All you need to do is provide us the website you want to load and the IP address it should be loaded from (or one of the nameservers you would use to make it live).
Our service acts as a middleware between your browser and your [new] server, adding a very minimal overhead to the existing actual infrastructure.
You can develop a website from scratch keeping the actual domain behind the scenes - and then perform nearly instant deploy by doing the DNS switch!
You can preview websites through HTTPS or HTTP - even those lacking a SSL certificate, no matter it's a fresh new project or a website being migrated over.
The hostname generated is globally accessible. You can preview your website using an actual device of any kind. No more need for complex hosts file or proxies setup.
You can share the link you have generated with co-workers and clients. They won't need any setup. It is a link, clickable and just works, out of the box.
For a limited time, anybody can create an unlimited number of hostnames.
In the future, we may look after sponsors, put some interstitial ads before accessing a hostname, etc.
We are also open to integrations or to provide this service with your own brand.
No actual proxy software nor proxy functions of Nginx/Apache webservers are involved. Every request to the preview URL is dynamically translated and forwarded to the server at IP address you have informed when creating the preview URL - passing the domain name you choose as Host.
The data received from the server is parsed, including the cookies data, and all references to the actual domain are replaced with the preview URL then sent directly to your browser. No data is written to the disk. No cookies are stored on our end. Nada!
All we have are some logs: the list of preview URLs generated, the IP addresses who accessed them and the timestamps - exactly what you also have on your hosting provider account Access Logs.
You're free to use whichever tool you prefer to preview your website. Actually, the better would be you not depending on this website at all and setting up a custom entry on your computer's hosts file. However, if you for some reason need to use this website, be certain it is the most secure tool of it's kind you can find.
If you have ever tried using similar website preview tools and submitted a single settings form or updated a page in WordPress, you probably got into troubles, messing your website database, getting a lot of references to the preview URL all around the pages and possibly breaking the normal access through the actual website domain after DNS updates!
SkipDNS works in a totally different, safe, form - which allows you to do actual changes to your websites. Your website won't be messed up with a lot of references of your preview URL, even in cases you actively work on your website through it.
It is actually one of the main benefits of this tool: you can setup an account for your domain at a new hosting company, create a preview URL pointing there, and develop a brand new website (or migrate your website there and work on improvements) using the preview URL. When your work is complete, update DNS and that's all!
As other similar tools, there are CPU/memory limitations on the server it is hosted. If a page is too heavy, you may see it render totally blank.
However, we are constantly improving the service and since late 2019, the success rate on loading pages - including the most complex page builders - was around 99% and as of mid 2020 is very near 100%.
This tool is not fully compatible with websites using multiple subdomains to serve assets (this is often done by CDN services setup with the help of a WordPress companion plugin). Depending on how they are setup, the requests may be sent by your browser directly to the IP addresses those assets are hosted (not proxied by SkipDNS to the new server you are previewing) and you may see images missing or a 'broken' website layout (specially if your current hosting provider, where your sub/domain points, is offline).
In case your preview doesn't look exactly as you expected, contact support at your new hosting provider - where you want to preview the website. They will be able to detect the problems are due to the use of external subdomains, any incompatibility in their infrastructure with your website requirements or just a matter of adjusting some settings (like selecting the proper version of PHP for your hosting account).
If you are trying to preview a SSL secured page on a webhost that does not have a SSL certificate for your account yet, it will render a blank page - you can install any SSL certificate (it may be bogus, valid but expired or self-signed) and it should work.
Alternative (and easier) way is to create a preview link with "Flexible SSL" (which makes SkipDNS to send all requests through HTTP) and make your application behave as the requests were sent through HTTPS.
Depending on how your website is coded, the internal links may point to HTTP and/or you can face redirect loops when these requests are forwarded from HTTPS to HTTP. You can 'teach' your website a protocol change is happening during the proxy process to fix this.
If your webhost is using Apache you can do this by adding the lines below to 'public_html/.htaccess' file (add them right at the top of the file if you are unsure).
SetEnvIf X-Forwarded-Proto https HTTPS=on
SetEnvIf X-Forwarded-Proto https SERVER_PORT=443
If it doesn't work, you can add the lines below to your website init script. E.g.: for a WordPress website, add them to wp-config.php right above the line that says "Stop editing".
The second line (SERVER_PORT) is not always necessary. WordPress does not rely on this information to build internal links, for example, and totally ignores the port in environment vars, relying exclusive in port set at 'siteurl' database entry - when present.
For some other CMS, however, the communication port is relevant and adding both lines to the file makes no harm: you are justing making your scripts will pretend the requests were received through port 443 (HTTPS default) instead 80 (HTTP default), specifically when using Flexible SSL option.
As a hosting provider, you can prevent this hassle to your customers. Just add the lines below to your vhosts template and all domains you host will support SkipDNS Flexible SSL by default, with no need to install a SSL certificate, append rules to .htaccess or modify php files.
SetEnvIf X-SkipDNS-Proto https HTTPS=on
SetEnvIf X-SkipDNS-Proto https SERVER_PORT=443
You can use the regular Header (X-Forwarded-Proto) instead X-SkipDNS-Proto if you also want to provide native support to Cloudflare's Flexible SSL, avoiding your customers having to install "Cloudflare SSL" plugins.
You can access https://skipdns.link/ip-or-hostname/yourdomain.com/or-full-url.htm and the form will be pre-filled. Use a dash in place of "ip-or-hostname" if you want to pass only the domain name (the URL generated will always proxy to the IP hosting the domain at the moment of URL generation, as if actual IP/DNS was manually filled in).
Change domain/destination, enable/disable strict checking and flexible SSL, delete hostname and more.