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If a visitor needs to sign-on at your site and they don't have any social profiles, their only option is to use a traditional (double opt-in) registration process. That is why websites should always offer those as a fallback.

Offering single sign-on is very easy to implement, and has many advantages when you use a third party hosted service. However implementing the above fallback, (only for the very small percentage of visitors that need it) may be not worth the development time spent.

Is there an easy(developer) and smooth (visitor) way to offer said visitors to sign-on to a neutral social id provider, like ea. openid, and redirecting them back to where they left your site, already signed-in, once they have.

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Who can deny visitor to login transparently to your website social id? –  igor Nov 25 '11 at 9:18
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I have a Facebook and Twitter account, but I never log in through those accounts because I know most sites are evil and spam my wall if I do. –  JoJo Nov 25 '11 at 9:32
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If you would not have the option to register by choosing your own password and email on the site (traditional) but would have to sign up with an openid provider, would you be Ok with that? And which oen would you choose from this list: openid.net/get-an-openid ? –  newnomad Nov 25 '11 at 15:23

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I don't think there's an easy way to provide for people who don't have or don't want to use their social media accounts for third-party registration. Although they work well enough, solutions like OpenID are still unfamiliar to many regular web users, and the flow of moving between different websites to sign can put them off easily. They may not come back if they can't see an easy way to get in other than using a social media account.

It's simply good practice to provide a registration and sign-in process that you own and control. Third-party sign-in can be used to improve the onboarding process for new people, but relying on it as a cost savings is very risky: you're handing over the means for people to access your site to a third party that you don't control, who may not always be available, and who can change its rules at any time without notifying you.

If you have a way for people to access your site that does not depend on any other service, you will not be at their mercy, and managing that risk is worth the development cost. You'll also have a way for people to get in if they don't like the idea of signing in with Facebook or Twitter, or just don't understand or feel comfortable with OpenID.

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