Know This Before Continuing Web Development

Many people who start out web development often miss out the importance of understanding how the web works. I fell victim to this and only after finding this out did I get a more confident understanding of how the web works!

Know This Before Continuing Web Development

A server is a storage of files. It can also include programs to read a database (.sql) file. You can visit the server's website (if it has one) by typing it's IP Address. An IP address is a unique identifier to each server in the world.

This is handy when you are migrating to a different server, for example. You have to move files over to another server, but the only way you can visit the new server is by typing it's IP Address. Why? Because if you will type the domain name that domain is publicly associated with the old IP address.

Since your browser is still sniffing for as the old IP address, you will want to check the new IP address.

To check the new IP address, you will have to edit your own computer's hosts file. See here for Mac, see here for Windows.

This is where you can associate the new IP address with # This is the new IP Address

And just simply do a force refresh on your browser; you should be seeing this new IP address. If you are going through migrating to a different web server, then this new IP address is still propagating. Meaning not everyone can see the new website yet.

During propagation, to check what IP address is publicly being used by the different countries, a handy site for you is

Yes! You can now see the new server's files being displayed as a website.


Understanding this is a key step into the general role as a web developer. That's basically how the web works. But many people confuse what the browser is doing, with what your computer is doing, with what is actually happening.

After I heard about this, I've been more confident in interacting with the web and the websites I build! It has made the web finally make sense, and must've officially drawn the line to upgrade out of being just a junior!

If you liked this article you might also like to find out How to Migrate a WordPress Website with Zero Downtime.

Thank you for reading! And have a nice day! 🙂