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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Question making webpages inaccessible while testing

    Hello everyone.

    I'm building a new website using php and mySQL to be hosted on a remote server. As I am building the pages, queries, and databases, I'm loading them to the remote server for testing (I do not have php or mySQL running on my local PC).

    Here's my question; is there a simple way to make the pages inaccessible to the general public until I am ready?

    I thought about putting all of the HTML pages (and linked-to folders and files) in a test folder on the remote server which is not the root and using relative addressing from there. But when I'm ready to publish, I'd need to move everything and fix any broken links. I though there might be a better way.

    I would imagine large projects are built and hosted on a local machine for testing purposes before moving to the production server (either local or remote).

    Any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    your main issue is keeping search engines from indexing the site.

    Use a robots.txt exclusion to keep legitimate search engines from indexing it.

    it's actually pretty difficult for someone to find the site without knowing the URL or even it's existence... but if you really want to restrict ANYONE from getting to it... I use IP restrictions to block request from anyone not on the IP address I want to allow. a simple script at the top of your PHP to check the IP address and then either block or display the page.

    I have several testing scenarios, but for big projects I like to test on my servers out in the wild ... I do have one locally that I use for small projects, but I use IP addresses on my test server... if the client want's me to use their server for testing ( some do )... I create a cName DNS entry and develop on their server like http://beta.theirsite.com and a robots.txt file to keep search engines at bay... I glance at the log files during development to see if anyone else is accessing the site besides myself and the client, if they are... I just add them to the block filter of my script

    most ISP control panels also have the ability to restrict by IP address but I rarely use them

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    The other option you have is to password-protect the site itself. Bots won't even bother for the most part (some still will) once they get to a page they can't pass credentials to. The first 403 status code they see, they give up.

    Other than that, I do what WZ does, except that I don't bother with the CNAME entry. I usually just give them the IP address and let them do what they need to.
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  5. #4
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies.


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