AWS SES Domain Verification

Amazon Web Services offers a lot of services. The documentation is usually comprehensive and easy to follow, but sometimes there are a few “gotchas” when working with resources outside of AWS–especially with AWS Simple Email Service (SES).

If you’re having trouble verifying your domain, here are a few things to check:

  1. When updating the domain’s DNS records with your DNS provider, make sure that you type the full name and value of each record (TXT and CNAME records if you opt for DKIM [which is recommended for verifying the sender’s identity when emails from “*@yourdomain.com” are received]). The names/values are long and the table cells overflow, so if you double-click on the text to copy/paste it, you might not be copying the entire name/value because it contains periods, etc. that will terminate highlighting on double-click. (Kind of embarrassing, but this happened to me, and I didn’t notice for 24 hours…)
  2. The AWS documentation says, “If your DNS provider does not allow DNS record names to contain underscores, you can omit _amazonses from the TXT record name.” Some DNS providers (for example, Namecheap) allow underscores but automatically append the domain to the end of record names (or hosts in Namecheap). So _amazonses.lunchbunch.me should be _amazonses, and <mykey>._domainkey.lunchbunch.me should be <mykey>._domainkey with no domain appended. (After an additional 48 hours, I realized that this was why my verification was still pending…)
  3. Finally, although the documentation says that the verification process could take up to 72 hours, it usually won’t take more than one hour. And you can check if it’s working much faster than that (within a couple of minutes); after you’ve updated your DNS records, visit this page to see if the changes have been pushed through–just replace “lunchbunch.me” with your domain name. (DNS updates likely will be picked up by Google before AWS, though you may have to submit this form a few times until a server with the updated records processes your request.)

If none of these suggestions help, please refer to Amazon SES Domain Verification Problems, or let me know in the comments below!

Happy coding!
Ryan from The Bunch

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