25 January 2012

Assigning your GoDaddy domain name to your Amazon S3 bucket

In the previous post we setup a static website using Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 bucket storage. Now we’re going to assign the fancy new godaddy domain we just bought to that bucket.
You will need:
    - A GoDaddy Domain
    - An working S3 bucket hosting your website

1. Bucket Name
First and foremost in the last post we named our bucket whatever we want. In this post it’s crucially important we are very careful with what we name our bucket. Amazon gets the bucket name to use from the URL, so you’ll need to match your domain with your bucket name. For example if my domain was www.mygreatwebsite.com you would need to make sure your bucket was called www.mygreatwebsite.com So if you haven’t already done that, go ahead and create a new bucket. You can easily copy and paste your files across from your old bucket. Of course make sure it’s setup as a website all works with the S3 URL.

2. GoDaddy Domain Manager
First we need to open what GoDaddy call the zone manager, there may be better ways to find it but here’s how i get there. Open godaddy.com, hover the mouse over Domains and click “Domain Manager” and login. Hover over Tools and click “DNS Manager”. In the list of your domains click “Edit Zone” next to your domain. You’ll see a bunch of information here, but in short you’re looking under the CNAME heading for www. By default it’s value is @. You need to remove this at symbol and change it to: mygreatwebsite.com.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
Obviously replacing the url with the one for your S3 bucket. Especially the “eu-west” bit and the mygreatwebsite.com with yourgreatwebsite.com and save. This is where the name of your bucket we mentioned in step one becomes so important.

You may want to check you don’t have forwarding turned on. The first time I set this up I just used domain forwarding, which is a neat and easy to use feature, but it just creates an iframe for your site, which won’t help your SEO one little bit. That said, it is a very quick and simple to use feature of GoDaddys. You can turn domain forwarding on and off in the DSN manager using the forward button at the top.

If you own http://mysite.com and http://www.mysite.com then (I believe) you have to either setup two buckets one called mysite.com and one called www.mysite.com or of course you could forward one domain to the other.

That’s it, sit back and be patient, domain changes can take a few hours to process so go buy some donuts and cross your fingers. Hopefully that all worked like a dream.

I owe a lot to this guy, Aaron Blohowiak and his excellent blog entry: http://aaronblohowiak.com/using-amazon-s3-and-cloudfront-to-host-a-stat

and also this this one by Steve Liles:

18 January 2012

Creating an Amazon AWS S3 Static Website

OK this is going to be a fairly short and simple post, but I want to take you through the steps as it will lead nicely into my follow up post. Basically what we’re going to do is use Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 to host our static website. This is a great feature of AWS whereby their cloud storage services can be used to host a website.

  1. Create a bucket - Sign Up for AWS and goto the console. Then click the S3 tab at the top and click “Create Bucket” underneath the tab. Buckets are amazon’s storage containers, they hold all your files. You’ll want to choose a region closest to where your users will be. Your bucket name has to be unique, and obviously useful to you, in my next post I’ll talk more about how you need to link it to your domain name if you decide to use a custom domain for your bucket.
  1. Upload your files - Click on your bucket and upload your files. CSS, HTML, Images etc. I like to have a separate bucket for my images and or you can use AWS CDN services, but that’s another story.
  1. Setup the bucket as a website - Click on your bucket and click properties. Goto the website tab and click Enabled and set the index document to your index.htm file or whatever. Click save.
  1. Set bucket permissions - Click the permissions tab and click “Add bucket Policy” copy the following text, replacing the name of your bucket with the words mybucketname, then click save.

      "Principal": {
           "AWS": "*"

That’s it, your URL should be something like: