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Temporary URLs: what are they and what are they used for?

When you create a hosting package you're given a temporary URL, as below. 

Temporary URL

There are a few reasons why you may want to use the temporary URL.

Viewing a hosting package when you have used a domain reference

At 20i you can create a hosting package using a domain reference. This means that the hosting package won’t be connecting to a live domain name via DNS, so to view the files you’ve uploaded to the site you can use the temporary URL. It will display the site as if it were live, except it will be on our temporary URL servers and the URL is something like

Viewing a site that you’ve migrated, before you switch the DNS to 20i

When migrating a site to 20i, we recommend the following process:

  1. Migrate the site files, emails and databases to 20i
  2. Check the site works at 20i via the temporary URL
  3. Point the nameservers to 20i.

Step 2 is where the temporary URL comes in. After you’ve copied all the site data in 20i, you may want to check that it works. Selecting the temporary URL will show you what the site will look like before you’ve pointed the nameservers to 20i’s.

Showing your client their site before making it live on the actual domain name

You may want to show your client a site that you’ve developed for them, without it being accessible on the live domain name. You can give your clients the URL:

Alternatively, you create a redirect from the domain name to the temporary URL. Read our guide on How to switch between tempoary and live URL.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the temporary URL the same as a Staging Environment?

No, the temporary URL is not the same as a staging environment as it will always reflect what will be on the live site, so it’s not possible to perform work and then “push” changes to the live domain name.

Does the temporary URL support SSL?

Temporary URLs fully support HTTPS:// connections by default – there’s no need to install an SSL on the site in order to connect to your temporary domain using https://. If you wish to use a customised temporary URL, the base domain will have to have an SSL installed on it for the connection to load securely, however.

Can I customise the temporary URL to my own brand?

Yes, you can create your own customised temporary URL. Just follow our How to add a custom temorary URL guide.

Are there any alternatives to using the temporary URL?

Yes, you can modify your hosts files. Your machine's local hosts file allows you to overide DNS for a particular domain or subdomain name. This is a great way to test the site ahead of changing real DNS: you're able to test the website at 20i while the rest of the internet continues to use DNS to point to the existing website.

This article shows you how to do this and modify your hosts file.

Does my website perform the same on the temporary URL servers?

No, temporary URL servers are reduced capacity as they're just for trialing a website on the platform before going live so they're not intended to benchmark performance.