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I have a service, example-service.com.

I have customers customer-a.com, customer-b.com, etc.

We host a service for them on urls like customer-a.example-service.com

Users who are familiar with customer-a.com and trust it might be sent to customer-a.example-service.com and be worried that it is some sort of scam/fake site. (indeed, this is a common phishing method, making a domain like paypal.com.payment-service.com, users quickly see paypal.com in the url and trust it).

The users are sometimes sent there from a third party, not from customer-a.com.

We have a "What is Example Service?" thing in the footer with some explanation. How else could we reassure our users about the relationship between the two services?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The only thing you can do is to have a link on customer-a.com site leading to your site. It would be even better if the users would sign in on customer-a.com and they used that authentication token on customer-a.example-service.com. Then the user would not have to worry about signing in to a different domain. You would use customer-a.com as an identity provider for your site - which would be more trusted by your users than having them sign in on example-service.com.

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what we ended up doing is have the customer make a "partner page" on their site declaring their relationship with us, and then we link to that from the "What is Example Service?" page. –  John Bachir Jun 8 '12 at 15:28

Why not reverse this and host the sites on example-service.customer-a.com? Customer A can set up a subdomain on their domain and point it to your servers. It may not be practical in your situation, but at least worth considering.

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Agree with this. Our current download.example.com site isn't hosted by us, but by our current Content Delivery Network partner. It also has a long servername.datacenter.cdnprovider.com name, but that's invisible to our customers. –  MSalters Jun 8 '12 at 12:49
    
yep, that's one solution, but not an option in this particular case. –  John Bachir Jun 8 '12 at 15:25

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