Every computer has a file on it which allows the owner to specify where a website is loaded from. A hosts file is a simple combination of domain names and IP addresses.

Adding a record to your hosts file means your computer will load the domain using the IP address specified, rather than the one provided by DNS.

111.222.333.444 www.domain.com
111.222.333.444 domain.com
111.222.333.555 subdomain.domain.com

Windows

  • Press the Windows key
  • Type Notepad
  • From the results, right click on “Notepad” and choose “Run as administrator”
  • From Notepad load the file C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
  • Enter the IP address, followed by a space or tab, and the domain
  • Save the changes
  • Exit Notepad

Linux

  • Open a terminal window and enter sudo nano /etc/hosts.
  • Enter your password if prompted
  • Enter the IP address, followed by a space or tab, and the domain
  • Ctrl+O to save
  • Ctrl+X to close

MacOS X

  • Open a terminal window and enter sudo nano /etc/hosts.
  • Enter your password if prompted
  • Enter the IP address, followed by a space or tab, and the domain
  • Ctrl+O to save
  • Ctrl+X to close

Hello, I'm Keith, a website developer in Belfast, Northern Ireland working with PHP, Magento, Shopify, WordPress along with everything that involves getting websites online

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