South West Broadband Customer Knowledge Base

Using a temporary URL or IP to access your web hosting

This information may be useful to you in the following scenarios:

a) You are transferring your web hosting to us and your domain name has not yet resolved to our servers.

b) You would like to test your website on our hosting before changing your DNS to go live.


Some providers offer temporary access to your web hosting using web addresses like http://91.204.209.236/~username however our cPanel servers are configured to block access to such addresses for security reasons. The good news is you can still access your web-hosting with us by using a "hosts file" trick.

Updating your hosts file allows you to test the site using the real domain but without changing the name servers. Please read the instructions below:

For Windows

1) Open Notepad as an Administrator (Right click -> Run as Administrator)

2) Open the following file: C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

3) Add the following line to the bottom of the file:

91.204.209.236 YourDomain.co.uk www.YourDomain.co.uk

Note: The IP address specified above is for our Gen2 cPanel web server, the IP address of your web server may vary consult your welcome emails or contact us to confirm the IP address of your web server.

4) Save the file and clear your browser's cache/history

5) Visit your website address as normal in your web browser


For Mac

1) Open the Terminal.app by either typing Terminal in the Spotlight search or goto Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

2) Open the hosts file by typing the following in the Terminal window:

 sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Type your user password when prompted.

3) The hosts file contains some comments (lines starting with the # symbol), as well as some default hostname mappings (e.g. 127.0.0.1 – local host). Add your new mappings underneath the default ones.

4) When you are done editing the hosts file press Control+o to save. Press Enter on the filename prompt, then Control-x to exit.

5) Flush your DNS Cache by using the following command in your Terminal window:

dscacheutil -flushcache

Your new mappings will now take effect.


For Ubuntu

Editing the hosts file in Ubuntu and most other linux distro's can be done easily using the Terminal.

1) Open Terminal

2) Open your hosts file by typing the following:

sudo vi /etc/hosts

You should see a list showing some default mappings that may look like this: 127.0.0.1 localhost

3) Move the blinking cursor to beneath the default mappings and then press i to insert, type your IP address then a space and then your domain name, for example this might look like:

172.67.89.203 yourdomain.co.uk

4) When you are done editing press the Esc key followed by

:wq

And then hit Enter


If your operating system is not covered by this guide or you require further assistance on this matter please contact us and we will be happy to help.