How to host static website on AWS CloudFront

How and use S3 as an origin for CloudFront

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I was looking for a way to host a static website on AWS. I found a couple of ways to do that. I decided to use CloudFront as a CDN and S3 as an origin. I will show you how to do that.

The beginning is quite simple - creating a bucket in S3. And set it up as an origin for Cloudfront.

The biggest problem is obviously with hosting that serves index.html files. You can set up the default root object, but it works only for / path, but not with subdirectories. There are a couple of ways to do that.

Cloudfront functions

Cloudfront functions are a new feature that allows you to run a piece of code on the edge. You can use it to rewrite the request path.

You can find more information about Cloudfront functions here .


We are going to create small function that will rewrite the request path.

function handler(event) {
    var request = event.request;
    var uri = request.uri;
    // Check whether the URI is missing a file name.
    if (uri.endsWith('/')) {
        request.uri += 'index.html';
    // Check whether the URI is missing a file extension.
    else if (!uri.includes('.')) {
        request.uri += '/index.html';

    return request;

Don’t forget to assign the function to the Cloudfront distribution.


Website hosting

The other option is to use S3 website hosting. It is a bit more complicated, but it works with subdirectories.

Make sure that the web hosting option is enable on your bucket, and copy domain name from it:

Website hosting

Instead of chosing domain from the list, just paste your domain name.