I noticed this all the time as a developer but it exists on user websites too on their helpdesks. You go to their help subdomain and when you try to click the header link it just takes you back to the homepage of the subdomain instead of the main site.

Here's an example: https://developers.canny.io/install

On this page there is absolutely no way to get back to the main site without retyping the url. This seems like such an obvious UX failure and yet I see it absolutely everywhere.

Edit: Another example is stripe - https://stripe.com/docs - in this case their docs don't even exist on a subdomain

3 Answers 3


Usually it is because the help or documentation is treated as a separate product because it does not follow the same information architecture than the home page.

In your example this is also made clear by changing the header link to CannyDocs instead of just Canny.

At a previous job we had the situation that the header link was the company logo and still people got mad when they clicked on it and landed on the company home page.

From a user journey pov it also makes sense because if you have already bought the product why would you want to go back to the marketing focused homepage of the company?


It's usually because the main (marketing) site is build with different system than the documentation, and a real integration of those two systems and their web server's and build and update scripts would be a lot harder than just treating those as separate systems. That's why those are in separate domains too.

Another reason may be that splitting the site into separate topic domains/subsites simplifies the navigation for the tasks in that domain.


As the other two answers stated, as documentation can get pretty big they separate this from the main website and that is a good approach as people interested in documentation would theoretically not need to return to the marketing website as it's assumed they might already be users of that product but this is not always the case ( One might check the documentation to see if the product is viable for their needs and then return to the main website. )

Yet, I agree with you that this seems like an UX failure and for a few reasons it happened to be quite a few times wanting to go back to the main website without being able to do so.

Some website add a "Back to main site" button that I find useful.

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