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Can I set up a website before pointing it to the domain name?

n/a Points
2014-07-07 1:38 am EST

Hits: 1,499
Basically, I have a site with Wix, and the site is pointed at the domain name. I would like to register with you, set up the website, and then re-point the domain name to my InMotion page. Is this possible? Basically, is it possible to set up the website and then repoint it to my domain name, so that there is seamless transition between my old host and my new host?
Thanks for your help.

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I think I have a similar question. I have been perusing the questions/answers to see if my specific question is in here, and to be honest, I'm not sure. So, here goes.

I have a website with another host. I want to re-do my site with an updated theme and some other things that I do not want to test on my live site because it might break. Can I use another domain that I have and work on it with your hosting, and then when I am finished and satisfied with everything, change the domain to the one of my live site now, that is with a different host?

I hope this makes sense. Also, I need detailed, step-by-step instructions. Not something like, "modify your host's something or other," as I have no idea what that means. I have read those instructions, but it still makes no sense to me.

My site has a store, so I don't want it to be down for any significant time.

0 Points
2014-07-09 11:25 pm EST



9,968 Points
2014-07-07 2:28 am EST
Hello, and thanks for your question.

If I understand you correctly, you want to get your website up and running on our server, while still leaving the live site up at Wix?

That's easy to do! Just modify your hosts file to point your domain at our server. On your computer your domain will resolve to our server, while everyone else on the Internet will still pull your domain from its name servers set at your domain Registrar.

That's the way I'd recommend doing it, but you do also have the option of accessing your site on our server directly from the temporary URL.

When you are done reviewing your site on our server, and you're ready to actually bring your domain over and make it live there. You just need to update your name servers to point to us and wait up to 24 hours for the DNS settings to fully propagate across the Internet.

Hope that helps, please let us know if you have any further questions or run into any problems at all.

- Jacob

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Hello fitgal56,

The exact steps in moving your content can vary depending on how your site is built, and how your other host operates, but you would need to essentially migrate your files and potentially your database over, then make your changes. Could you provide more information on how your website is built and what host it is currently on?
11,186 Points
2014-07-10 10:46 am EST
Jeff, I was not sure where to put this response to your response to me, below (or, at least I hope it is still below once I post).

Okay, my site is with Hostgator right now. It is a Wordpress site. What I wanted to know is if I can make a brand new site--as if I were just beginning, here at Inmotion, while my site at Hostgator is till live. Then, when I am satisfied with the one here (using one of my as yet unused domains, if that is necessary), can I then point the domain I am now using with my live site to the new one I make here?
0 Points
2014-07-11 9:55 pm EST
Hello fitgal56,

Where you responded is fine. If you have a WordPress site, you could follow my guide on how to easily move WordPress to a new server for a video of the process if you just wanted to bring over the same site to our servers.

In your situation you'd want to modify your hosts file to point your domain to us without updating things for everybody else yet, after you've retrieved your WordPress core files and database from your previous host.

If you wanted to start over from scratch, simply modify your hosts file to point directly to our server when you'd like to work on that site as you develop it. Then simply remove the entry from your hosts file to make your computer look up the DNS again from the Internet and connect to your site on your previous host.

If you just have an unused domain on your current host you'd like to host here, simply update your name servers to InMotion then wait up to 24 hours for DNS propagation to fully complete. Or again you can modify your hosts file if you wanted to see the domain just for yourself over on our server right away.

Please feel free to let us know if you have any other questions at all.

- Jacob
9,968 Points
2014-07-12 6:28 pm EST
Thank you for the response. I think I'm getting close to explaining what I want. The final idea is what I am interested in--using one of my purchased domains and pointing it to your nameservers, then work on it as if it is a brand new site. So, say my site that is live on the internet and hosted with Hostgator is I happen to have also purchased, but it is not being used right now. I would like to host that with you, work on the theme, store, etc., and get it how I would like it.

My final question, though, is this. Once I am satisfied with how it looks/works/etc., can I get the domain changed from to (the site that is live now) instead? Is that relatively easy--would my site (either old or new) be down for long?

Thank so much for your help.
0 Points
2014-07-12 7:06 pm EST
Hello again fitgal56, sounds like we've almost got it!

Yes you can do what you're looking to do. In the WordPress video I linked to I was using the website and backing it up, then moving it to another server as which would be the same process you're looking for, but rather just starting from scratch on this end it sounds like.

In your case you can leave where it is currently hosted. Then use on our server by simply updating your name servers to InMotion for the domain. If that's the domain you setup with us as your Primary Domain. If you already have another domain on your account, you'll want to just add an addon domain in cPanel and use it there instead.

A name server is basically like a phone book for the Internet. So instead of remembering a server's IP address like us humans can just use a domain name like When you tell your domain Registrar where you registered your domain name, that you'd like to use InMotion's name servers, this sets up an authority system for responses. So that when someone types in your domain name it comes and asks us what's the IP address of the server your site is currently on.

After you've got the site on our end all finished and setup the way you want, if it was an Addon domain and a WordPress site you would just need to make sure to change the WordPress site URL from to and then point the name servers for from your old host to us.

If it was a Primary domain, then you'd just need to change the Primary domain on an account again from to

I hope that makes sense, if you need any parts more clearly clarified for you please let us know and we'd be glad to help!

- Jacob
9,968 Points
2014-07-13 2:26 am EST
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