Alias Hostname

How to create an Alias for your Local Website (bye localhost!)

Tired of having localhost in your URLs? Do you want to have a more professional-looking URL in your browser? It is so easy to set up, you won’t be able to live code without it anymore! So let’s have a look, shall we?

Meh, localhost is fine…

Okay, no problem! Let me just give you the reasons why I use aliases:

  • Cleaner URLs: visually easier to see what’s going on in the URL,
  • No more configuration errors (ports, …),
  • No routing errors with a development environment closer to the production environment: you will have the exact same URLs in development and production.
    It is especially useful when working with MVC-like frameworks or WordPress, for instance.

Alright, let’s change that hostname

Changing the hostname from localhost to is an easy 2-steps process when you are using a web server like Apache, for example. And may be reduced to step 1 otherwise.

Step 1: editing Hosts file

Open the hosts file:

// for Unix/MacOS: /etc/hosts
// for Windows: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
$ sudo vim /etc/hosts

Add the IP address and hostname:

Save and quit:

// type Esc, then:

Step 2: editing the Virtual Host file

Open the Virtual Hosts file at: /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf (you can make a backup copy, just in case ;) )

Add the following:

<VirtualHost *>
	DocumentRoot "/Applications/MAMP/htdocs/mywebsite"

	<Directory "/Applications/MAMP/htdocs/mywebsite/">
		Options FollowSymLinks MultiViews
		AllowOverride All
		Order allow,deny
		allow from all

Of course, you will need to adapt the name and route to match your config.

And last but not least, make sure the httpd-vhosts.conf file is included (not commented out) in /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/httpd.conf.

💡 Last tip: using .com.local as an extension is a safe choice, it will keep the general aesthetic of the URL, but clearly indicates the purpose of the hostname. Plus it is safe as an extension for the third-party tools you may use!

I hope it helps, feel free to buy me a coffee (or tea) to support the blog 🙂

One thought on “How to create an Alias for your Local Website (bye localhost!)

Leave a Comment

You want to leave a comment? Sweet! Please do so, but keep in mind that all comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So no fake comment or advertisement will be approved. And don't worry, your email address won't be published. Thanks!

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>