Wildcard SSL certificates are designed to protect every single sub domain on your website so long as they share the same main domain name and exist on the same physical server (which is denoted with an asterisk in the common name field). There's no limit to how many sub domains can be covered, so we're talking about an awful lot of protection from a single certificate.
Wildcard SSL certificates, like other SSL technology, offer standard 128- or 256-bit encryption on your website. This helps keep private information private, as SSL protects data in transit, meaning your online customers will feel safe and secure when submitting any form of online payment, logging into an account with a username/password, signing up for newsletters, etc.
If you have multiple subdomains which you need to secure, then a wildcard SSL certificate is perfect for you. Wildcards also grow with your business, and allow you to secure any new sub-domains you may add in the future.
If you are looking for a quick and easy wildcard certificate for a website and subdomains that don’t rely on customer trust, we recommend:
If you are willing to pay a little more for much more respected and trusted brands, and benefit from their site seals, while still a little on the price-conscious side, we can lead with:
If you are looking to cover a domain and subdomains that rely heavily on customer trust, like for an ecommerce, government, or bank website, we would strongly recommend:
*Please note: the GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium SAN certificate is actually a wildcard certificate that can only cover one main domain and 4 additional subdomains.
Wildcard SSL certificates are installed on the webserver that powers your website. Popular webserver types include Apache, Microsoft IIS, NGINX and Tomcat. There are no extra steps or difficulties when installing a wildcard SSL certificate versus installing a regular certificate, and the CA that you buy your wildcard from will provide you with the specific installation instruction for your webserver type.
One of the problems that some people run into when they have a bunch of different SSL certificates is that the renewal process can be a bit of a nightmare. This can lead to gaps in coverage when a certificate expires without you even knowing... what a nightmare! With wildcard SSL certificates, however, the renewal process is quick and easy. You just have to keep an eye on the one certificate. Anybody can do that!
Unfortunately, there are no wildcard EV certificates available in the industry. Depending on the amount of subdomains you wish to cover, you could opt for a multi-domain certificate to secure them all with the green address bar. Also, depending on your server, you could install a wildcard certificate and an EV certificate on the same domain; however, the green address bar would only appear on the main domain, not the subdomains. Please check with your web host or site administrator to check if your server can support two SSL certificates on the same domain.
Wildcard certificates are best if it is for one site, whereas multi-domain certificates are best if there are multiple sites. Multi-domain certificates allow for more flexibility with multiple domains. In certain situations, a multi-domain may be more attractively priced as opposed to a wildcard if all of the customer's domains are on the same site and there are only a small handful of them.
When generating the CSR, in the common name field, use the * symbol to indicate the level at which you want to use wildcard functionality (for example. *.domain.com or *.internal.domain.com). Please note that you cannot have a multiple level wildcard, which would be *.*.domain.com, nor can you implement a wildcard in anything but the left-most domain's position. For example, mail.*.domain.com.
For this, you can use one of our Comodo Multi-Domain Wildcard certificates. These are, essentially, multiple wildcard certificates combined together.
GeoTrust, RapidSSL, and Comodo wildcard certificates automatically cover the root domain as well as the subdomains. However, Symantec and Thawte wildcard certificates only cover the subdomains specified with the wildcard selector, not the root domain. In order to cover the root domain, you will need to purchase an additional SSL certificate from the respective provider.
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