Single Page Application

This example demonstrates how to setup a Single Page Application. Our goals here are to serve a static page with low latency. One additional goal is to make sure the client side application can leverage the History API functions pushState and replaceState to change the current URL without reloading. Further we want to make sure all the content is only served via HTTPS. HTTP requests should get redirected to HTTPS.

To achieve these goals we use S3 in combination with CloudFront. S3 is used to store our static HTML file while CloudFront is responsible for making it available via Amazon's Content Delivery Network.


Nodejs (at least version 8)

The serverless-single-page-app-plugin in this example requires the Serverless Framework version 1.2.0 or higher and the AWS Command Line Interface. Learn more here on how to install the AWS Command Line Interface.


Replace the bucket name in serverless.yaml which you can find inside the custom section. There is a placeholder text yourBucketName123. This is due the fact that bucket names must be globally unique across all AWS S3 buckets.

Since this plugin uses a custom Serverless plugin you need to setup the node_modules by running:

npm install

The serverless-single-page-app-plugin plugin in this example is there to simplify the experience using this example. It's not necessary to understand the plugin to deploy your Single Page Application.


Warning: Whenever you making changes to CloudFront resource in serverless.yml the deployment might take a while e.g 20 minutes.

In order to deploy the Single Page Application you need to setup the infrastructure first by running

serverless deploy

The expected result should be similar to:

Serverless: Packaging service…
Serverless: Uploading CloudFormation file to S3…
Serverless: Uploading service .zip file to S3…
Serverless: Updating Stack…
Serverless: Checking Stack update progress…
Serverless: Stack update finished…
Service Information
service: serverless-simple-http-endpoint
stage: dev
region: us-east-1
api keys:

After this step your S3 bucket and CloudFront distribution is setup. Now you need to upload your static file e.g. index.html and app.js to S3. You can do this by running

serverless syncToS3

The expected result should be similar to

Serverless: upload: app/index.html to s3://yourBucketName123/index.html
Serverless: upload: app/app.js to s3://yourBucketName123/app.js
Serverless: Successfully synced to the S3 bucket

Hint: The plugin is simply running the AWS CLI command: aws S3 sync app/ s3://yourBucketName123/

Now you just need to figure out the deployed URL. You can use the AWS Console UI or run

sls domainInfo

The expected result should be similar to

Serverless: Web App Domain:

Visit the printed domain domain and navigate on the web site. It should automatically redirect you to HTTPS and visiting /about will not result in an error with the status code 404, but rather serves the index.html and renders the about page.

This is how it should look like: Screenshot


If you make changes to your Single Page Application you might need to invalidate CloudFront's cache to make sure new files are served. Meaning, run:

serverless syncToS3

To sync your files and then:

serverless invalidateCloudFrontCache

Further Improvements

Here a list of potential improvements you can do with your CloudFront setup depending on your use-case:

  • Setup a custom domain alias
  • Logging for CloudFront requests
  • Setup a restriction so the Bucket is not publicly accessible except via CloudFront