Save this URL, memorize it, write it on a sticky note, tweet it, tell your colleagues about it!
If you do any testing on your local system you’ve probably created hosts file entries (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) for different testing domains and had them point back to 127.0.0.1. This works great but it requires just a bit of extra effort.
This localtest.me trick is so obvious, so simple, and yet so powerful. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are other domain names like this out there, but I haven’t run across them yet so I just ordered the domain name localtest.me which I’ll keep available for the internet community to use.
Here’s how it works. The entire domain name localtest.me—and all wildcard entries—point to 127.0.0.1. So without any changes to your host file you can immediate start testing with a local URL.
You name it, just use any *.localtest.me URL that you dream up and it will work for testing on your local system.
This was inspired by a trick that Imar Spaanjaars introduced me to. He created a loopback wildcard URL with his company domain name. I took this one step further and ordered a domain name just for this purpose.
I would have liked to order localhost.com or localhost.me but those domain names were taken. So to help you remember, just remember that it’s ‘localtest’ and not ‘localhost’, and it’s ‘.me’ rather than ‘.com’.
I can’t track usage since the domain name resolves to 127.0.0.1 and never passes through my servers, so this is just a public tool which I’ll give to the community. I hope it gets used. And, since I can’t really use the domain name to explain itself, please spread the word and tell others about it.
Some examples on how to use it would include:
- Creating websites on your dev machine. site1.localtest.me, site2.localtest.me, site3.localtest.me.
- Great for URL Rewrite (IIS) or mod_rewrite (Apache) testing: redirect.localtest.me, failuretest.localtest.me, subdomain.localtest.me, city1.localtest.me.
- Any testing on your local system where a friendly URL would be useful.
I hope you enjoy!