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How to See Your Website Content Without a Domain
How to See Your Website Content Without a Domain

Setting up a preview link for your website when the domain DNS zone is not yet propagated

Updated this week

During DNS propagation, you will see the notification"Your domain is not pointing to our name servers". The same happens if you have recently pointed a domain to Hostinger. This is completely normal – a newly registered domain or one with updated nameservers may take up to 24 hours to start working globally.

Before the domain is fully activated and pointed to Hostinger, most features including the website, email, and FTP will not work. Fortunately, you can start building your website and see changes immediately by using one of the features below 👇

Using the Preview Link

Right after you add a website to your hosting plan, click on Manage Site (if you're past this step, go to the Websites section and click on Manage next to your website):

Then, go to Plan Details, and click on Preview My Website:

The preview link will look like this:

domain-tld.preview-domain.com

Where domain-tld is your domain name, with the extension replaced with a dash (-) instead of a period (.). If your website is accessed through the preview link, a banner will indicate this to all visitors:

NOTES

  • The preview domain URL is available for 14 days after setting up your account or adding an addon domain.

  • Hosting plans purchased with some payment methods may not include this functionality.

Editing the Hosts File

Another option is to edit your device's hosts file. All you need to do is open your hosts file and add these lines:

185.185.185.185 www.domain.tld
185.185.185.185 domain.tld

Make sure to replace 185.185.185.185 with your hosting account’s IP address and domain.tld with your domain name.

To find the IP address of your hosting plan, go to the Websites section, click on Manage next to your site, and go to Plan Details. You'll see the IP in the Website Details section:

The Website details section showing the website IP address

Make sure to revert the changes to your hosts file once you no longer need it.

Using a Temporary URL

You may generate a preview URL using the SkipDNS tool.

With a free SkipDNS account, a temporary preview link works for about 5 minutes. 💡

To preview your website's content, specify the following information in the tool:

  1. Preview: select the regular website.

  2. Hosted on: insert the IP address of your hosting plan.

  3. Under: insert your website's domain or URL.

  4. Over: select regular ports.

And click on Go:

That's it! Now, you know three ways to check your website while the domain is propagating 🚀

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