Configure your Domain using Route 53

Setting up your Domain

For setting up my domain, I used Amazons Route 53 service. The main reason for this is because I’m using AWS for all the services in my environment so it was the obvious choice.

I would suggest purchasing your domain after configuring Route 53 as some registar’s like that one I am using requests your nameservers before activating your domain.

Ok, so here’s what I did:

. Log into the AWS Management console and navigate your way to Route 53.

. Click on hosted zones located on the left hand side of the screen and select “Create Hosted Zones”.

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Next, you will need to add the following as shown above:

  • Domain Name (Name of your Website)
  • Comment : This is optional, I left this blank
  • Type : Basically public or private (Because I want my site to be public, I selected public but it all depends on what you want to do). Then click create afterwards

Once its created, you will have the following:

What are these? We’ll let me explain….

NS : Well an NS Record or “Name Server Record” basically maps a domain name to a list of DNS servers authoritative for that domain.

SOA: A start of authority (SOA) record is information stored in a domain name system (DNS) zone about that zone and about other DNS records.

The SOA record stores information about the name of the server that supplied the data for the zone; the administrator of the zone; the current version of the data file; the number of seconds a secondary name server should wait before checking for updates; the number of seconds a secondary name server should wait before retrying a failed zone transfer; the maximum number of seconds that a secondary name server can use data before it must either be refreshed or expire; and a default number of seconds for the time to live file on resource records.

Now that we know what NS Records and SOA records are, let move on…………..

Remember in the beginning of this page I mentioned that its better to configure Route 53 before puchasing a domain, well its because of the NS records. Like I said, some DNS Providers require the NS records before purchasing the domain.

So what you will need to do is provide them with the NS records you see on your console, BUT….. Only after you have everything configured properly in Route 53 that is.

After creating your hosted zone, your NS records and SOA records are automatically populated. What now?

The first thing we are going to create is an A Record. Whats an A Record?? Let me explain…

 

An A record matches up a domain (or subdomain) to an IP address. In other words, it points your domain name to your AWS IP address, which allows web traffic to reach your instance. This is the core functionality of DNS. A typical A record looks like the following:

imraanabrahams.co.za A imraanabrahams.co.za

Moving on, click on create record set and add the following :

  • Under name, add www
  • Type will be A(For a record) -IPv4 address
  • Alias – use no
  • Value : add the IP address you want your domain to resolve to.
  • Routing policy : Lets use simple (Because we simeple, haha)
  • Click save record set

Here’s how it should look below:

WE NOT DONE…. THERES MORE, LETS GO!!!!

Now we going to create another A record with an Alias without the WWW pointing to your website. Here, all you will need to do it click on yes for Alias and select your website in the drop down and save the record set.

Why are we doing this? Well this way, anyone hitting the website with a WWW or not will still go to the same target.

Lastly, we are going to create a CNAME record. Dont worry, I’ll explain….. actually, I looked for the best possible explanation for a CNAME record and found this one to be the most useful.

A CNAME record or Canonical Name record matches up a domain (or subdomain) to a different domain. With a CNAME record, DNS lookups use the target domain’s DNS resolution as the alias’s resolution. Here’s an example:

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alias.com       CNAME   example.com.
example.com     A       12.34.56.78

With this setup, when alias.com is requested, the initial DNS lookup will find the CNAME entry with the target of example.com. A new DNS lookup will be started for example.com, which will find the IP address 12.34.56.78. Finally, visitors to alias.com will be directed to 12.34.56.78.

Moving on, Click create record and add the following:

  • Name : we going to use google
  • Type : This will be CNAME
  • Alias will be NO
  • Value : lets use google.com
  • Policy : Simple
  • Click create record
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