‹ Return to How tos

Using Amazon Route 53 to point a domain to an Amazon Lightsail instance

Last updated: May 2, 2019

The DNS zone in Amazon Lightsail makes it easy to point a registered domain name, like example.com, to your website running on a Lightsail instance. However, it has limits. You can create up to three Lightsail DNS zones (for three domains), and not all DNS record types are supported.

Note

For more information about Lightsail DNS zones, see DNS in Amazon Lightsail.

If the Lightsail DNS zone is too limited for you, then we recommend using an Amazon Route 53 hosted zone to manage your domain’s DNS records. You can manage the DNS for up to 500 domains using Route 53, and it supports a greater variety of DNS record types. Or, you might already be using Route 53 to manage your domain’s DNS records and prefer to continue using it. This guide shows you how to edit the DNS records for a domain managed in Route 53 to point to your Lightsail instance.

Prerequisites

Complete the following prerequisites if you haven’t already done so:

  • Register a domain name using Route 53. For more information, see Registering a New Domain in the Route 53 documentation.

  • If you already registered a domain but you’re not using Route 53 to manage its records, then you must transfer management of the DNS records for your domain to Route 53. For more information, see Making Amazon Route 53 the DNS Service for an Existing Domain in the Route 53 documentation.

  • Create a public hosted zone for your domain in Route 53. For more information, see Creating a Public Hosted Zone in the Route 53 documentation.

    Note

    You don’t need to create a Lightsail DNS zone if you plan on using Route 53 to manage the DNS records for your domain.

  • Create a static IP and attach it to your Lightsail instance. In this guide, you create a DNS record in your domain’s Route 53 hosted zone that resolves to the static IP address (public IP address) of your instance. For more information, see Create a static IP and attach it to an instance in Amazon Lightsail.

Pointing a domain to a Lightsail instance using Route 53

The following steps provide guidance about to configure the two most common DNS records, address and canonical name, in Route 53. However, the steps are similar for other record types. For additional information, see Creating Records by Using the Amazon Route 53 Console in the Route 53 documentation.

    To point a domain to a Lightsail instance using Route 53

  1. Sign in to the Route 53 console.

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Hosted zones.

  3. Choose Create record set to add a new DNS record to the hosted zone.

  4. Choose one of the following record types:

    A – IPv4 address

  5. An address (A) record maps a domain, such as example.com, or a subdomain, such as blog.example.com, to a web server’s IP address, such as 192.0.2.255.

    1. Keep the Name text box empty to point the apex of your domain, such as example.com, to an IP address, or enter a subdomain.

    2. Choose A – IPv4 address in the Type drop-down menu.

    3. Enter the static IP address (public IP address) of your Lightsail instance in the Value text box.

    4. Keep the routing policy as Simple.

      Address record example in a Route 53 hosted zone.
  6. CNAME – Canonical name

  7. A canonical name (CNAME) record maps an alias or subdomain, such as www.example.com, to a domain, such as example.com, or a subdomain, such as www2.example.com. A CNAME record redirects one domain to another.

    1. Enter a subdomain in the Name text box.

    2. Choose CNAME – Canonical name in the Type drop-down menu.

    3. Enter a domain or subdomain in the Value text box.

    4. Keep the routing policy as Simple.

      Canonical name record example in a Route 53 hosted zone.
  8. Choose Create to add the record to your hosted zone.

    Allow time for the change to propagate through the internet's DNS. This may take a few minutes to several hours.

    To edit an existing record set in the Route 53 hosted zone, choose the record to edit, enter your changes, and then choose Save Record Set.