Setup and Configuration — SitePoint

Mar 30, 2023

On this tutorial, we’ll explore AWS CloudFront, its advantages, and how one can start with organising a CloudFront distribution. We’ll also discuss common pitfalls, steadily asked questions, and configuration options.


  1. Introduction to AWS CloudFront
  2. Advantages of AWS CloudFront
  3. Setting Up a CloudFront Distribution
  4. Common Pitfalls
  5. Steadily Asked Questions on CloudFront

Introduction to AWS CloudFront

AWS CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s designed to speed up the delivery of web content — resembling images, videos, and static files — to users by caching the content at edge locations world wide. This reduces latency and improves the general user experience.

Advantages of AWS CloudFront

A few of the key advantages of using AWS CloudFront include:

  • Faster content delivery. CloudFront caches content at edge locations, reducing the time it takes for users to access your content.
  • Global coverage. With an enormous network of edge locations, CloudFront can deliver content to users worldwide with low latency.
  • Scalability. CloudFront mechanically scales to handle traffic spikes, ensuring consistent performance.
  • Security. CloudFront integrates with AWS security services, resembling AWS Shield and AWS WAF, to guard your content from DDoS attacks and other threats.
  • Cost-effective. CloudFront offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing you to pay just for the information transfer and requests you employ.

Setting Up a CloudFront Distribution

There are two things that you must have arrange before you possibly can start with CloudFront:

Once that’s done, you’re able to arrange your CloudFront distro.

Step 1: Sign up to the AWS Management Console

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Sign up to the Console within the top-right corner.
  3. Enter your email address and password, then click Sign up.

Step 2: Navigate to the CloudFront console

  1. Within the AWS Management Console, click on Services within the top-left corner.
  2. Under Networking > Content Delivery, click on CloudFront.

Step 3: Create a latest distribution

  1. Within the CloudFront console, click on the Create Distribution button.
  2. Select Web because the delivery method, and click on Get Began.

Step 4: Configure the origin settings

  1. Within the Origin Domain Name field, select your S3 bucket from the dropdown list.
  2. Leave the Origin Path field empty.
  3. Set Origin ID to a novel identifier in your S3 bucket (resembling my-s3-bucket).
  4. Leave the Restrict Bucket Access option set to No.

Step 5: Configure the default cache behavior settings

  1. Set Viewer Protocol Policy to Redirect HTTP to HTTPS to implement secure connections.
  2. Set Allowed HTTP Methods to GET, HEAD for static web sites or GET, HEAD, OPTIONS, PUT, POST PATCH, DELETE for dynamic web sites.
  3. Leave the Field-level Encryption Config empty.
  4. Set Cached HTTP Methods to GET, HEAD for static web sites or GET, HEAD, OPTIONS for dynamic web sites.
  5. Set Cache Based on Chosen Request Headers to None.
  6. Set Object Caching to Use Origin Cache Headers.
  7. Set Forward Cookies to None.
  8. Set Query String Forwarding and Caching to None.

Step 6: Configure the distribution settings

  1. Set Price Class to Use All Edge Locations (Best Performance) or select a particular region based in your target market.
  2. Set AWS WAF Web ACL to None.
  3. Set Alternate Domain Names (CNAMEs) to your custom domain name (resembling if you might have one.
  4. Set SSL Certificate to Default CloudFront Certificate (* or select Custom SSL Certificate if you might have a custom domain name and SSL certificate.
  5. Set Default Root Object to your website’s default page (resembling index.html).
  6. Set Logging to Off or configure it based in your requirements.
  7. Set Enable IPv6 to Yes.
  8. Set Comment to a transient description of your distribution (resembling “My first CloudFront distribution”).
  9. Set Distribution State to Enabled.

Step 7: Create the distribution

  1. Click on the Create button at the underside of the page.
  2. Wait for the distribution to be created. This will take just a few minutes.

Step 8: Update your DNS records (optional)

If you might have a custom domain name, update your DNS records to point to the CloudFront distribution:

  1. Within the CloudFront console, click in your newly created distribution.
  2. Copy the Domain Name value (resembling
  3. Go to your domain registrar’s DNS management console.
  4. Create or update a CNAME record along with your custom domain name (resembling pointing to the CloudFront domain name.

Step 9: Test your CloudFront distribution

  1. Open an online browser and navigate to your CloudFront domain name (resembling
  2. Confirm that your website or application loads accurately.

Step 10: Monitor and optimize your distribution

  1. Within the CloudFront console, click in your distribution.
  2. Use the Monitoring tab to view usage statistics and performance metrics.
  3. Use the Behaviors tab to create additional cache behaviors for specific URL patterns or content types.
  4. Use the Error Pages tab to customize error responses in your distribution.

Common Pitfalls

  • Caching issues. Make sure that you set appropriate cache control headers in your S3 objects to regulate how long CloudFront caches the content. If that you must update content, create an invalidation request to remove the cached content from CloudFront edge locations.

  • SSL certificatemanagement. If you would like to use a custom domain with CloudFront, that you must configure an SSL certificate. You’ll be able to either use AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) to create a free SSL certificate or import an existing certificate from a third-party provider.

  • Access control. To limit access to your content, you need to use signed URLs or signed cookies. Ensure to configure the suitable settings in your CloudFront distribution and generate the required keys.

  • Origin configuration. Make sure that your origin is accurately configured in your CloudFront distribution. In case you’re using an S3 bucket because the origin, be sure to make use of the right bucket domain name and origin access identity.

Steadily Asked Questions on CloudFront

We’ll now answer some common CloudFront FAQs.

How long does it take for a CloudFront distribution to change into fully operational?

It often takes about 15–20 minutes for a latest CloudFront distribution to change into fully operational. Nonetheless, this time may vary depending on aspects resembling the variety of edge locations and the complexity of your configuration.

Can I take advantage of multiple origins with a single CloudFront distribution?

Yes, you possibly can configure multiple origins in a single CloudFront distribution. You should use different cache behaviors to route requests to the suitable origin based on the request URL.

How can I monitor the performance of my CloudFront distribution?

You should use Amazon CloudWatch to watch the performance of your CloudFront distribution. CloudFront provides several metrics, resembling request count, error rate, and data transfer, which might aid you analyze the performance and troubleshoot issues.

How do I update content in CloudFront?

To update content in CloudFront, that you must upload the updated content to your origin (resembling an S3 bucket) and create an invalidation request to remove the outdated content from CloudFront edge locations.

Configuration Options on Amazon’s CloudFront

Listed here are some necessary configuration options to think about when organising a CloudFront distribution:

  • Cache behaviors. Configure cache behaviors to regulate how CloudFront caches and serves content based on the request URL. You’ll be able to create multiple cache behaviors with different settings for various URL patterns.

  • Custom error pages. You’ll be able to configure custom error pages for specific HTTP status codes. This means that you can provide a greater user experience in case of errors.

  • Geo restriction. If you would like to restrict access to your content based on the user’s geographic location, you possibly can configure geo restriction settings in your CloudFront distribution.

  • Lambda@Edge. You should use Lambda@Edge to run AWS Lambda functions at CloudFront edge locations. This means that you can customize content delivery and execute serverless functions closer to the user.

  • Logging. Enable access logs to gather detailed details about each request made to your CloudFront distribution. You’ll be able to store these logs in an S3 bucket for further evaluation.


AWS CloudFront is a robust CDN service that may aid you deliver content faster and more securely to users worldwide. By following this tutorial and understanding the varied configuration options, you possibly can arrange a CloudFront distribution that meets your specific requirements and improves the general user experience.