Check a site at a repointed domain before DNS catches up

So, my friend Matt taught me a nifty trick this afternoon. I had recently uploaded a new site to a server, then switched the DNS settings over to it. It was going to take a while before the DNS propogated itself, and I didn’t want to wait (actually, I wanted to double check it was working before my client saw it). So, if you have a Mac, here’s how you force your computer to check an IP before it looks to its DNS settings.

1. Open terminal and type sudo mate /etc/hosts. (this will open the file in textmate)
2. When the file opens, go to the bottom of the file and start a new line. Enter the IP address of your new server, hit TAB, then add in the exact URL you want to point to that new address. I added mine WITH a www., so I can still look up the non-www URL and see how the DNS settings are propogating.

I’m sure people out there no a ton more about this than I do, but this is enough info that it worked for me, and I thought I’d share (as well as document it so I don’t forget.)

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