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Amazon Route 53
Developer Guide (API Version 2013-04-01)

Creating a Subdomain That Uses Amazon Route 53 as the DNS Service without Migrating the Parent Domain

You can create a subdomain that uses Amazon Route 53 as the DNS service without migrating the parent domain from another DNS service.

Important

If you're already using Route 53 as the DNS service for your domain and you just want to create records for subdomains in your hosted zone, see Routing Traffic for Subdomains.

The process has four basic steps:

  1. Create a Route 53 hosted zone for the subdomain.

  2. Add records for the new subdomain to your Route 53 hosted zone.

  3. API only: Confirm that your changes have propagated to all Route 53 DNS servers.

    Note

    Currently, the only way to verify that changes have propagated is to use the GetChange API action. Changes generally propagate to all Route 53 name servers within 60 seconds.

  4. Update the DNS service for the parent domain by adding name server records for the subdomain.

Creating a Hosted Zone for the New Subdomain

When you want to use Amazon Route 53 as the DNS service for a new subdomain without migrating the parent domain, you start by creating a hosted zone for the subdomain. Route 53 stores information about your subdomain in the hosted zone.

When you create a hosted zone, Route 53 automatically creates four name server (NS) records and a start of authority (SOA) record for the zone. The NS records identify the name servers that you give to your registrar or your DNS service so that queries are routed to Route 53 name servers. For more information about NS and SOA records, see NS and SOA Records that Amazon Route 53 Creates for a Public Hosted Zone.

To create a hosted zone using the Route 53 console, perform the following procedure. To create a hosted zone using the Route 53 API, use the CreateHostedZone action. For more information, see CreateHostedZone in the Amazon Route 53 API Reference.

To create a hosted zone using the Route 53 console

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Route 53 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/route53/.

  2. If you're new to Route 53, choose Get Started Now under DNS Management.

    If you're already using Route 53, choose Hosted Zones in the navigation pane.

  3. Choose Create Hosted Zone.

  4. In the right pane, enter the name of the subdomain, such as apex.example.com. You can also enter an optional comment. For more information about a field, see the tool tip for the field.

    For information about how to specify characters other than a-z, 0-9, and - (hyphen) and how to specify internationalized domain names, see DNS Domain Name Format.

  5. For Type, accept the default value of Public Hosted Zone.

  6. At the bottom of the right pane, choose Create.

Creating Records

You can create records using either the Amazon Route 53 console or the Route 53 API. The records that you create in Route 53 will become the records that DNS uses after you delegate responsibility for the subdomain to Route 53, as explained in Updating Your DNS Service with Name Server Records for the Subdomain, later in the process.

Important

Do not create additional name server (NS) or start of authority (SOA) records in the Route 53 hosted zone, and do not delete the existing NS and SOA records.

To create records using the Route 53 console, see Working with Records. To create records using the Route 53 API, use ChangeResourceRecordSets. For more information, see ChangeResourceRecordSets in the Amazon Route 53 API Reference.

Checking the Status of Your Changes (API Only)

Creating a new hosted zone and changing records take time to propagate to the Route 53 DNS servers. If you used ChangeResourceRecordSets to create your records, you can use the GetChange action to determine whether your changes have propagated. (ChangeResourceRecordSets returns a value for ChangeId, which you can include in a subsequent GetChange request. ChangeId is not available if you created the records by using the console.) For more information, see GET GetChange in the Amazon Route 53 API Reference.

Note

Changes generally propagate to all Route 53 name servers within 60 seconds.

Updating Your DNS Service with Name Server Records for the Subdomain

After your changes to Amazon Route 53 records have propagated (see Checking the Status of Your Changes (API Only)), update the DNS service for the parent domain by adding NS records for the subdomain. This is known as delegating responsibility for the subdomain to Route 53. For example, if the parent domain example.com is hosted with another DNS service and you created the subdomain test.example.com in Route 53, you must update the DNS service for example.com with new NS records for test.example.com.

Perform the following procedure.

  1. Using the method provided by your DNS service, back up the zone file for the parent domain.

  2. In the Route 53 console, get the name servers for your Route 53 hosted zone:

    1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Route 53 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/route53/.

    2. In the navigation pane, click Hosted Zones.

    3. On the Hosted Zones page, choose the radio button (not the name) for the hosted zone.

    4. In the right pane, make note of the four servers listed for Name Servers.

    Alternatively, you can use the GetHostedZone action. For more information, see GetHostedZone in the Amazon Route 53 API Reference.

  3. Using the method provided by the DNS service of the parent domain, add NS records for the subdomain to the zone file for the parent domain. In these NS records, specify the four Route 53 name servers that are associated with the hosted zone that you created in Step 1.

Important

Do not add a start of authority (SOA) record to the zone file for the parent domain. Because the subdomain will use Route 53, the DNS service for the parent domain is not the authority for the subdomain.

If your DNS service automatically added an SOA record for the subdomain, delete the record for the subdomain. However, do not delete the SOA record for the parent domain.