The easiest way to create virtualhosts for Apache on Windows

 

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Setting up a website using HOSTSignalz
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How to Setup a New Website

  1. Click the Add Host button or select New Virtual Host from the File menu. This will create a new virtualhost entry in the Sites List box and the Domain Name field. The new entry is initially named newsite.local.

  2. Click in the Domain Field and replace newSite.local with the domain name of your Website, e.g. mywebsite.dev. This will simultaneously change the entry in the Sites List box.

  3. Click on the Choose button and select the folder containing your Website's HTML or source code, e.g. the DocumentRoot.

  4. Click on the Apply Changes Toolbar button. This will save your virtualhost entries and (re)start your Apache webserver.

  5. Point your browser to the domain name you used in step #2 or simply double-click the entry in the Sites List box. You should see your website.

  • New Virtual Host [menu item and Add Host button] - creates a virtual host, i.e. a website. Clicking on either the Add Host button or selecting New Virtual Host from the File menu will create a new entry in the Sites List box and the corresponding Domain Name and Local Path fields for the purpose of specifying the name of the site and the local disk file path to the DocumentRoot respectively.

  • Delete Host [menu item and button] - deletes a virtual host, i.e. a website. Clicking on Delete Host will remove a virtual host entry and it's associated website definitions, i.e. Domain Name and Local Path and any other related data.

  • Restart Apache [menu item and button] - restarts the Apache Webserver. Clicking on either the button or menu item forces Apache to restart and thereby reloads Apache's configuration files.

  • Apply Changes [button] - applies changes made to all virtual hosts. Clicking either the menu item or the button saves all changes made to any virtual hosts and then restarts Apache, thereby causing the virtual host changes to be applied.

  • Server Status [button] - opens the server status window. Clicking this button opens the server status window allowing access to Apache's log files.

  • Feedback [button] - sends an email to HOSTSignalz support. Clicking the Feedback button will open an email using your default email client and populate the HOSTSignalz support address in the TO: header.

  • Export VHost Config [menu item] - exports a plain text copy of your virtual host file. Selecting this menu item allows you to make a backup copy of your virtual host file.

  • Flush DNS Cache [menu item] - clears DNS entries from your computer's local cache. Selecting this menu item causes the computers local cache of DNS entries to be cleared.

Options

  • Preferences [menu item] - allows access to Apache path and default websites directories. Selecting this menu item will allow you to point to the location of the Apache instance you wish to use or the Default website folder.

  • You may have more than one Apache version installed, so this preference item can be used to change between them. Note that HOSTSignalz will automatically detect the version of the newly specified Apache and automatically adjust your virtual host configuration to match.

  • The Default websites directory is the path to the location where your website's HTML is stored. HOSTSignalz does not automatically create the path, so the path must exist already.

  • License Activation [menu item] - reveals the License Activation window allowing you to Activate your copy of HOSTSignalz with a license. Selecting this menu item reveals the License Activation window where you may paste in a copy of your HOSTSignalz license or point to a file on disk containing your license. Activation of the license will cause HOSTSignalz to be licensed.

  • Import License [button] - allows you to point to a copy of your HOSTSignalz license on disk.

  • Activate License [button] - causes verification of the HOSTSignalz license appearing in the Activate License window. If verification succeeds, a copy of your license will be saved.

Main Window

  • Basic Settings [main window]

  • Domain Name - this is the domain name for your website, e.g. hostsignalz.dev. Fill out this field with whatever you'd like to call your development website.

  • Local Path - the filepath to the document root folder of your development website, e.g. c:. Fill out this field with the file path to the folder containing your website's HTML, e.g. index.html or index.php.

  • Enable this virtual host [checkbox] - turns on or off the virtualhost / website selected in the Sites List box. Uncheck this checkbox if you do not want Apache to be configured to host the website currently selected in the Sites List box.

  • Enable HTTPS [checkbox] - enable the site selected in the Sites List box to be served via HTTPS by Apache. Checking this box will cause HOSTSignalz to generate a self-signed SSL Certificate for the site selected in the Sites List box and then configure the virtualhost for https access.

  • www [checkbox] - add www to the Domain Name as a server alias. Checking this box allows addressing of the website as www.domainname, e.g. for a domainname example of hostsignalz.dev, checking this box would allow you to address the website as www.hostsignalz.dev. Without checking this box you could still address the website as simply hostsignalz.dev.

Advanced Controls

  • Advanced Settings [tab in main window] - allows access to Directory and VirtualHost directives as well as IP address and Port information for your websites. Advanced Settings are typically not changed or adjusted for normal operation.

  • IP Address and Port - allows you to define a specific IP Address or Port or both for your website to listen on.

  • Directives [VirtualHost] - allows a user to supply custom virtualhost directives which are included in the virtualhost configuration for the site selected in the Sites List box.

  • Directives [Directory] - allows a user to supply or modify existing directory directives which are included in the virtualhost configuration for the site selected in the Sites List box.

  • View Config [tab in main window] - allows viewing of the virtualhost configuration file. This is the file that HOSTSignalz writes to the Apache configuration directory and is used by Apache for hosting your websites. This is mainly used for debug purposes. The View Config content is updated upon each click on the Apply Now button.

Windows 10 hostsfile bug workaround

In Windows 10 it is no longer permissible for anyone other than the Administrator to "write" things to the /Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts file. This is unfortunate since this will prevent the trial version of HOSTSignalz from operating correctly.

There is a workaround. Running HOSTSignalz as an Administrator should bypass the problem. However, unfortunately yet again, the workaround solves one problem but creates another. Once HOSTSignalz is run as Administrator, it can no longer find its licensing files, which are installed per user.

So, in order to workaround the licensing problem, HOSTSignalz is providing a free license good until October 2016 for anyone who wishes to trial the product! Download your free license here.

Our profound apologies for this inconvenience. We ask your patience as we pound out a solution :) Thank you.