In the AWS console, select Route 53 and you’ll be presented with a screen like this.

Route 53 options
Route 53 options

If you don’t already have a Domain name, you can register one within AWS. Just click on the “Domain Registration” option. The prices are $12 for .com and .org and $11 for .net. Vanity root domains can be a lot more. The registration pricing list can be found here. of There’s also the ability to transfer a domain name from another provider.

Amazon will create a hosted zone automatically with a fee off $0.50 a month. This is used to specify where Route 53 should route traffic to for the registered domain. Route 53 pricing is essentially the cost of the domain registration and the 50 cents per month zone fee (which can be avoided.) There are other charges based on storage and the number of requests, but those aren’t directly related to the domain charges.

You’ll need to create an Amazon S3 bucket to host your website. Prior to setting up the entire website, just get a default “hello world” site up for testing purposes. You’ll then need to configure Route 53 so that traffic can be routed to the new site.

Amazon Cloudfront can be used to speed up your site by distributing it to geographically dispersed caches. For a fee of course.

Once your website is configured, under DNS Management, select your hosted zone (which Amazon should have automatically created for you.) You then need to select Create a Record Set, and configure each record on the right hand side, as shown below.

You’ll want to make sure the name contains the hosted zone of the domain, and that you select an A record type. You should set Alias to yes as well, which will open up an Alias Target option with a drop down. From there you need to select your S3 bucket. You’ll also choose a routing policy of Simple to start with. You can then go back and create more records as needed.

There are several routing policies in Route 53.

  • Simple Routing
  • Weighted Routing
  • Latency Routing
  • Failover Routing
  • Geolocation Routing
  • Multivalue Answer Routing

Simple allows only 1 record with multiple IP addresses. Route 53 will return a random IP from the record.

Weighted allows you to split traffic between addresses. For example, send 60% to a US Zone and 40% to a Euro Zone.

Latency lets you route traffic based on the lowest latency for the end user. It should select it based on latency even if it’s not the physically closest.

Failover allows you to select a backup site in case there is a failure. A Route 53 DNS health check is used on the active site to check for failures.

Geolocation lets you choose routing locations based on your user’s location.

Multivalue lets you return multiple values for each query and combines it with a health check, so only values deemed healthy are returned.

If you are looking to take the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam, we recommend taking these AWS Practice Tests first.