How to access your web site before DNS propagation completes

You may need to access your website with Springs Hosting before your new domain is active or before pointing an existing domain to your service here, such as when developing a new website. Below we cover two ways you can preview your website, using the shared URL, and modifying your hosts file on your PC.

Using the Shared URL:

You can access your account using the shared, or "preview", URL for your server. That shared URL is the server name followed by a tilde and your cPanel username. So if you are on the server "", and your cPanel username is "pontus1",  the shared URL for your website would be as follows:

You can also access the preview URL over a secure (https) connection:

Updating Your Local Hosts File:

Another method of previewing your website is to edit the local hosts file on your computer to map the domain to your website IP address. When your computer looks up the physical IP address of a domain, it first checks this file, before checking external DNS servers. Refer to the directions below for the operating system you are using.

  1. Open the hosts file in a text editor. The location of the hosts file depends on your computer's operating system:
    - - On Microsoft Windows computers, the hosts file is located at \%SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.
    - - On Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, click Start, search for Notepad, right-click the icon, and select Run as Administrator.
    - - On Windows 10, click Start, type notepad, right-click Notepad, and then click Run as administrator.
    - - Note: Run as Administrator starts Notepad with the elevated privileges necessary to open, modify, and save the hosts file. Note that in Notepad's Open dialog, you must use the All Files filter to see the hosts file.
    - - On Apple Macintosh computers, the hosts file is located at /private/etc/hosts.
    - - On Linux computers, the hosts file is located at /etc/hosts.
    - - Note: The hosts file is a plain text file, so you should use a plain text editor like Notepad or nano to edit it. Do not use a word processor like Microsoft Word!

  2. When you open the hosts file, you should see an entry that resembles the following line:    localhost

    - - To create a new address for your domain, add a line to the file as follows:

    - - Replace with your Springs Hosting server IP address, and replace with your web site's domain name. You can obtain your account's IP address by logging into your cPanel, and expanding "Server Information" under the "General Information" box on the right.
    - - Save the hosts file and exit the text editor.
    - - To test the configuration, restart your web browser and go to, where is your domain name. You should see your web site's main page (assuming you have created some content).
    - - When DNS propagation is complete, make sure you go back and remove the relevant entries from the hosts file.

  • 0 Users Found This Useful
Was this answer helpful?

Related Articles

How do I login to cPanel?

Many tasks to manage your website require you to login to cPanel. This can be achieved by...

How do I create an email account or email forwarder?

This guide assumes you know how to login cPanel and the domain has been added to you account....

How do I use my email account?

After setting up your email account in cPanel, you can access it a few different ways. Springs...

Should you use POP or IMAP for mail?

Springs Hosting offers two protocols when checking for mail: POP and IMAP. Using POP, your email...

FTP Accounts

  You can connect to your hosting account through plain FTP or FTPS. We currently don't support...