So, Amazon Lightsail is a nice idea. You can host all kinds of things with it, pretty simply and pretty cheaply (oh, hi this website!) Something I found to be missing was the explanation of how to get DNS to work correctly. I wrote it off to updating my NS records after the initial response had been cached. So, waited patiently for 48 hours long hours. No joy.
Re-read the documentation. Yes, all happy that I’d followed that. Still nothing. Deleted the zone in Lightsail to re-create it. Still nothing. Well, this is frustrating!
What I found to be missing (and missing from the documentation) is that if you update your NS records in a Route 53 hosted domain, you have to also delete the hosted zone in Route 53. I only found this by chance when I noticed that the updated NS records I’d created didn’t match what I was seeing in the Route 53 control panel. How annoying! The Amazon documentation would work beautifully if you register your domain with another registrar, but falls short when using their own services.
Configure Route 53 for Lightsail
If you browse to your ‘Hosted zones’ on Route 53, and find your Lightsail domain listed, you need to remove this zone.
Once the zone has been removed, browse to ‘Registered domains’ and find your domain name.
This is where you need to update your NS records, rather than the NS records within the hosted zone.
This was not clear to me, and sadly I wasted a couple of days waiting for DNS resolver caches to clear which was going to make no difference at all. Hopefully this will help someone else along the way until Amazon update their documentation.