I am having a crazy issue with Route53.

I have two domains: startuppatterns.com and startuppatternsbook.com. I transferred both of them to Route53 over a week ago. The transfer went fine.

Two days ago, I started setting up hosted zones so I could swap the nameservers and launch my new site. I've done this enough times for clients, it seemed no big deal.

startuppatterns.com I have successfully set up to route to an S3 bucket, where I host a static HTML site. It's got an SOA, NS, A, MX, and CNAME that are all working great. I believe the actual Nameservers were put in automatically when I transferred the domain.

startuppatternsbook.com is pointing to a bucket as well. That bucket is set to redirect to the other domain, which is what I want.

However, startuppatternsbook.com is failing. It has all the same SOA, A, NS, and CNAME records (no MX in this case), but propagation doesn't seem to be working. Route53's own testing tools seem to say it's live, but all the online tools report failure.

Not sure what to do next. Any ideas?

  • When I say "all the same", I mean equivalent. The NS records are different; again, I think they were auto loaded during the transfer. But the values all seem legit. It's had some kind of NS for days, but it shows as failure when I check with tools like whatsmydns.net
    – Sam McAfee
    Jun 21, 2017 at 15:33
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    You have both domains configured to use the same four nameservers. In my experience with Route53, this is extremely unusual - you always get a new, random set of four for every domain. Check the Route53 console - each domain should have a NS record containing its four canonical nameservers. Make sure you've used the right ones for startuppatternsbook.com.
    – ceejayoz
    Jun 21, 2017 at 15:35
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    Yes, I suspect that's the case. It's technically possible to get the same set of nameservers, but I've never seen it happen - there appear to be hundreds if not thousands of different ones that get shuffled in.
    – ceejayoz
    Jun 21, 2017 at 15:45
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    Yes, that should do it, too... altough on the main domains screen, clicking in the table row for a hosted zone will bring up a sidebar that will also show you the correct values that should be set for the NS records for that hosted zone. Jun 21, 2017 at 20:21
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1 Answer 1


I did manage to fix it. I had originally executed a transfer from another provider (Bluehost) and Route53 preserves those settings initially.

The Nameservers appear in two places. Under the hosted zone, and also under the domain. I must have accidentally overwritten the NS settings under the domain with the settings from my other domain, startuppatterns.com (not sure why I did that).

I had to delete my hosted zone file, which was no big deal since everything was broken anyway. When I created a new hosted zone file, it regenerated new NS settings for me. I then copied those into the Nameservers section under the domain.

In a couple hours, all was working perfectly.

Thanks everyone for your tips!

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