Disclaimer: I haven't read this Hiroku guide, but I have lots of normal local websites on my local Ubuntu server, which is adapted from a standard Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.
There is a directory with all the apache configuration in
/etc/apache2. In this directory, there are 4 subdirectories, two for sites and two for modules; each has one for everything available, and one for just the ones that are enabled. These are named:
What you want to look in is
sites-enabled. In this folder, I think there should be a default file called
In this file, there can be a number of entries for "VirtualHost" I believe there is only one by default, that sets up the main web directory for apache. Many people just add directories under this one, and access them by adding directories to the URL. But you can add any number of virtual hosts, in any directories you want.
For example, say you have a domain called abc.com, and you want to work on it locally. You can make an alias in the hosts file of your local workstation that you use for development (that's in
/etc/hosts) for abc.com (temporarily, as this will preempt the external abc.com) to redirect it to the server (either by name or IP, or using localhost if it's on the same system).
The magic happens in apache's 000-default file, where it will look for a VirtualHost called abc.com.
So, say you have a website in a directory
/var/www/abc.com; then you would add something like this to the apache file:
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
allow from all
If you want to work on a local file, and a remote file, without editing localhost, you can rename the local one to something like abc.dev, put this in localhost, and change the apache file from abc.com to abc.dev. Then it will always be available by simply entering
http://abc.dev to the address bar of your browser (or just abc.dev).
If you aren't familiar with the hosts file and need help, let me know, but it's fairly straightforward, and I don't want to waste too much time with things you may already know.
I hope my explanation has been helpful, but if not, feel free to ask for elaboration.