How to preview a website before migration ?


This very advantageous technique makes it possible to see one's website on another IP than that given by current DNS or IP pointing, and to check/test the proper functioning of a website. Also, to immediately fix any cache problem during DNS changes.

Solution 1 (just to see if site is working)

With online, input well IP address of your account that you can find on top right of your cPanel, and your domain

Solution 2 ( to see both is site work and test speed without any intermediary servers) :

Modify the hosts file of your PC, find your host file according to your operating system's computer :
For Windows, with your file explorer, find and open the file with a text editor like notepad+ (administrator mode), located in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

For Mac, see tutorial :

Find your IP in "Zone Editor" of your cPanel, entry A, ex:

Entrée A cPanel

Add this in the hosts file by replacing by correct IP and your domain (remove any # in front) :

To know for sure if you load from our servers (after cleaning your browser cache, and DNS from your PC), create a file test by ftp in the root folder of your web hosting at home : public_html folder in general
Clean your browser cache, cookies, and sessions by settings / options of your browser (CTRL + F5 is not enough)
Try to to access this last page, ex:, if you see a blank page, and not a 404, it means that you load from our servers...

NB :
- make sure your htaccess file is not redirecting to real site, remove htacess as a first step or temporarily
- https preview mode is not possible without validating the warning as it require domain validation by proper pointing to get a signed SSL... or import a SSL certificate in your cPanel
- this hosts file solution works at 95% and is enough to appreciate things, some problems in temporary can disappear during the change of IP of the real site