we are trying to make our heroku app available under example.com (changed here). I followed the heroku guide for using Route 53 for that (https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/route-53).

However, I think already in the DNS configuration of the zone file at our current provider is a problem:

$TTL 900
@   IN SOA ns-1478.awsdns-56.org. postmaster.robot.first-ns.de. (
    2014052101   ; serial
    900          ; refresh
    1800         ; retry
    604800       ; expire
    86400 )      ; minimum

@                        IN NS      ns-1478.awsdns-56.org.
@                        IN NS      ns-620.awsdns-13.net.
@                        IN NS      ns-1761.awsdns-28.co.uk.
@                        IN NS      ns-261.awsdns-32.com.

When I ping:

cannot resolve `example.com`: Unknown host

I can neither access the page in browser.

Is there maybe anything to change on the zonefile?

  • Check with dig using the following command dig ANY example.com @ns-620.awsdns-13.net
    – Ace
    Jul 16 at 16:47

3 Answers 3


Of course there is a problem : you don't have A entry on your zone or a host with a A record. You just have NS records.

@  IN A
www IN A
  • You should not use an A entry, as heroku uses load balancers and there is no specific IP to bind to.
    – Heinrich
    May 24, 2014 at 10:36
  • @Heinrich for the zone apex there isn't really an alternative for use with http(s) in terms of DNS. See eg serverfault.com/questions/596799/… May 24, 2014 at 11:48
  • Ping is using A records. So heroku should use them too ?
    – Dom
    May 24, 2014 at 18:03
  • @Dom, I would assume that any recursive DNS server that queries this DNS server for example.com will get referred to one of the delegated name servers (see the NS records). There shouldn't be any A, CNAME, MX, etc records here. May 24, 2014 at 22:08
  • I don't think so : your NS entries are secondaries servers, not recursive (it is based on zone with @). It means that one of the secondaries can answer to the queries as they are the primary server. To be delegated, you must have a NS entry but with a sub-zone name.
    – Dom
    May 25, 2014 at 7:05

My guess is that you haven't waited long enough for DNS propagation. You can check this via What's My DNS's Global DNS Propagation Checker at https://www.whatsmydns.net/.

Also, you may want to check what DNS records you're getting back for example.com. To do this, you could use a command line utility called nslookup.exe from a Command Prompt (assuming you're using Microsoft Windows).

You may also want to try clearing your DNS cache (ipconfig.exe /flushdns), incase your PC has cached an old record for this domain.


As far as I can understand, Route53 needs to be authoritative for the zone example.com, and to that zone you need to add a cname record for www. You speak of your "current provider", is this different than Route53?

As per the guide you linked, Route53 doesn't support CNAMEs for the root, so you can't use a CNAME for @. As per the guide however you can use a static S3 website to do a 301 redirect from example.com to www.example.com, and add a A record for @ to point to this static website.

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