Easily Preview a WordPress Site Mid-Migration with SkipDNS

Wildebeest migration | WordPress site migration

As far as I know, I’ve never gotten editing a hosts file to work. That’s a bummer, because sometimes you need to preview a site you’ve just migrated to new hosting,¬†without pointing the DNS over and dealing with the horrors (wonders?) of DNS propagation. hosts is supposed to make that easy, but—at least in my experience as a Windows peasant—it’s super-hard to work with and doesn’t perform as advertised.

I just migrated a site to Kinsta (more on that later!), and in their detailed documentation on site previewing, they mentioned a service I’ve never heard of before: skipdns.link, a service with what I find to be an extremely hard-to-remember name that is also extremely useful.

It basically circumvents the need for a hosts file: you enter the new IP address where your migrated site lives, and the domain name it will eventually live at, and SkipDNS lets you browse the site completely naturally at a temporary domain name it generates.

It’s slightly hard to describe without trying it, so check out the service. I was blown away, and I think you will be too.

Image credit: James Hammond

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