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Ember on S3 with CloudFront - Less Hash More Cache

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How to host your ember application using Amazon S3 and Cloudfront and maintain your pretty URLs without having to redirect to a hashed url.

We like deploying our Ember app to S3 with ember-cli-deploy. While cheap and fast, there is a caveat to this approach:

When a user goes directly to a page on your Ember site, say https://emberweekend.com/episodes, S3 doesn't have the capacity to serve your index.html file. We initially solved this by setting redirect rules in our s3 static web hosting settings:


So, when we visit:


S3 will not be able to find that page (404) and redirect us to:


This returns the index.html file, which loads the Ember app.

Then, the Ember app uses pushState() to change the url back to:


Please note: This is how it's currently working as of this article's publish date. Subject to change.

This works, but the frequently changing URLs bothered us, the status code still returned a 301 redirect, and our friends at Ember Weekend noticed Google was not indexing pages that were created after taking this approach. Attempting to reconcile these issues led us to Amazon CloudFront's custom error page configuration.

We simply create a Custom Error Response that returns our /index.html with a status of 200 when we get a 404:

CloudFront -> <distribution-id> -> Error Pages -> Create Custom Error Response

cloudfront form hashrocket

So now, if we were to visit:


Our S3 bucket will still return a 404, but now Cloudfront will handle that 404 and return the /index.html file with a status of 200 instead.

No redirects, no Hash URLs, and all is right with the world.

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