cPanel Temporary URL

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 ( To create an alias click on the Aliases icon within your cPanel, then enter the sub domain (use the format of 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: Save the file and then access the domain in your Web Browser to preview the site.
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