How to Use Wildcard SSL Certificate for Subdomains?

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how to use wildcard ssl certificate

Wildcard SSL for Subdomains: How to use it for subdomains on multiple servers?

Having said that, choosing the right type of SSL certificate can be challenging and tricky, given the multiple varieties of certificates. In case you run multiple subdomains, using a ‘Wildcard SSL Certificate’ is your best option, as it is one of the supreme options in securing all the subdomains with just one wildcard certificate. So you don’t need to buy and install individual SSL certificates for individual sub-domain. Before we get into how to use wildcard SSL certificate for subdomains, let us first clear the air around the Wildcard SSL certificate.

What is Wildcard SSL Certificate for Subdomain?

Typically, big companies have multiple subdomains with a distinct prefix name but the same root name. So rather than using a single SSL certificate for each subdomain, having one SSL certificate for multiple subdomains that secures all of them makes the process easy.

Using it is a hassle-free, convenient, time-saving, and cost-efficient way. Thus, the characteristics of the Wildcard SSL certificate has proven to be a more versatile and practical solution than using multiple SSL certificates for entities having multiple subdomains.

A Wildcard SSL certificate can be defined as a single SSL certificate that offers safe and secure connections for a single domain and an unlimited subdomain, thus saving significant time and money. Due to this, the certificate is considered a versatile SSL certificate option.

For example, your domain name is ‘yourwebsite.com.’ With the help of a Wildcard certificate, you can secure ‘subsite.yourwebsite.com’ and ‘subsite2.yourwebsite.com’.

Typically, there are two types of Wildcard certificates :

Note: The standard wildcard SSL is also known as DV wildcard certificates.

So how does the single domain is the easiest to administer to secure all the sub-domains? Let us discuss that:

How Does Wildcard SSL Certificates Work for Subdomain?

As already discussed, rather than having multiple certificates to protect the internet traffic for your organization, a Wildcard SSL certificate can cover all subdomain names.

The Wildcard SSL certificate contains private keys shared across all subdomains. When Certificate Authorities create the certificate, the private key is generated during the certificate signing request (CSR).

Where  multiple servers are used, the website owners will copy the private key onto every server during the certification installation. The CAs issue an SSL certificate in which the common name looks like this: *.yourdomain.com. It also contains a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) field that only registers your domain name, yourdomain.com.

Therefore, the asterisk used at the selected sub-domain level is responsible for letting the SSL to be used on any subdomain that is owned by your organization’s domain. The SAN makes sure that the certificate functions without a sub-domain. So, all you have to do is buy a Wildcard certificate, generate a CSR, and get the certificate installed.

Now, let us see why using a Wildcard SSL certificate for subdomain is a good choice.

Why Should You Use Wildcard SSL for Subdomains?

One SSL Certificate for Multiple Subdomains

With Wildcard certificates, you can conveniently secure multiple subdomains, thereby ensuring increased productivity and efficiency for your organization. A fine example can be the certificates providing you with the flexibility of adding subdomains as need be, thus significantly curtailing the time and money spent on administration. Moreover, it also gives organizations the liberty to focus on developing a robust IT strategy.

Cost-efficiency for Organizations

Apart from being time-effective, Wildcard SSLs are also cost-effective as you have to just buy one individual certificate for every subdomain. This way, you can use a single certificate for an unlimited number of subdomains.

Subdomains on Multiple Servers

Another benefit associated with Wildcard certificates is that you can use them on multiple servers. So, for example, if you want your email subdomain on one server and your primary public-facing website on another, it can be achieved using the same Wildcard SSL.

Now that we know a thing or two about Wildcard SSLs, let us guide you through using the certificate on multiple servers.

Digitally Sign & Encrypt Emails and Documents with Trusted S/MIME Certificates

How To Use Wildcard SSL Certificate On Multiple Servers?

There are several conditions in which various subdomains will be hosted on various servers. Some of them are:

  • Your ecommerce platform hosting the primary site
  • Windows dedicated server hosting on the dashboard subdomain
  • Help Desk Provide hosting the Help subdomain
  • Blog on a shared Linux server for supporting WordPress

Fortunately, some good cheap Wildcard SSL certificate providers make the task smooth and hassle-free. In addition, Wildcard certificates are available with unlimited server licenses, so installing the certificate on multiple servers is an easy process.

All you need to do is take just one additional step- that is, adding the private key to the extra servers.

The server where your CSR was generated will automatically possess your private key. Therefore, for each server you plan to install the certificate on, you will have to give your private key during installation. Usually, it is done by copy-pasting the private key from the server on which CSR generation took place.

The next question is: when one should use a Wildcard SSL certificate? So let us talk about that too:

When Should You Use a Wildcard SSL Certificate?

For organizations that have multiple sub-domains but are also cost-minded, Wildcard certificates are an ideal choice. It is due to the following reasons stated below:

  • It is a cheaper option than individually encrypting sub-domains.
  • It is convenient to manage one certificate instead of multiple individual ones.
  • It makes it easy for an organization to scale and maintain secure website connections.

With unprecedented versatility, Wildcard is a good option for big organizations.

At CheapSSLWeb, you can find different reputable CAs offering SSL certificates.

Best Wildcard SSL Certificates from The Best SSL Brands

Product NameValidation TypeIssuance TimePricing
Comodo PositiveSSL WildcardDomain ValidatedIn Minutes$38.99/yr
Comodo EssentialSSL WildcardDomain ValidatedIn Minutes$49.99/yr
Sectigo PositiveSSL WildcardDomain ValidatedIn Minutes$38.99/yr
Comodo Wildcard SSLOrganization Validated1 to 3 Days$90.99/yr
Sectigo Wildcard SSLOrganization Validated1 to 3 Days$149.99/yr
Positive Multi-Domain Wildcard SSLDomain ValidatedIn Minutes$99.99/yr
Certera SSL WildcardDomain ValidatedIn Minutes$19.99/yr
Premium Wildcard SSLOrganization Validated1 to 3 Days$98.99/yr

Concluding Words of How to Use Wildcard SSL

Given the vulnerable digital scenario, Wildcard SSL certificates can significantly ease management duties and minimize expenses. Thus, if you want to secure multiple sub-domains, a wildcard SSL certificate is a no-brainer. However, make sure you get it from a reputable provider.

Cheap Wildcard SSL Certificates
Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

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