πŸŽ‰ A tool to help creating and deploying static sites with AWS
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usage | security | change log | appendix

(alpha) A tool to help authoring static sites with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Rationale: Static sites are fun. Deploying to S3 is pure joy. CloudFront makes scaling something you don't think about anymore. No servers to administrate; no tears to cry. Setting it all up however is not as straightforward. Confetti is an attempt at encoding best practices into a repeatable program using CloudFormation and providing handy tools for basic as well as advanced deployment scenarios.

[confetti/confetti "0.2.1"] ;; latest release

Who is this for?

  • People that want static sites on custom domains with free SSL and minimal hassle.
  • People that want to host static sites under root domains (e.g. example.com).
  • People that want to setup new static sites often without much manual work (takes 15min of mostly waiting w/ Confetti).
  • People that want to effortlessly have multiple static sites under one domain (e.g. demo.example.com and example.com)
  • People that want excellent distribution accross the globe using a leading CDN.
  • People that want to be able to delete all resources related to a site with a single click.


  • Create all AWS resources required for ideal deployment of static sites
    • S3 Bucket, Bucket Policy, Cloudfront Distribution
  • All resources are created via a CloudFormation template, allowing
    • easy deletion if something went wrong
    • abort upon conflicting configration
  • Provide a separate user & access key that can only push to the bucket
  • Setup DNS via Route 53 (optional)
  • Follow AWS best practices for deploying static sites.
  • Efficient synchronization of files to S3.


creating a site | syncing your site | final step: dns | adding subdomains

Confetti is packaged up as a boot task. This is mainly because boot makes it easy to write commandline apps in Clojure without needing to worry about bootstrapping or dependency resolution.

Confetti provides two commands, in Boot-lingo called tasks. The create-site task will create a CloudFormation stack with all resources for your static website and save all important information to an EDN file in the current directory.

Let's go through an example of creating a site and syncing it for the first time.

Creating a site

πŸ’‘ Confused about access keys? Check out the Security section of this README.

Let's say you want to deploy a site at my-app.com. To create an S3 bucket, a CloudFront distribution and restricted access keys you can run the following:

boot -d confetti create-site --domain "my-app.com" --access-key XXX --secret-key YYY

Note: the -d confetti bit makes sure Boot will download confetti so the create-site task will be available.

Exception! Because you want to use a naked/APEX domain you have to use Route53 for DNS. (You can find more on this in the Appendix.) Try again with DNS enabled:

boot -d confetti create-site --domain "my-app.com" --access-key XXX --secret-key YYY --dns

This should kick of the process. The first feedback should be appearing on your screen. At some point no new events will get printed but the process also hasn't returned yet. What you're waiting for now is the creation of your CloudFront distribution. This usually takes between 10-15min.

You may kill the process at this point. Everything is running remotely and won't be interrupted. A .confetti.edn file is saved in your current working directory and if using the fetch-outputs task with sufficient credentials you can download all useful information at any point in time. (The task will tell you if the stack isn't ready yet as well.)

Confetti create-site progress

After the create-site task finishes you should find a file in your current working directory: my-app-com.confetti.edn. It's contents should contain everything important about your newly provisioned resources:

{:stack-id "arn:aws:cloudformation:us-east-1:297681564547:stack/my-app-com/xxx",
 :bucket-name "my-app-com-sitebucket-3fu0w0729ndk",
 :cloudfront-id "E3760XUWU2V9R7",
 :cloudfront-url "d3up0oy7r2svli.cloudfront.net",
 :access-key "AAA",
 :secret-key "BBB",
 :website-url "http://my-app.com",
 :hosted-zone-id "Z3KJWNUJTT8GHO"}

Now everything is ready for the first deployment!

Syncing your site

Now the sync-bucket task comes into play. While the task provides many different ways to specify what to upload we will just show the simplest here: syncing a local directory. For our demo purposes lets create a directory quickly:

mkdir my-app-site
echo "Hello World" > my-app-site/index.html
echo "About Us" > my-app-site/about.html

Now lets sync it. Take the bucket-name, access-key and secret-key values from the .confetti.edn file:

boot -d confetti sync-bucket --bucket "my-app-com-sitebucket-3fu0w0729ndk" \
                             --access-key AAA --secret-key BBB --dir my-app-site
;; or alternatively
boot -d confetti sync-bucket --confetti-edn your-site.confetti.edn --dir my-app-site

This will upload index.html and about.html to your bucket. To verify that everything was successful you can navigate to the URL stored as cloudfront-url in the edn file.

There are many more ways to specify what files to upload (with custom metadata if wanted) which are not covered by this guide. Consult boot sync-bucket --help for details.

Final Step: DNS

Now the only step missing is properly setting up DNS. What needs to be done here varies depending on whether you enabled the --dns option or not. In the example above we enabled it so lets cover that case first:

DNS with Route53: Because you have a root/naked/apex domain setup you decided to use manged DNS by AWS. Now you need to set the nameservers for the domain you used to AWS' nameservers. These are different for different Hosted Zones so you need to look them up in the AWS Console.

Without Route53: When not using Route53 the only thing you have to do is to add a CNAME entry to the Zonefile of your domain that points to the Cloudfront distribution.

Both of these steps will vary from domain registrar to domain registrar so it's recommended to check their individual documentation.

πŸ”’ Want SSL? Here's how to enable it.

Adding Subdomains

Let's say you used Confetti to create a site weloveparens.com and now want to add a static site to a subdomain of that domain. You can just run:

boot create-site --domain "shop.weloveparens.com" --dns --access-key FOO --secret-key BAR

This will create a Route53 RecordSet in the HostedZone which has previously been created for you when setting up weloveparens.com. The S3 bucket, CloudFront distribution and so on will be created as usual. Also as always everything (including the RecordSet) will be created as a CloudFormation stack so if you no longer need it you can just delete the stack, leaving weloveparens.com unaffected.

Getting Help

To get help on the command line you can always run:

boot create-site --help
boot fetch-outputs --help
boot sync-bucket --help

Also feel free to open issues to ask questions or suggest improvements.


Giving your AWS keys to some program and just letting it run with it is kind of frightening so this section is aimed at giving some comfort around that.

  • The create-site task will create a CloudFormation stack according to a template defined in confetti-clj/cloudformation.
  • If you want to see the CloudFormation template before you run anything you can pass the --dry-run argument.
  • The credentials you pass to create-site must have permissions to create the individual resources listed in the CloudFormation template. (In the future Confetti may provide an AWS IAM policy snippet so you can create a user that has all the rights Confetti needs.)
  • The CloudFormation template will also generate an Access Key + Secret. This keypair is restricted, it can only access the S3 Bucket and invalidate CloudFront caches.
  • The keypair should be sufficient to update your static site and restricted enough that you can share it with others.

your-site.confetti.edn ⚠️

As of version 0.2.0 the create-site command will create a file ending in .confetti.edn this contains all information needed to maintain your site. The information in this file contains secrets!

Update: I've come to the conclusion that creating this file is a bad idea. People will inevitably commit it and publicise the keys to their S3 bucket. In the future I would like to just print something in a format that is understood by direnv and recommend env vars / direnv instead.




  • Upgrade to [confetti/cloudformation "0.1.6"], which brings the following improvements:
    • Enable compression by default
    • Fix some misconfiguration of the origin that caused problems when enabling SSL



  • HostedZone Reuse: Creating a new HostedZone for each site has two drawbacks:

    • Each HostedZone costs 50 cent
    • Each HostedZone has a distinct set of nameservers that you'd need to supply to your domain provider

    By using one HostedZone for your root domain example.com these problems are solved and adding a new site at demo.example.com is just a matter of adding a RecordSet. Confetti now tries to find an existing HostedZone and only adds a RecordSet if it finds one.

  • New invalidation-paths option for the sync-bucket task. Previously invalidation paths were determined based on the files you uploaded. Now you can provide a custom set. (#21 + #29)

  • Fix bug with new method of supplying options via a .confetti.edn file


  • When users supply the confetti-edn option, we now accept both versions (ending with .confetti.edn and just the part before that). Previously it was expected that you only supply the part before the .confetti.edn suffix
  • Adapt Readme to suggest usage of confetti-edn option and fetch-outputs task
  • Refactor reporting into separate task that is called from create-site
  • Give progress-reporting a hard limit of 16min. Previously the error reporting often got stuck preventing the entire process from returning. This should not happen anymore.
  • Provide copy-able command to fetch outputs as part of progress reporting
  • Move APEX domain info into fetch-outputs task
  • Upgrade to [confetti/cloudformation "0.1.3"] to have :website-url in stack outputs no matter if Route53 is used or not
  • Print time when starting progress reporting
  • Print Cloudfront URL in fetch-outputs if Route53 isn't used


  • A fetch-outputs task has been added that can be used to download outputs of Cloudformation stacks. Previously the reporting often got stuck and didn't save stack outputs properly. To circumvent this you may now cancel the reporting and call fetch-outputs at any later point in time to download the outputs.
  • The sync-bucket task now provides a confetti-edn option that can be used to supply the some-id part of a {some-id}.confetti.edn. The information in that file will then be used for instead of the regular task options.
  • General improvements around error handling and option validation.


Additional Tweaks

Add SSL:
  1. Get an SSL Cert using AWS Certificate Manager (ACM)
  2. Configure Cloudfront Distribution to use newly issued certificate (i.e. "Custom SSL certificate")
  3. Switch Behavior Viewer Protocol Policy to "Redirect HTTP to HTTPS"

πŸ‘‰ If anything is not working as expected, please open an issue. πŸ‘ˆ

Note If you end up getting 504 errors when requesting assets from your Cloudfront distribution double check you're really using the website endpoint as origin. The Origin Protocol policy must be "HTTP Only" as a result of using the website endpoint.

Enable Gzipping
  • v0.1.6 and up now take care of this automatically
  • Edit Behavior, set "Compress Objects Automatically" to "Yes"

A Note On APEX Domains

Cloudfront supports APEX domains but only if you use Route53's ALIAS records. More information can be found in the official announcement.

This limitation makes it harder to automate root (APEX) domain setups thus it's currently not supported to create sites for root domains without also managing DNS with Route53.