Preview of hosted site without domain

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Napcan
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:34 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Preview of hosted site without domain

Post by Napcan » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:43 pm

Hi,

I am transferring an existing website over to a hosted service with Exetel. When fully transferred I will transfer DNS services to Exetel as well and point the domain to the new site, however I can't do that until the site is ready to go on the Exetel server.

My problem is with previewing the site on the new host using a browser without a domain name pointing to it. I've tried variations on the FTP address for uploading files in the browser but can't seem to find something that works. Haven't found anything on these forums about it either.

Any suggestions? Would registering a 'temporary' domain name with Exetel and using that be the only option? Getting a look at the site in as 'live' a state as possible is important as I am running a web store with on line payments via Verisign and need to make sure it's all working before I dump the old host/site.

Thanks.
Eric Chant
NAPCAN Australia

ottyacat
Posts: 159
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:41 pm
Location: Mornington, VIC

Post by ottyacat » Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:13 pm

Its probably to do with virtual sites. The web hosting server will have many web sites on it, with maybe 1 or two ip addresses. It knows to serve your site and not someone else's by reading what domain name your browser has requested. This is why accessing it directly from the IP won't work.

1 way around the problem is to create an entry in your windows host file with a direct link to exetel's webserver.

type this into the run: start->run

"%windir%\NOTEPAD.EXE C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\etc\HOSTS"

then add the following to the end of the file

"xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx mydomain.com.au"

replace the xxx with exetels webserver ip & mydomain with your domain.

This should then allow your computer only to acccess the hosting server with the request for your domain.

I am presuming this is how exetel's server is set up but this has worked for me with other providers with the same situation as you.

Hope this helps

Cheers.

Napcan
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:34 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Post by Napcan » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:50 am

Thanks ottyacat, that works perfectly as far as sending my browser to the exetel webserver instead of the current working host for my site. However it just brings up the default Exetel server page which you can see at http://220.233.0.9.

It doesn't seem to redirect to my actual site on that server.

I tried adding variations of the folder structure and page names that show up on the ftp access, such as /web/www.napcan.org.au/public_html/ and /public_html/index.htm after the URL but then I just get a 404 error.

Any more ideas? :lol:

Thanks.
Eric Chant
NAPCAN Australia

Napcan
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:34 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Post by Napcan » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:50 am

Would another solution to my problem be to register a new domain name and change the name of the exetel hosted site to match? Then when the setup and testing is done, change it back to the proper site name and transfer my DNS from the current host to exetel and repoint at the same time? If the website is built using relative links only this should work, yes or no?
Eric Chant
NAPCAN Australia

dogwomble
Posts: 375
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:21 am

Post by dogwomble » Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:02 am

I can't see why it wouldn't work. But of course there's the additional expense involved. Maybe someone with more experience of the hosting system could confirm that.

Napcan
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:34 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Solved

Post by Napcan » Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:32 am

With excellent support from Exetel, particularly from JaredL, my problem has now been sorted out.

The solution was simply to setup a subdomain that points to the new Exetel hosted service while the primary www domain remains pointing to my current web host. Now I can access the subdomain as a live website to get all my testing and development done and when it's all ready we will change the DNS record to point the www domain to the Exetel host.

Thanks :D
Eric Chant
NAPCAN Australia

Jared Lee

Post by Jared Lee » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:20 am

Thank you.

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