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 can be complex:
- All mobile apps need to be updated because they point to the old hostname.
Standard and custom BlueConic hostnames
The BlueConic script tag references your hostname. There are two types of hostnames in BlueConic:
- Standard hostnames follow this format: <script src="https://cdn.blueconic.net/domain-name.js"></script>
For example, if you install BlueConic on a site called Taylor-Shopping.com, your script would be: <script src="https://cdn.blueconic.net/taylor-shopping.js"></script>
- Custom, first-party BlueConic hostnames take this format: <script src="https://[Blueconic-hostname.yourdomain.com]/script.js"></script>
So the same site using a first-party BlueConic hostname would use this format:
Why is choosing a hostname important?
- Browser technologies are evolving to favor first-party data collection. Your BlueConic profiles are first-party data, so using a first-party BlueConic hostname helps ensure that browsers appropriately see your scripts as first-party. Learn more about first-party BlueConic hostnames.
- The hostname in your BlueConic script is sometimes visible to customers, for example in the webpages, in tweets, Facebook posts, and in links in emails sent by BlueConic.
- If you choose your own hostname, you need to set up 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 standard *.blueconic.net hostname. If you choose a first-party BlueConic hostname, we will guide you through the process of updating your DNS records.
- 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 first-party, and that makes cross channel profile tracking within that domain possible even for users that use browsers with third-party cookies disabled (that means Safari, both on iOS and PC/Mac, about 10% of the market).
How to choose a hostname
The BlueConic script runs on your site and collects your first-party customer data. There are several options for choosing a BlueConic hostname:
- Using a *.blueconic.net hostname. 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.
- Creating a custom, first-party BlueConic hostname. The major browsers are implementing tracking prevention aimed at preventing third-party tracking. For this reason, BlueConic offers a First-Party Hostname Console to help ensure that your hostname is appropriately viewed as first party. See BlueConic hostnames overview to learn about first-party hostnames in BlueConic.
- Creating your own hostname. 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.
Using a *blueconic.net hostname
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.
- Note that ITP, some browsers, and ad blockers may regard your data collection as third-party, which means cookies expire after 7 days instead of one year.
To learn more about ITP and browser tracking prevention, see our FAQ on BlueConic, cookies, and ITP.
Creating a custom BlueConic hostname with First-Party Data Console
Recent changes to browsers' protection technologies highlight the value of your first-party data. To ensure that your BlueConic-enabled content is appropriately recognized as first party, you can use the BlueConic First-Party Hostname Console to create a first-party BlueConic hostnames for new or existing BlueConic channels.
See Creating and configuring first-party hostnames for detailed instructions, including guidelines for customizing the hostname and steps your IT team needs to take to update your DNS provider's records to use a custom first-party hostname for BlueConic.
Creating your own hostname
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 third-party cookie support will still be profiled.
- Decide whether you want a hostname like bc.company.com or profiles.company.com or blueconic.company.com
If you have additional questions about deciding on your BlueConic hostname, contact your BlueConic Customer Success Manager.