Deciding on the BlueConic hostname

One of the first steps for every new customer is choosing a hostname on which BlueConic is running. This is an important step because changing the hostname later on is quite hard:

  • Cookies are set against that hostname, so when changing the hostname, profiles will not be found any more because cookies are set against the old hostname.
  • The BlueConic JavaScript tag needs to be changed on all channels, because the hostname is inside the JavaScript tag.
  • All mobile apps need to be updated because they point to the old hostname.

There are other reasons why choosing a hostname is important:

  • The hostname is sometimes visible for consumers, for example in the webpages, in tweets, Facebook wall posts and in links in emails sent by BlueConic.
  • If you choose your own hostname, you need to setup the hostname yourself and point it to our servers (in technical terms; you need to setup a CNAME in the DNS configurations). You also need to provide a SSL certificate to us to manage https requests on that hostname, which may lead to additional costs. This is not needed when you choose a generic *.blueconic.net hostname, we handle all of that for you.
  • If you choose a hostname that ends with the same domain name as one of the major channels, cookies for that domain are then automatically 1st party, and that makes cross channel profile tracking within that domain possible even for users that use browsers with 3rd party cookies disabled (currently, Jan 2015, that means Safari, both on iOS and PC/Mac, about 10% of the market).

So, how to decide?

First step would be to decide if you want a *.blueconic.net hostname or your own. Using our wildcard hostname is easier, you don't have to do anything, and we can set it up for you. But external parties are able to see the hostname and see that you use BlueConic. On the other hand, using your own hostname means that we need to retrieve a SSL certificate for you for that specific hostname to manage https requests, making the on boarding more complex and slower. We also need to update the certificate periodically when it will expire.

If you decided to go for a *.blueconic.net you still need to decide the name before the domain name. Here are some tips for deciding:

  • Think of hostname that covers all your brands that will be in BlueConic (for example use a holding name) or think up one yourself.
  • Try to make the hostname short, because it will be in millions of browsers, mobile devices, email clients and social media channels, every byte counts.

If you decided to go for your own hostname, here are some tips to choose the full hostname:

  • Think if you have (or buy) a domain name that covers all your brands, because the hostname will be used and visible on all of your channels.
  • If you have one channel that received the majority of all traffic, and have multiple other channels in that same domain of that channel, it could be worthwhile to take a hostname in that domain, because then visitors on those channels with browsers with default no 3rd party cookie support will still be profiled.
  • Think if you want a hostname like bc.company.com or profiles.company.com or blueconic.company.com

In general, most of our customers tend to go for the *.blueconic.net option, and choose an abbreviation of their holding company name. So, if you are unsure, that's a safe bet!