Using the /etc/hosts file for custom domains during development

This document shows how to review a website with a custom domain name before the domain is publicly mapped to the web server. Lets assume your production/public website is at example.com. You would like to review the new version of the site using the example.com domain name but do not wish to have those changes seen by the general public.

This is accomplished by modifying the /etc/hosts file on your local computer to point the domain name to the IP Address of the development or staging web server you want to test. The /etc/hosts file contains a mappings of IP addresses to domain names that override what would normally be provided by DNS.

Editing your /etc/hosts file on a Mac

If you’re using a Mac with macOS, to edit your /etc/hosts file, open a Terminal window and run the following command:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

You may be asked for your password to edit the file. Enter your password.

Editing your /etc/hosts file using Windows

If you’re using Windows, to edit your \etc\hosts file, open %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts and edit the file. If the directory and file don’t exist, you can create them.

Most Windows users may have trouble editing their \etc\hosts file because Windows includes file overwrite protections that allow only an Administrator to make changes to the file. To launch Notepad as Administrator, press the Windows key, type Notepad, right-click the Notepad application that appears, and select Run as administrator. (You can also launch any other text editor you prefer, such as Notepad++.)

Adding entries to the /etc/hosts file

The IP addresses for your website will have been provided to you. Add an entry to your /etc/hosts file in the following format:

[IP address]  [URL]

For example, if your Prod environment has the IP address 199.119.218.152 and the custom domain you want to use is www.example.com, add the following line to your /etc/hosts file:

199.119.218.152    example.com   www.example.com

With this change, whenever you visitexample.com or www.example.com, your browser will take you to your website hosted at the IP Address instead of website pointed to by the DNS record. You will likely need to completely close and restart your web browser for it to take effect.

When you  finished working with the development or staging website simply reverse these steps to restore normal browsing behavior.  If you need to switch between development/staging and production you may simply “comment out” the change by placing a # at the beginning of the line and saving the file:

#199.119.218.152    example.com   www.example.com

Email Migrations

If you’re migrating to our email services there are some steps you will need to take to help this process along.

Before Migration

Before migrating, you will need to change some of your account settings. It’s best to make sure these steps are done from your primary computer.

If you’re using webmail, to ensure the best compatibility, you should download any folders to your local machine. We recommend doing this as not all webmail services are compatible with our email migration tools.

POP3 users must ensure they uncheck “leave a copy of my email on the server” options as emails may be duplicated otherwise. Each email client is different but the option should be in one of the advanced areas of account management. Outlook, for example, can be found under “Account Settings > Change your account > more settings > advanced” and on a Mac, it can be found at “Mail > Preferences > Accounts > highlight the account > Advanced”

After Migration

POP3 users can return their “leave a copy of my email on the server” to their original settings.

If you wish to switch to IMAP from POP3 we recommend creating a brand new IMAP account, and copying emails to the IMAP account by dragging and dropping.
Emails can be lost if the POP3 account is deleted before moving messages. For added security, you may wish to backup your current emails first.

Troubleshooting

The migration can take up to 12 hours to work, during this time email shouldn’t be lost. If you’re having trouble connecting please make sure at least 12 hours has passed since the migration started before changing the configuration. While editing these settings ensure that you do not delete the account, some or all of your email may be lost.

Also at any point in time, you may log in your webmail at https://provisionmail.net to check your email.

Open your account settings and change the following:

Incoming Mail Server (IMAP)

Server: provisionmail.net
User Name: <your email address>
Password: <your password>
Incoming (IMAP) Port: 143 (or 993 for Secure SSL/TLS)

Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)

Server: provisionmail.net
User Name: <your email address>
Password: <your password>
Outgoing (SMTP ) Port: 587 (or 465 for Secure SSL/TLS)
*The Outgoing (SMTP) server requires authentication

If you have trouble with any of this, please contact us.

 

Premium Shared Resources

Our premium email service subscribers will be able to enjoy use of our shared and personal calendars. To get started with a new calendar follow the step by step instructions below.

New Calendar or Task List

To begin, log in to your email account through the web interface at https://provisionmail.net

  1. Click Settings
  2. Expand My Settings to find Calendar Settings
  3. Change tabs to Calendars
  4. Click Add
  5. Enter the options you would like to use
  6. Click Save.

Your new Calendar or Task list should now be available to use through the relative menu items.

Share Personal Resources

sharedresourcesTo begin, log in to your email account through the web interface at https://provisionmail.net
Please keep in mind that a shared resource must have an owner. If an account is deleted it’s shared resources are deleted too. An administrator can, however, create domain resources.

  1. Click Settings
  2. Expand My Settings then Sharing to find Shared Resources
  3. Select New to start the wizard to create a new share
  4. Select the resource you wish to share, then click Next
  5. Select the Users or Groups to share with, and those user’s access permissions
  6. Click Save.

The resource should now be available to the shared users.

Domain Resources

domainadminsharedTo begin, log in to your domain administration account through the web interface at https://provisionmail.net

  1. Click Settings
  2. Expand Domain Settings to find Shared Resources
  3. Select New to start the wizard
  4. Enter a name and resource type, then click Save
    Using the conference room option will make the resource available to everyone.
  5. Select and Edit the new resource
  6. Click Add Permission
  7. Select the Users or Groups to share with, and set the access permissions
    Auto Map attaches the resource to all selected users. See Mapped Resources below
  8. Click Save

The domain resource is now available.

Mapped Resources

mappedresourcesFor a user to view a shared resource they must map it to their account. Auto mapping options are also available when setting permissions for a shared resource. To begin, log in to your email account through the web interface at https://provisionmail.net

  1. Click Settings
  2. Expand My Settings and Sharing to find Mapped Resources
  3. Select a shared resource and click attach
  4. Specify a name
  5. Click Save

The resource should now appear alongside the other items.

Add to Outlook

calendarTo begin, log in to your email account through the web interface at https://provisionmail.net

  1. Click Calendar
  2. Click Actions and select Add to Outlook
  3. Follow on-screen instructions and click Save
  4. You will see a request to open the application
    The application opening the request should be listed
    Click Launch Application
  5. In Outlook a popup will ask you to confirm adding the calendar
    Clicking Yes will allow Outlook to talk with SmarterMail.

tooutlookThe resource should be available to the Outlook Calendar.

Spincaster Email Configurations

Primary

If you’re a Provision Mail customer you will need to use the Provision Mail settings.

You may sign into the webmail server at spinmail.provisionmail.net

IMAP server: spinmail.provisionmail.net
IMAP port: 143 (or 993 for Secure SSL)

SMTP server: spinmail.provisionmail.net
SMTP port: 587 (or 465 Secure SSL)

My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication

Change sent, draft and deleted folders on an iPhone

On occasion messages can appear to vanish when using multiple devices to check your IMAP email account. This can sometimes be fixed by changing a few settings on the phone.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll to Mail and open it.
  3. Select your email account
  4. Select the displayed IMAP account
  5. Scroll down and tap Advanced
  6. Under Mailbox Behaviors make ensure the following are set:
    1. Drafts Mailbox: Drafts on my iPhone/iPad
    2. Sent Mailbox: Sent Items on the Server
    3. Deleted Mailbox: Deleted Items on the Server
    4. Archive Mailbox: Archive on my iPhone/iPad
  7. Under Move Discarded Messages Into:
    1. Ensure Deleted Mailbox is selected
  8. Under Deleted Messages:
    1. Choose a time-frame that appropriate for you.  The recommended setting is one month.
  9. Tap < Account
  10. Tap Done
  11. Tap < Accounts

You may wish to login you your web mail account and move items from Deleted Messages to Deleted Items, etc.

Email Content Filtering

Content filtering is a great way to perform actions on emails that meet specific criteria. For example, you can use content filters to delete messages with certain attachments (e.g., attachments with a .exe extension), forward messages from a specific email address to another account, or even alter the subject of specific types of email. Content filters are most commonly used to organize email by moving messages to specific folders. However, content filtering is extremely flexible and allows you to filter messages the way you want to.

Content filtering is not available on our legacy email servers.

To access your content filtering settings,  follow the steps below.

  1. Login to the Web Mail interface using your web browser.
  2. Click on the Settings icon.
  3. Expand My Settings and Filtering Folders.
  4. Click on Content Filtering.

Note: Please create any folders you wish to use prior to creating a rule, as you cannot create a folder from inside the rule wizard.

Use the New button on the screen to create a new rule and follow the steps in the wizard.

To Edit a rule, check the checkbox next to the rule and click the Edit button. Then follow the wizard.

To Delete a rule, check the checkbox net to the rule and click the Delete button.

 

Email – Android 4.0

Due to the wide variation in android devices we can only provide a guide for the stock android mail application, your device may have a 3rd party mail application provided by the manufacturer.

  1. Open “Settings”.
  2. Scroll to “Accounts” and Tap.
  3. Tap “Add Account” and/or the plus (+) icon at the top of the page.
  4. Scroll down to “Personal (IMAP)” and Tap to open.
  5. Enter your email address and tap “Manual Setup”.
  6. Select “Personal (IMAP)” from the list.
  7. Enter your Password
  8. Enter the following
    1. Username: Your Email Address
    2. Authentication: Your Password (should be filled out from before)
    3. Server: provisionmail.net
    4. Security Type: None
    5. Port: 143 (or 993 for Secure SSL)
  9. Tap “Next” and wait for validation
  10. Enter the following
    1. SMTP Server: provisionmail.net
    2. Security Type: None
    3. Port: 587 (or 465 Secure SSL)
    4. Require signin: Checked
    5. Username: Your Email Address
  11. Tap “Next” and wait for validation
  12. Configure account options however you’d like.
  13. Tap “Next” and wait for account creation
  14. Enter a name for the account and enter your name for outgoing messages
  15. Tap “Next” to return to the Accounts screen from step 3

 

If you experience problems please verify that your connection to the server works by opening a Internet browser and typing https://provisionmail.net and verifying that you can login with the supplied credentials.

Email – Outlook 2013

Create Account 

  1. Open the File menu
  2. Click “Add Account”
  3. Select the radio button “Manual setup or additional server types” and click Next
  4. Select the radio button “IMAP” and click next
  5. Enter the following information
    1. Your name
    2. Your email address (provided to you by us)
    3. Change your account type to IMAP
    4. Enter your incoming mail server: provisionmail.net
    5. Enter your outgoing mail server: provisionmail.net
    6. Login Name: your full email address
    7. Password: Password to access your email
    8. Uncheck “Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)”
  6. Click More settings
    1. Open the tab for Outgoing Server.
      1. Check  “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication
      2. Make sure “Use same settings as my incoming mail server” is checked.
    2. Open the tab for Advanced
      1. Set Incoming port to 143
      2. Set Outgoing port to 587
    3. Click OK
  7. Click Next (A dialogue should let you know if everything worked)

Modify Account

  1. Open the File menu
  2. Click “Account Settings” drop-down, then click “Account Settings”
  3. Select the account you’re having issues so it is highlighted and click “Change”
  4. Verify your account settings
    1. Your Name
    2. Your Email Address
    3. Account Type (IMAP), If POP is selected various ports may be different from this guide.
    4. Incoming Mail Server: provisionmail.net
    5. Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): provisionmail.net
    6. User Name: your full email address
    7. Password: Password to access your email
    8. Uncheck “Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)”
  5. Click “More Settings”
    1. Open the tab for Outgoing Server
      1. Check  “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication
      2. Make sure “Use same settings as my incoming mail server” is checked.
    2. Open the tab for Advanced
      1. Set Incoming port to 143
      2. Set Outgoing port to 587
    3. Click “OK”
  6. Click “Next”

If you experience problems please verify that your connection to the server works by opening an Internet browser and typing https://provisionmail.net/ and verifying that you can log in with the supplied credentials.

 

Email – OS X Yosemite

  1. Open the Mail menu
  2. Click “Preferences”
  3. Select the “Accounts” tab
  4. On the list to the left use the + button to add a new account
  5. Select “Add Other Mail Account” and click Continue
    Enter the following information

    1. Your name
    2. Your email address
    3. Password
  6. Click “Create”, you may have to wait a second for the next screen.
  7. A note should be added to the screen saying “Account must be manually configured”
  8. Click “Next”
    Enter the following Incoming Mail Server Info

    1. Account Type: Select IMAP
    2. Mail Server: provisionmail.net
    3. Username: (this should be your full email address)
    4. Password.
  9. Click “Next”
    Enter the following Incoming Mail Server Info

    1. Path Prefix: (Leave Blank)
    2. Set Port to 143
    3. Leave Authentication as “Password”
  10. Click “Next”
    Enter the following Outgoing Mail Server Info

    1. Enter provisionmail.net
    2. Username: (this should be your full email address)
    3. Password.
  11. Click Create.
    You may need to modify your outgoing port if you have trouble sending emails.

Outgoing port change.

  1. Open the Mail menu
  2. Click “Preferences”
  3. Select the “Accounts” tab
  4. Select the relevant account name.
  5. Click “Account information” at the top of the right panel
  6. Click the dropdown for Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) and select “Edit SMTP Server List”
  7. Highlight the correct server by clicking on it. It should contain your domain name.
  8. Select Advanced from the bottom panel
  9. Change Port to 587.
  10. Click Ok

If you experience problems please verify that your connection to the server works by opening a Internet browser and typing https://provisionmail.net/ and verifying that you can login with the supplied credentials.

Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod (iOS)

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll to Mail and open.
  3. Tap Add Account
  4. Scroll down to Other and open
  5. Tap Add Mail Account.
  6. Enter the following
    1. Name
    2. Email Address
    3. Password
  7. Tap Next
  8. Select IMAP and enter the following
    1. Incoming Mail Server
      1. Host Name: provisionmail.net
      2. User Name: Your full email address
      3. Password
    2. Outgoing Mail Server
      1. Host Name: provisionmail.net
      2. Username: Your full email address
      3. Password
  9. Tap Next, then tap Save

If you see one of the following error messages, follow the steps below

  • “The IMAP server **** is not responding” -> Make sure you’re connected to the internet and try again.
  • “The account may not be able to send and receive messages” -> Tap Save
  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll to Mail and open it.
  3. In the Accounts List tap the account that is having the problem.
  4. Tap the displayed email address
  5. Scroll down to Outgoing Mail Server and Tap SMTP
    1. Tap the listing for Primary Server which should be provisionmail.net
      1. Verify that Username is your full email address
      2. Verify that Password is set
      3. Verify Use SSL is turned ON
      4. Verify Authentication is set to MD5 Challenge-Response
      5. Verify Server Port is set to 587
      6. Tap Done
      7. Go back one level by tapping < Account.
    2. Tap Advanced and scroll down to Incoming Settings
      1. Verify that Use SSL is turned ON
      2. Verify that Authentication is set to MD5 Challenge-Response
      3. Verify that Server Port is set to 143
    3. Tap < Account to go back the account settings
  6. Tap Done
  7. Tap < Accounts

If you experience problems please verify that your connection to the server works by opening a Internet browser and typing https://provisionmail.net/ and verifying that you can login with the supplied credentials.