Route53 and naked domain redirects

Ok, here’s the issue, it would be awesomely nice to have tongfamily.com point to www.tongfamily.com but AWS Route53 does not allow this, you have to have a hard address A record for this. Bluehost and Digital Ocean handle this magic, but not Amazon. So what’s the work around? If you just use a CNAME alias, you can run into some real problems as Josh Strange found out. The basic issue is that if you do, then the DNS specification says it will ignore all your subdomain records. So beware.

Well, there is a service run by https://www.wizer.com which let’s you point to a magic IP address and it will reflect back to the proper spot with a 301 redirect. Handy.

3 Comments

  1. clwill
    Aug 7th, 2019 1:18 pm

    Huh, I use AWS for my hosting, and I just have my Nginx server handle the redirects. All forms, http and https, with and without the WWW and they all end up at the https site without the www.

    1. Rich TongRich Tong
      Rich Tong
      Aug 7th, 2019 1:41 pm

      Yes that works if you have a single real
      Server underneath. That is an A record pointing to a real server. But if you have a domain that doesn’t have a real server underneath. Specifically if you are using a site like Instapage.com which is hosting then you don’t have a server you control at the bottom. Instead you point it at another dns name then you have this problem.

  2. pjdseattlea
    Aug 8th, 2019 5:00 am

    It’s a symptom of people using bare domain names as web addresses. Historically and as designed, web addresses should be hostnames (like http://www.domain.com).

    Having a service just to do that redirect seems messier than just keeping parallel CNAMEs, where both the www and the bare are CNAMEs for the Instapage site. I would rather have the control localized in R53 than spread between R53 and Wizer, even if parallel CNAMEs can trigger one’s OCD 🙂 .

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