A small padlock that can be seen on every credible website that allays every visitor’s doubts about how secure that website is. There are different types of SSL certificates available in the market but today, we will discuss one of the most seeking SSL naming Wildcard SSL Certificate.
It is a more advanced counterpart of SSL certificate.
While SSL certificate secures your main domain, the Wildcard SSL is applied to secure not only your domain but to all its subdomains as well.
It is a perfect option for those who plan to host or manage multiple websites or webpages using a single domain.
As is discernible, with subdomains certificate things get easier to manage and organize. On top of that, the flexibility and other benefits that it extends are unmatchable.
Benefits of Wildcard SSL Certificates:
- Cost-effective: Cheaper SSL certificates compare to EV SSL certificates.
- Convenient and easier to manage for all subdomains.
- Secure all subdomains in a single domain.
- Ideal choice for small and medium-sized business platforms.
- Install same Wildcard on different servers
- Immediate cover subdomains, when you want to secure subdomain of a main domain, no need to purchase separate SSL for subdomain.
It is a perfect solution to secure unlimited subdomains under a single main domain. Wildcard bears few exciting features including 256-bit encryption, unlimited server licenses, free site seal, etc. With strong encryption, a cybercriminal will find it difficult to sniff ongoing information between the browser and the customer.
Although you might get inflicted with minute security concerns, the benefits ensued are well worth the efforts you would put in tightening your security. It saves ample amount of time, money, and keeps everything organized.
However, before applying for a Wildcard SSL certificate, don’t forget to identify and evaluate your requirements.
How do Wildcard SSL Certificates work?
Wildcard SSL certificate is made to secure the primary domain and its first-level subdomains, while a standard SSL certificate is to secure a single domain certificate. An eCommerce website, large company, or an enterprise that carries multiple subdomains pointing to the main domain should go with a Wildcard SSL certificate. The functionality of a wildcard certificate is explained as follows:
Suppose you have a primary domain wildcardcertificate.com
Now, you wish to add other subdomains under a primary domain-like:
How wildcard secures the above domains in a sequence is showing below:
Asterisk (Dot) (domain name) (TLD)
*. wildcardcertificate.com —- Included in CSR as a primary domain
Below, Subdomains can be included automatically without requiring any re-issuance:
- mail. wildcardcertificate.com
- login. wildcardcertificate.com
If you want to secure subdomain and its 2nd level subdomains under wildcard, the process will be as follows:
Asterisk (Dot) (domain name) (TLD)
*. blog.wildcardcertificate.com—- Included in CSR as a primary domain
Below subdomains of a subdomain (2nd level) can be secured without any re-issuance:
If you want to secure multiple wildcard domains or subdomains of a subdomain then, a multi-domain wildcard can be of great help, which works as follows:
Asterisk (Dot) (domain name) (TLD)
*. wildcardcertificate.com (Primary domain)
*. blog.wildcardcertificate.com (Primary domain)
*.subdomain.blog.wildcardcertificate.com (Primary domain)
*subdomain1.subdomain.blog.wildcardcertificate.com (Primary domain)
In the above case, you can use a multi-domain wildcard and secures all the above primary wildcard domains and their respective subdomains under each of them with a single certificate.
Types of Wildcard SSL certificate:
Each SSL certificate can be issued after a respected certificate authority performs validation, and wildcard SSL is not excluded certificate. You can get wildcard SSL by following either of the validation process mentioned below:
Domain Validation: Domain validation is a basic verification process where the certificate authority checks for domain ownership and DNS record to issue the certificate. The certificate will take few minutes to issuance without requiring any business registration documents, and a site holder can immediately give assurance to visitors about website authenticity. You can buy wildcard SSL with domain validation and a secure website.
Business Validation: Business Validation is one step ahead validation process that requires business registration documents to prove a business’s existence. The certificate authority also verifies with third-party business references over the phone or legal opinion letter to confirm a business’s presence. The certificate is ideally for registered firms or companies. Wildcard SSL certificate is also ideal for companies that run on multiple subdomains of the main domain.
Pros of Wildcard SSL Certificates:
Cost-Effective: Wildcard SSL is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that consider quality with budget price. Wildcard certificate fits in their budget by offering subdomains security. A site holder can add several subdomains under the main domain without spending an extra penny.
Unlimited Subdomains: You need protection for unlimited subdomains then, a wildcard certificate is the first choice for you. Secure all subdomains pointing to a primary domain with 256-bit encryption and 2048-bit CSR encryption.
Multiple Server Support: Once you install a wildcard SSL on a single server and adds a subdomain on another server later, you are free to install the same certificate on a different server. You need to reissue available at free of cost and install the certificate with a new generated CSR and private key.
Immediate Security: You can go with the domain validation (DV) process when you buy a wildcard SSL. DV process takes few minutes to issuance, and a site holder can install the certificate and shows visitors that the website is authenticated and safe to deal with.
Cons of Wildcard SSL Certificate:
There are no cons to a wildcard SSL certificate as it is a budget SSL certificate with the ability to secure unlimited subdomains without requiring an extra price. Only, admin has to look after the private key, which should not be compromised; otherwise, all servers will become vulnerable.
Most popular Wildcard SSL Certificates:
AlphaSSL Wildcard: AlphaSSL Wildcard certificate enables robust 256-bit security for the main domain and its subdomains. All transactions taking place between the client and the server will be encrypted to avert data sniffing. *.yourdomain.com, for example, can secure mail.yourdomain.com, payment.yourdomain.com, etc. The certificate is a budget SSL that can fit in the pocket of small and medium businesses easily.
- SHA-2 Enabled
- Domain Validation
- Fast Issuance
- Unlimited Server Licenses
- Money-Back Guarantee
- Highest Browser Compatibility
RapidSSL Wildcard: RapidSSL Wildcard is another cost-saving certificate that is ideal for small businesses. *.domain.com can be secured with its subdomains like blog.domain.com, mail.domain.com, payment.domain.com, etc. RapidSSL Wildcard certificate comes with domain validation that follows a paperless process to issue an SSL certificate.
- 256-bit Encryption
- Immediate Issuance
- Free static site seal
- $10,000 warranty
- 30-days money-back guarantee
- 2048-bit CSR encryption
Comodo Wildcard: Comodo Wildcard certificate is one of the branded certificates in the Comodo brand portfolio. The certificate bears 256-bit encryption to encode travelling data from the client-side to the server-side. The certificate helps to boost visitors’ confidence and ensures them that they are dealing with a protected website.
- Domain & Business Validation
- Free site seal
- Free reissue
- $2,50,000 warranty
- Money-Back Guarantee
- SHA-2 Encryption
How to install a wildcard SSL certificate?
Wildcard SSL certificate can be installed on almost every server, and to do so, you need a certificate signing request (CSR), certificate files, including root and intermediate certificates. The private key should be on the server at the time of CSR generation. Here, we have mentioned the cPanel server for wildcard SSL certificate installation.
Once you receive zip file in email, you need to install it on cPanel server.
- Login to cPanel account and browse Security section>>SSL/TLS Manager.
- You will have ‘Install and Manager SSL for your site (HTTPS)’; there, you need to click on ‘Manage SSL sites.’
- Copy the primary certificate file (.CRT) including —–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—– and —–END CERTIFICATE—– and paste it in the given box. Click on ‘Autofill by Certificate,’ and the server will automatically fetch the private key and domain name (remove asterisk and dot from a domain name).
- Again, copy the CA-Bundle file in the given box naming ‘Certificate Authority Bundle: (CA Bundle)’
- Click on the Install SSL certificate button, and your wildcard SSL certificate will be installed on the cPanel server.
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