For the uninitiated, SSL certificates can seem complicated. Installing a simple digital certificate on your server to encrypt the connection to and from your site shouldn’t cause that much of a headache, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect, you’re not the only one. With so many different types of SSL certificates on the market to choose from, which one is most suitable for your site? To help you make the right decision, today we will talk about SSL wildcard certificates and when you should think about getting one. Read on to find out the three main reasons why.
You have multiple subdomains
This is the main reason, really. Wildcard certificates secure a single domain and unlimited subdomains of one level linked to it. For instance, let’s say you own the domain example.com. A subdomain of one level would look like *.example.com. Common examples of subdomains are the following:
Subdomains make sense for certain types of websites, particularly if you want search engines to treat particular parts of your website as a separate web property. Web devs may also use subdomains as a sandbox of the main domain to play around with specific changes.
As you may have guessed, it just wouldn’t make much sense to get a Wildcard SSL if you didn’t have subdomains. That is, unless you’re going to create some later. That’s probably one of the coolest things about this kind of SSL. A Wildcard will automatically protect any subdomain you link to your site, and you don’t have to do a thing.
It makes web encryption easier to track
This is particularly the case if you are an ambitious website owner with a lot of subdomains. Can you imagine securing each subdomain with a single SSL certificate? That’s potentially hundreds of separate SSL certificates and their expiry dates to keep track of. In all likelihood, you won’t keep track, thus rendering many of your subdomains “not secure,” without even realizing it. Having a Wildcard SSL eliminates this risk, as you’ll just have one SSL certificate to keep track of, which is a far easier proposition.
It’s the most affordable option
Expanding on our last point of keeping track of way too many single-domain SSL certificates, it would also get pretty pricey after a while. With a wildcard SSL, you just have to pay once every few years (depending on the SSL period length you choose). In addition to being way more convenient, this also potentially makes it a lot cheaper too.
Choosing an SSL certificate isn’t rocket science, we swear! For someone who owns a single domain and multiple subdomains of one level linked to it, an SSL wildcard certificate is the way to go.