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Route 53 and Certificate Manager

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides many tools that significantly ease application and website hosting. Route 53 is the domain name manager and Certificate Manager is just what is sounds like (think SSL, TLS.)

I want to provide some clear information regarding these services because whether it's hobbyists making their personal blog or building the next killer service, providing your viewers with a secure website is really important. In fact, Google and other search engines won't even index non-https sites.

AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) can issue free SSL certificates for use with AWS stack services (EBS, Lambda, S3) for your domain. Using Route 53 is a mere $0.50 per domain-and-all-subdomains per month. But no, it is not included in the free tier. Gotta pay that 50 cents. For EC2 you cannot use the public cert directly since Amazon will not disclose the private key, but you can point a CloudFront distribution to an EC2 instance or a Load Balancer to one or more EC2 instances and achieve a secure connection on the browser with your domain. Have a read through Ghost on EC2 With Cloudfront or Cloudflare for more details.

Your domain does not need to be transferred to Route 53 registrar for this to work - you just need to update the nameservers with your current registrar to the ones provided by Route 53.

In case you don't know, Amazon Web Services offers a generous free tier. In my experience so far, you can sign up for the free tier year-after-year with different email addresses.

Additionally, there are other services such as CloudFlare which provide https for your domain.