Wildcard SSL Certificates: Explained

Wildcard SSL Certificates: Explained

When considering website security, the importance of a CA Certificate shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether you’re hoping to invest in the very basic of SSL certificates or you are considering more intense security through the use of Extended Validation certificates will depend largely on your business requirements and what sort of budget you have put aside for the security element.

Many businesses choose to invest in a Wildcard SSL certificate and for very good reason. Whereas standard SSL certificates are applied to one particular website, with a wildcard, you have the advantage of securing one domain and its various subdomains, too.

Wildcard notation includes an asterisk (*) and a period (.) before the domain name, indicating that subdomains can be secured as well, extending the SSL encryption across the board. For example, a wildcard certificate securing *.domain.co.uk would extend encryption (and thus, website security) across various subdomains such as www.domain.co.uk, mail.domain.co.uk, shop.domain.co.uk and login.domain.co.uk, etc.

Wildcard certificates purchased through a reputable Certificate Authority are often more expensive than their standard counterparts, but if you consider how much you would spend on individual SSL certificates if you were to protect the same amount of domains, a wildcard would work out as being far more cost effective. It also offers the ultimate in convenience and simplicity so that administration is a doddle.

One of the major drawbacks that people are faced with is that as multiple subdomains are covered, if the certificate has to be revoked, for whatever reason, on one domain, it will have to be revoked across the site. If, for example, login.domain.co.uk is compromised, so will the others. In this case, multiple, separate SSL certificates would offer more individual protection, but at a seriously hefty price.

It would make sense to make the administration process as easy as possible if you’re managing multiple domains and for this reason, a wildcard certificate would be a perfect option for your business.


Rishabh Mahendru is the owner of Technobooklet.com He loves all the things having to do with PHP, CSS or jQuery. If you would like to reach him, head an over to the contact page.

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