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A Wildcard SSL certificate is an incredibly versatile SSL option. A single Wildcard can secure connections for one domain and an unlimited number of subdomains.
Wildcard certificates can save your organization a substantial amount of money and eliminate the hassle associated with managing multiple certificates. (There are a few scenarios wildcard certificates aren’t a good fit for, which we’ll cover at the end of this article.)
Using a wildcard SSL certificate is quite easy – we’ll go over the basics of how to use a wildcard SSL certificate, as well as when you should and shouldn’t use them.
Step 1: Generate a wildcard CSR
When you order an SSL certificate you are required to complete a certificate signing request (CSR). This CSR tells Comodo CA everything it needs to issue the certificate, including what domains to secure. When you fill out the CSR for a Wildcard, you place an asterisk at the sub-domain level you would like to secure.
For example: *.comodosslstore.com
When Comodo issues the wildcard certificate based on that CSR, it can be installed on any sub-domain at the same level as the asterisk. In our example, the Wildcard would cover all first-level sub-domains, such as:
This gives you the flexibility to encrypt an entire domain and its accompanying sub-domains with a single certificate.
Step 2: Install as usual
There’s nothing special you need to do when installing a wildcard SSL certificate. The installation is identical to a standard certificate. If you add more subdomains in the future, your wildcard certificate will automatically cover them – you don’t need to update or reissue the certificate. This is called “futureproof” and it’s an incredible feature.
In many cases, different subdomains will be hosted on multiple servers. For example:
The good news is that Comodo makes this easy. Every Comodo Wildcard certificate comes with unlimited server licenses, so it’s easy to install your wildcard SSL certificate on multiple servers.
There’s just one extra step you need to know about how to use a wildcard certificate on multiple servers – adding your private key to the additional servers.
The server you generated your CSR on will automatically have your private key. For every other server you’re installing the certificate on, you’ll need to provide your private key during the install process. You can usually copy/paste your private key from the server you generated your CSR on.
For the most part, Wildcard certificates are a great choice for cost-minded organizations with sub-domains. The benefits of a Wildcard are undeniable in this situation:
Wildcards are incredible products that have unparalleled versatility. But there are a couple of instances when using a Wildcard isn’t a best practice.
Have more questions about how to use a wildcard certificate? Contact our support team 24/7 for fast, expert help!
Save a bunch when you buy your wildcard certificate direct. Get a Comodo Wildcard Certificate for less than $80 per year.
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