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I'm developing a site for a client. They've got a site now that's hosted at hosting.com. I'm going to move them to my VM hosting solution at edge web but I want to run some tests and have the client approve the site before changing the name servers to the new site/hosting location.

How do I make this happen? I'm running a red hat/Apache on linux for the edge web hosting. I don't have control of the domain name (i.e. the client controls that right now).

Edgeweb has set up a dns zone for the domain name so that when the time comes to switch we're ready to go.

I'm a web developer and I understand the technologies that make a user experience 'work' but I'm unfamiliar with the server jargon and all that so, please be patient.

Thanks in advance.

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Suggestion: ask your client to create a subdomain for you (e.g. beta.domain.com) and point it to your hosting. On your hosting configure your Apache virtual host (or whatever web server you have there) to accept that domain name. If your code uses domain name when building links/rewrite rules etc, use beta.domain.name (in other words, domain name should not be hard coded, rather defined as constant/variable). When time comes to move proper domain to your hosting, just update all the configs with proper domain name. –  LazyOne Aug 25 '11 at 16:13
    
@LazyOne - Thanks. I'm using a VMware hosting solution, do you know specifically what config I would need to change in order to accept beta.domain.com on the Apache server? I was able to get access to the DNS records for the domain name and add a dev.clientswebsite.com A record. –  Ofeargall Aug 25 '11 at 16:39
    
Change? No -- rather add new domain. If you are not familiar with setting up Apache you really should transfer such task to the person (sysadmin) who knows the stuff (to do it properly). If you think you can manage it -- look how to setup Virtual Host (there should be step-by-step guides on inet .. or/and look at ServerFault) -- you will be dealing with DocumentRoot, ServerName etc directives -- httpd.apache.org/docs/current/mod/directives.html –  LazyOne Aug 25 '11 at 17:06
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It is also possible that you already have some sort of Control Panel that can make such configuration an easy task. –  LazyOne Aug 25 '11 at 17:08
    
Like most others suggested develop the site on a subdomain you control to get approval from the client. Once ready migrate the files if needed and update the DNS. –  Anagio Oct 26 '12 at 2:59
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3 Answers 3

Make you site hostname-agnostic

Create copy of site, update it with latest own changes, sync client's site after testing and approve

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I usually create a new subdomain off of my own domain, and temporarily assign that to the virtual host that I'd like to test.

So, for instance, if I wanted to show the people at clientcompany.com a new version of their web site that I was working on, or a version of their current web site running on my servers, I would create clientcompany.mydomain.com - a sub-domain off of my own domain - and use that address for testing.

If you're configuring Apache directly, you can add the following line to the vhost in question, underneath the ServerName property:

ServerAlias clientcompany.mydomain.com

I don't have any experience with Edgeweb, so they may have an administrative interface that allows you to do something similar if you don't have direct access.

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You could move over the site with the domain name as is and change your hosts file, to make your computer think the website is now located on your VM, to test it out. Once it is tested out you can invite your client over and show them their site on your machine. This way you do not have to mess with subdomains and changing the domain in hosting and in the website.

How to change your host file:

http://www.fpweb.net/support/managed-hosting/hostfile-editing-support.asp

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