Adding Route 53 Hosted Zones and Creating ACM Certificates

  6 minute read

Welcome to our new series called “AWS Basics”! Our purpose with this series is to go through the foundational services of AWS and to help you get started as quickly as possible.

If you just bought a domain name and would like to use it to host your static site, this tutorial will help you get started fast on AWS!

What is Route 53?

Route 53 is a service by AWS that allows customers to set up and host their DNS zones and records. If you’re not familiar with how DNS works, we highly recommend checking out this guide.

The benefit of using Route 53 over a default service such as one provided by your domain registrar is that Route 53 is intertwined with other AWS services. It removes extra friction and allows you to add records (such as for DNS validation) easily.

What is ACM?

AWS Certificate Manager (referred to as ACM) is a service that allows you to create and manage certificates quickly. If you’re not familiar with how certificates work, we highly recommend checking out this guide.

The benefit of using ACM is primarily how easy it is to get started and manage certificates, especially around renewal.

How much does it cost?

Route 53 zones are cheap – $0.50 per hosted zone/month for the first 25 hosted zones and then $0.10 per zone afterward.

ACM Certs that are public are free. You pay only for the AWS resources you create to run your application.

How to create a Route 53 Zone

1. Go to AWS Management Console

2. Expand All Services and Click on Route 53

Expand All Services and Click on Route 53

3. Alternatively, Type “Route 53” in the search bar above

Alternatively, Type "Route 53" in the search bar above

4. Click on Route 53

Click on Route 53

5. Click on Hosted zones

Click on Hosted zones

6. Click on Create hosted zone

Click on Create hosted zone

7. Type “example.com”

Type "example.com"

8. Click on Create hosted zone

Click on Create hosted zone

Once you have created the Route 53 Zone, you must point your domain registrar to the new NS records created. Login to your domain registrar and replace the NS records. Here is a guide if you bought your domain from GoDaddy, Name.com, or Google Domains.

If you have any questions or need assistance with this step, please feel free to reach out.

Once you have updated your records with your domain registrar, it will take several hours to propagate through the internet and take effect. Sometimes, it could take up to 72 hours. One easy way to tell is by running a command like dig.

dig +short NS example.com

If the response matches your newly updated records that were created in the Route 53 zone, you’re ready for the next step.

How to create a certificate with ACM

1. Go to AWS Management Console

2. Type “ACM”

Type "ACM"

3. Click on Certificate Manager

Click on Certificate Manager

4. Click on List certificates

Click on List certificates

5. Click on Request

Click on Request

6. Type the main domain you want to create an certificate for. In my example, I’m using “example.superatomized.com”.

Type "example.superatomized.com"

Option but highly recommended – Click on Add another name to this certificate. We recommend using this for wildcard certificates or alternative domain names (such as subdomains).

Click on Add another name to this certificate

7. Click on Request

Click on Request

10. On the next page, you’ll see a page that lets you know your certificate has been requested. All the statuses should show as “Pending Validation”. Click on your newly created certificate ID.

Click on 9769f302-94ba-4682-ad57-bf38107b10fd

11. Click on Create records in Route 53

Click on Create records in Route 53

12. Click on Create records

Click on Create records

That’s it! You’ll see a confirmation message, letting you know that the certificate is being validated and could take up to 30 minutes.

Note: Until the status changes to “Issued” your certificate will not be usable with the services in AWS.

If you have any questions or need assistance with this step, please feel free to reach out.

Summary

You have now created a Route 53 Zone and set up your first certificate! You can use it now with various AWS integrated services such as Amazon CloudFront and Elastic Load Balancing (ELB).

Interested in learning more about how Atomized can help make deploying to AWS easier? Reach out to us using the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand corner!

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