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I want to preview my WordPress site while I am waiting for the domain to transfer

I have two websites that are currently hosted on wpengine. I want to transfer them both to godaddy.

I will do them one at a time and I want to do it in increments like this: 1. Transfer the file structure 2. Have WPengine direct traffic to godaddy 3. Transfer the domain.


I have transferred the file structure and updated the database but I want to preview the site before I have WPengine redirect traffic. And that is where I am stuck. How do I preview a website hosted on godaddy that does not currently have a domain associated?


What I have tried:

Cpanel -> Domains -> preview     | Doesn't load anything

Cpanel -> IP address | using that IP address in my browser loads a default error page

Adding the ip address and website to my hosts file as per


When I created the website on GoDaddy it asked me for a domain name so I gave it the one that is being hosted on WPengine, and when I go GoDaddy Home -> Domains I can see the domain there and under status it reads: "DNS Only (Hosting)" 


I am just a little out of my depth, I want to be able to preview the wordpress build, and then have the actual domain (currently controlled by WPengine) redirect traffic there, and then finally transfer that domain to WordPress


Thank you

Super User I Super User I
Super User I

Re: I want to preview my WordPress site while I am waiting for the domain to transfer

Hello @kszabo,


First a disclaimer: I am not a WordPress guru like other in the Community but I'll take a stab at this.


Congratulations on coming to GoDaddy, great choice from my view. It doesn't read to me like you installed WordPress on your GoDaddy hosting then transferred in the file structure over top AND updated the database because that process would have given you a URL. I assume that your GoDaddy hosting is tied to a domain though and your file structure is:

  • /wordpress1/ (first transferred structure)
    • /wp-admin/
    • /wp-content/
    • /wp-includes/
  • /wordpress2/ (second transferred structure)
    • /wp-admin/
    • /wp-content/
    • /wp-includes/

...or something like that? I assume also that you have edited to point to your newly created databases on your GoDaddy hosting? If something like that is your structure then you should be able to access your WordPress as an example by going to the domain that points to your hosting plus the directory that contains your WordPress index files.


If what you have done is not setup WordPress before moving the files then I couldn't tell you what the access URL would be? I know that the GoDaddy Managed WordPress product has a staging are that would be useful for these kinds of transfers. Did that help? Or did I just cause more confusion?


Also check out Preview your website using host files

...turns out that my two cents is worth less or more depending on the current exchange rate.

roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head