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How to check a hosting account before DNS goes live.

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There are 2 methods for testing your website with Namesco before the DNS goes live. The first method is to use the preview link supplied in your hosting setup email.

If you have Linux hosting, you can use the following link, followed by your FTP username:
http://preview1.sitepreviewservice.net/~
eg http://preview1.sitepreviewservice.net/~names.co.uk

If you have Windows hosting, please use the following link, followed by your domain name:
http://preview5.sitepreviewservice.net/
eg http://preview5.sitepreviewservice.net/names.co.uk/

Sometimes, however, your website will not work as expected using the preview links. This can be down to the way that the site is coded, or perhaps you're using .NET applications that require the domain to be resolved.

Rather than waiting for the DNS for your domain name to resolve to the hosting platform, you can fool your computer to look at the new hosting platform as if your website was actually live. To do this, you have to modify your HOSTS file. Depending on your computer's operating system, this can be various locations.

Please note that you will need to Administrator privileges on your computer to make these changes

Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista:

click the START menu and select Run
In the text box, enter notepad %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\HOSTS

Add the following lines if you are on a Linux hosting package:
85.233.160.139 www.{your domain name}
85.233.160.139 {your domain name}

Add the following lines if you are on a Windows hosting package:
85.233.160.130 www.{your domain name}
85.233.160.130 {your domain name}

Save the file and close it

Mac OSX and most Linux distros

Open Terminal
Enter the command sudo su- and then your user password to gain root privileges
Open /etc/hosts using your text editor eg vi /etc/hosts

Add the following line if you are on a Linux hosting package:
85.233.160.139 www.{your domain name} {your domain name}

add the following line if you are on a Windows hosting package:
85.233.160.130 www.{your domain name} {your domain name}

Save the file and close it
If you are using Mac OSX, you must also enter the command dscacheutil -flushcache

You should now be able to enter your domain name in the address bar of your web browser and view your website as it it were live.

To revert back to looking at your current live site, repeat the process and either place a # at the start of the lines you added, or simply delete them.

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