How to use the new host-a-website feature on S3

You can find all the links about the new feature on Werner Vogel’s blog. I share his enthusiasm for the new host-a-website feature. I was asking for it for a long time. I guess, from reading the tea leaves, he was too. 🙂

Anyway, I had to do a bunch of trial and error to get my first S3-hosted static site configured. I wanted to leave a howto behind me so next time I won’t have to do the head-scratching again. Maybe it will help you too.

Suppose the domain you want to host on S3 is And the index file for that domain will be index.html. This is what you do.

1. Go to the S3 panel on the AWS website and create a new bucket called in the US-Standard region.

2. Upload a file called index.html to the new bucket. Say something simple like Hello World. You can copy the HTML from my test file if you want.

3. Click on Properties at the top of the right panel, then click on Website in the lower-right panel. Click the Enabled checkbox, and enter index.html as the Index Document. Click Save.

4. Click Permissions in the lower-right panel. Then click on Edit bucket policy. Paste in the template text you grab from this file. Edit it to replace YOUR-BUCKET-NAME-GOES-HERE with the name of your bucket (in the example Click Save.

5. Now go to your domain registrar, and map as a CNAME to

Now you should be able to go and see the text of your index file. 🙂

One response to this post.

  1. […] even though it works. I’ve created a CNAME that’s a little easier to manage and made S3 jump through the ridiculously designed hoops it has to jump […]


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