• How to test your website by updating host files on Windows and Mac

    Posted on 2023-03-05 by Atlante Avila

    How to test your website by updating host files on Windows and Mac

    1. Begin by determining the IP address of the server that hosts your website. You can usually find this information in your hosting account or by contacting us.
    2. Next, open the hosts file on your computer. On Windows, this can be found at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. On a Mac, it can be found at /etc/hosts.
    3. Open the hosts file using a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit.
    4. Add a new line to the file with the IP address of your server followed by the domain name of your website. It is recommended to use the “www” version of your domain name for consistency and better search engine optimization. For example, if your server IP address is 123.456.789.0 and your domain name is example.com, the line should look like this:123.456.789.0 www.example.com
    5. Save the changes to the hosts file and close the text editor.
    6. Open a web browser and type in your website’s domain name with the “www” prefix. The browser should now load your website from the server IP address specified in the hosts file.
    7. Test your website thoroughly to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
    8. When you are done testing, remove the line you added to the hosts file and save the changes.

    It’s important to note that updating the hosts file will only affect the computer where the file was updated. If you want to test your website on multiple devices, you’ll need to update the hosts file on each individual device.

    By using the “www” version of your domain name in the hosts file, you are helping to ensure that your website is consistent and optimized for search engines. This is because search engines consider “www” and non-“www” versions of domain names to be separate websites, which can lead to duplicate content issues and lower search engine rankings.

    Overall, updating the hosts file is a simple and effective way to test your website before making changes live on your server. By following these SEO best practices, you can ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and set up for long-term success.

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