains and find out the ip address associated with your web site on Quadra Hosting. Note this down.

Step 4. Update your hosts file


If you haven't already done so, restart your browser then click on the status bar / addon-bar for HostAdmin (it would say Not in Hosts) and select "Host Editor"

Then scroll down to the bottom and enter your web site ip address, followed by space followed by your domain name. Example:

202.146.209.10 www.yourdomain.com

Click save

Then now browse to your domain using www.yourdomain.com on your browser. The hosts file will let you see that domain name being pointed to your Quadra Hosting account while everyone else continues to see it on your current host. This way you can test your domain name without having to redelegate it.

Step 5. Once you're done testing, don't forget to remove the line that you added in the hosts file

Forgetting to remove this line may cause future confusion, so it's best to clean up when you're done.