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Accessing Your Domain Prior to DNS Update


 

If you are transferring your domain (website) to Truepath.com for web hosting, your new website on Truepath's web servers will not be available for visitors to access online until the DNS settings are updated. The DNS update affects where your visitors and email are sent. When you are moving your website from one hosting company to another, you may want to schedule a brief overlap in order to accommodate building your new website at Truepath.com. In order to minimize downtime for your website during that transitional period, you can force your computer to go to Truepath's web server while you are building your new website by adding an entry to the hosts file on your computer. All other visitors will still be directed to your current website.

 

You will need a few pieces of information before you begin:

  • Your domain (website) name. Example: your-church.com
  • The IP address of the web server that your domain is hosted on.
  • Your computer operating system.

 

All users need to find the IP address of their web server as described below:

  1. Log into the control panel at: https://www.truepath.com/login.html.
  2. On the right side of the screen, click on your domain name. See screenshot...
  3. The next screen will display the IP address of the web server your domain is hosted on. See screenshot...

 

The hosts file should end up with a line using the format:

207.158.10.x    your-domain.com    www.yourdomain.com

** NOTE: make sure to update the IP address and replace "your-domain.com" with your actual domain name.

 

Windows 7

Users of Windows® operating systems can find their hosts file at:


C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts


(This means go to 'My Computer,' then to 'C:\' and so on until you are in the 'etc' folder looking at the 'hosts' file)

  1. Locate the hosts file. See an example...
  2. Open the hosts file for editing. You should use a text editor such as Notepad, do not use Word to edit the file. See an example...
    (Make sure to open the Start menu, right-click Notepad, and select 'Run as Administrator' or you will not be able to save the changes to your hosts file!)
  3. Add the line with the web server IP address and your domain name to the end of the hosts file using the example above as a guide. You can use either tabs or spaces between each item, but make sure they are all entered on the same line. See an example...
  4. Save the changes. Make sure it is not saved with a file extension such as ".txt".
  5. Restart your web browser and enter your domain name to verify the hosts file is working.

Editing the hosts file may require administrator privileges. Some security software may prevent changes as well. If this occurs, temporarily disable the security software while making the adjustments.

Windows XP

Users of Windows® operating systems can find their hosts file at:


C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts


(This means go to 'My Computer,' then to 'C:\' and so on until you are in the 'etc' folder looking at the 'hosts' file)


  1. Locate the hosts file. See an example...
  2. Open the hosts file for editing. You should use a text editor such as Notepad, do not use Word to edit the file. See an example...
  3. Add the line with the web server IP address and your domain name to the end of the hosts file using the example above as a guide. You can use either tabs or spaces between each item, but make sure they are all entered on the same line. See an example...
  4. Save the changes. Make sure it is not saved with a file extension such as ".txt".
  5. Restart your web browser and enter your domain name to verify the hosts file is working.

Some security software may prevent changes to the hosts file. If this occurs, temporarily disable the security software while making the adjustments.

Linux

Linux users can find their hosts file at:

/etc/hosts

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Change to root user or use sudo to run the following commands:
    • For command line editing type: vi /etc/hosts
    • For graphical editing type: gedit /etc/hosts
    • ** NOTE: replace 'gedit' with 'kate' for KDE, or use your preferred text editor.
  3. Add the line with the web server IP address and your domain name to the end of the hosts file using the example above as a guide. You can use either tabs or spaces between each item, but make sure they are all entered on the same line.
  4. Save the changes.
  5. Restart your web browser and enter your domain name to verify the hosts file is working.

Mac

In order to edit the host file on your Mac, you'll need to use the Terminal. This program can be found in your Application folder under Utilities. After you have the Terminal open, you will need to type this command:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

  1. First it will ask for your password, when you type it in, there will be no output on the screen, but pressing enter will take you to your hosts file if your password was entered correctly, or it will ask you to re-enter it if it was entered incorrectly. Keep in mind that if you don't have a password, you will need to create one under System Preferences and then Accounts.
  2. Once you can see your hosts file, scroll down to the bottom using the arrow keys and add the necessary entry on its own new line.
  3. Add the line with the web server IP address and your domain name to the end of the hosts file using the example above as a guide. You can use either tabs or spaces between each item, but make sure they are all entered on the same line.
  4. Press CTRL+x to exit the text editor, it will ask you if you want to save changes, you do, so press y
  5. Then, when it asks you what file to write, press enter to use the current file (/etc/hosts)
  6. You're done! Close the terminal, restart your web browser and visit your website.
 
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