Wildcard SSL Certificates
Securing all of your sub-domains is easy when you use a wildcard SSL
A Wildcard SSL certificate is the most cost-effective and convenient type of SSL certificate on the market. There was a time when encrypting sub-domains meant getting a separate certificate for every sub-domain that you have. That time is long gone. Wildcard SSL certificates do it all at once for an unlimited number of sub-domains. They also future-proof your website to ensure a completely secure website experience as your site grows. It's the one with an asterisk!
What is a Sub-Domain?
Let's start at the top. To explain what Wildcard SSL certificates do, we need to start by explaining URLs and what a sub-domain even is. There are three main parts to a domain:
- Sub-Domain - Sub-Domains are situated before the main domain in the URL. Technically, WWW. is a sub-domain, however most certificates protect both WWW and non-WWW domains regardless. Think more like mail.domain.com where 'mail' is the sub-domain.
- Domain - The Domain is typically considered the name of the website. For instance, name of this domain is ComodoSSLstore. And Google's website is Google.com.
- Top-Level Domain - The Top-Level Domain or TLD is the small portion at the root of a URL. Typically, two or three letters, the Top-Level domain can indicate country of origin or a generic top-level. For example; '.com' or '.net'
A Little More About Sub-Domains
Sub-Domains can be used for a variety of things. You can host a blog at one, set up a members' area, an FTP server, and mail server-really anything you need.
Situated ahead of the Domain name in a URL, subdomains typically look like this:
Encrypting your domain and ALL of its accompanying sub-domains can all be conveniently encrypted with a single Wildcard SSL certificate.
An Asterisk Changes Everything! Wildcards and its cunning use of an asterisk
Before your SSL certificate is issued, you must generate a Certificate Signing Request. This is like an application for your SSL certificate. The CA will check against the information you provide to validate you, and will include that information in your certificate details. So, it's very important you get it right. Where Wildcard SSL differs from traditional SSL is in the Fully Qualified Domain Name field. Typically, you list the exact URL of the website you're encrypting. With Wildcard certificates, you put an asterisk at the sub-domain level you want to encrypt, like this: *.domain.com. Once the certificate issued it automatically secures all sub-domains at the designated level.
An SSL Certificate that Grows with You
The best part of Wildcard SSL is that it is essentially future-proof. If you ever add a sub-domain during your Wildcard SSL certificate's lifespan, simply reissue the certificate and re-install it. From that point, it will cover the new sub-domain as well.
Add a Sub-Domain - Congratulations! Your business is growing and you're adding new functionality to your website!
Reissue the Wildcard - Simply re-issue your Wildcard SSL certificate and it will cover all your new sub-domains too!
Wildcard SSL is a True Game Changer!
Encrypting individual sub-domains would be outrageously expensive. Don't let it be! Investing in a Wildcard SSL certificate now saves time and money today and into the future.