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Do you have a web site with one of those old-fashioned web hosts? Do you feel inferior when reading how everyone else uses S3 for a static site, like this fellow?

So I gave this a try, and I am here to tell you that it may not be worth it, unless you want to learn a whole lot more about DNS than you probably do. For my domain,, I have two modest requirements. (1) I want to get my email. (2) I want people who visit or to see my website.

It is trivial to load your pages into an S3 bucket. You then get a  site with a cheery URL such as

And then you can fuss with Amazon's DNS server (Route 53), but it's a fiddly thing and StackOverflow is full of people who are no smarter than I am and repeatedly erased and recreated configurations until stuff happened to work.

Or you can try to mess with the DNS settings at your registrar. Don't do it if you want both mail and web. I learned the hard way that there is no good solution. Since Amazon's IP address is a moving target, you can't use an A record for your web site. You can't use a CNAME record either because some mail servers out there will then try to send mail to the CNAME target instead of querying the MX records. And if you try to use the registrar's web forwarding, it's either a hack involving iframes, or they redirect to the weird-looking S3 URL that you don't want people to see.

Now I know what I pay my web host for: A static IP address.
I’ve got an old Rackspace instance that I’ve been running a bunch of small sites on over the past 4 years. Lately it’s been causing me problems and sites will sporadically go down…
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