Seamless Delegation: Hosting a Subdomain on AWS Route 53 while Maintaining Control with Your Primary DNS Provider

Seamless Delegation: Hosting a Subdomain on AWS Route 53 while Maintaining Control with Your Primary DNS Provider

Many a time today, businesses often rely on a multitude of service providers to meet their diverse needs. This includes using primary DNS providers like Cloudflare or GoDaddy for managing their domains, while also leveraging the power of AWS services for their infrastructure.

However, there are instances where you may require a subdomain to be hosted within AWS Route 53. In this article, we’ll explore the steps involved in delegating a subdomain to AWS Route 53 while retaining control with your primary DNS provider.

Step 1: Assessing Your Requirements

Before diving into the technical aspects, it’s crucial to assess your requirements. Determine the specific subdomain you want to delegate to AWS Route 53. This might be necessary if you plan to utilize AWS services such as Amazon S3 for static website hosting, CloudFront for content delivery, or other AWS resources specific to Route 53.

Step 2: Configure the Subdomain in Route 53

To delegate a subdomain to AWS Route 53, you’ll need to create a hosted zone within Route 53 for that subdomain. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the Route 53 service.

  2. Click on “Hosted Zones” in the left-hand navigation pane and select “Create Hosted Zone.”

  3. Enter your subdomain name (e.g., and click “Create.”

  4. Route 53 will provide you with four nameservers. Note down these nameserver values as you’ll need them in the next step.

Step 3: Update DNS Configuration with Your Primary DNS Provider

To delegate the subdomain to Route 53, you’ll need to update the DNS configuration with your primary DNS provider (e.g., Cloudflare or GoDaddy). Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log in to your primary DNS provider’s control panel.

  2. Locate the DNS configuration settings for your domain.

  3. Look for an option to add custom nameservers or manage DNS delegation.

  4. Replace the existing nameservers with the four nameservers provided by Route 53.

  5. Save the changes and wait for the DNS changes to propagate, which typically takes some time (up to 48 hours).

Step 4: Validate Delegation

After updating the DNS configuration, it’s essential to validate the delegation to ensure that the subdomain is correctly pointing to AWS Route 53. Follow these steps:

  1. Wait for the DNS changes to propagate. You can use online DNS propagation checkers to monitor the progress.

  2. Once the DNS changes have propagated, return to the AWS Route 53 console.

  3. Select your hosted zone for the subdomain.

  4. Click on “Go to Record Sets” and verify that the DNS records match your intended configuration.

  5. Perform tests, such as accessing the subdomain in a web browser or using the nslookup command, to confirm that the subdomain resolves to the expected AWS resources.

I have also published a youtube video with all the steps in action.

Step 5: Consume AWS Services

With the subdomain successfully delegated to AWS Route 53, you can now leverage AWS services to power your applications or infrastructure. Some common use cases include:

  1. Configuring an Amazon S3 bucket to host a static website using the subdomain.

  2. Setting up CloudFront to provide content delivery and caching for your subdomain.

  3. Managing DNS records within Route 53 for finer control over subdomain-related resources.


Delegating a subdomain to AWS Route 53 while keeping control with your primary DNS provider allows you to harness the power of AWS services seamlessly. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth transition of the subdomain to Route 53, enabling you to leverage the flexibility and scalability of AWS while retaining control over your primary domain management. Remember to validate the delegation and conduct thorough testing to ensure everything functions as expected.

Disclaimer: DNS propagation can take time, and individual setups may vary based on the DNS provider and specific requirements. It’s always recommended to check the documentation and support resources of your DNS provider and AWS for the most up-to-date and accurate instructions.

Check out my YouTube channel for videos on AWS, Serverless and Development.

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