When transferring to a new hosting provider, the most important thing for you to do is to test your website before pointing your domain. This will help guarantee a successful migration by ensuring your site is 100% functional before making the switch.
What you will need:
- Your GreenGeeks service server IP. You can find this in your service welcome email, or by contacting support to confirm the correct IP address you’ll need to use.
Redirecting via System HOSTS File
The best way to test your website is by staging your domain via your computer system’s HOSTS file. This method avoids having to wait for DNS propagation which could take quite a while.
However, this will only work for the local system. If someone else would like to test the site, they will need to follow the same steps for modifying the HOSTS file.
Open your text editor of choice. Windows users will need to use Notepad with administrative privileges in order to be able to modify the HOSTS file (You can right click Notepad and Run as Administrator if you need).
Open your system’s HOSTS file. The location of this file is as follows:
Windows: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts Linux / Mac: /etc/hosts
If you don’t see anything in the etc folder, change “Text Documents” to “All Files” in Notepad. This will show everything in the folder including the hosts file.
Using your GreenGeeks server IP, add the following lines to the file on a new line at the bottom of the HOSTS file:
SERVER_IP_HERE yourdomain.com SERVER_IP_HERE www.yourdomain.com
Note that SERVER_IP_HERE needs to be replaced with your actual server IP address. The yourdomain.com references should be replaced with your actual domain name.
Here is an example of what your entry should look like:
22.214.171.124 myawesomesite.com 126.96.36.199 www.myawesomesite.com
Go to File and Save the hosts file. You don’t want to use “Save As” because you’re keeping the hosts file as-is with your added redirect entry.
Restart your web browser and navigate to your website. The site will now load from the GreenGeeks server!
Removing the Redirect Entry
To revert this change, simply remove the lines you added and save the file again. This will direct the site back to the original host. You may need to do this before visiting your domain registrar to change the nameserver.