There are three ways to access a domain before its DNS has been pointed to your cPanel server.
- IP Access - http:// < server IP Address >/~username (the server host-name may also be used in place of the server IP address).
- Domain Alias (recommended) - We recommend using the domain alias method described below.
- Your computer's HOSTS file.
The first two options may not work correctly with URL rewriting, often used by applications like WordPress.
- IP Access: You can preview the site by enterting your server IP address or server host-name in your Web Browser, followed by the tilde symbol (~) and your cPanel username. (http:// < server IP Address >/~username)
- Domain Alias: You can use the domain alias option in cPanel to create a sub domain of the server host-name (domain-com.server.com). To create an alias click on the Aliases icon within your cPanel, then enter the sub domain (use the format of domain-com.server.com) and click add domain. If you do not know your server host-name please contact support for help. This method is recommended as it will use the proper permissions when previewing the site.
- HOSTS File: The HOSTS file method is the best as it will mimic how your site will actually function prior to being pointed to the server. On a Windows based computer your hosts file is located at c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts. You can run notepad as administrator to edit this file and add the server IP address followed by a space and the domain name (for example: 126.96.36.199 datapacket.net). Save the file and then access the domain in your Web Browser to preview the site.