Wildcard SSL certificate is an ideal SSL certificate to secure main domain and its first level subdomains.
SSL certificate is a must online security for any online business. SSL certificates can be of many types including single domain SSL, multi domain SSL, wildcard SSL, etc. SSL certificates can secure main domains, subdomains, and multi-level domains. In this article, we will focus on subdomains and which SSL certificate for subdomains is needed. Let us know about subdomains.
What are Subdomains?
Subdomains are a part of a primary domain. The structure of subdomains includes the first level subdomain. Main/base domain, and TLD.
In above examples,
‘example’ is a primary domain.
‘.com’ is TLD (top-level domain).
‘image’ is a subdomain of example.com.
Why are Subdomains Popular?
Subdomains is for specific categories, campaigns, or groups like blog, image, payment, service, product, etc. Moreover, it is easy to recognize and remember them as all subdomains. Users can easily understand the goal of subdomain’s URL upon seeing like payment.example.com, offers.example.com, which clearly states about their purpose.
Why should I secure all my subdomains with an SSL certificate?
SSL certificate for subdomains is required as there are two reasons to have SSL for subdomains:
Google Supports HTTPS
Since 2014, Google favors HTTPS Everywhere, which is supported by major browsers and operating systems. If you have any subdomain running on HTTP instead of HTTPS then, a browser will show a ‘Not Secure’ warning. As a result, a site visitor will not trust the webpage and have an adverse impression in his mind regarding your website. Moreover, if the subdomain is related to any product or sales then, it can drastically reduce sales and profit in near future. It is better to move all subdomains to HTTPS instead of HTTP.
An online website may have different web pages like login page, checkout page, subscription page where users share their login credentials and payment information. If these details travel in plain text between the server and the user’s browser, then, attackers may trace and capture this information and misuse it. In the case of a secured subdomain, all the information will travel in an encrypted format hence, it is impossible to ascertain the passing details.
Is It Possible to Secure my Domain and Subdomain with a single SSL certificate?
If you buy a single domain SSL for each subdomain then, it will be a costly deal and hard to manage each subdomain. In this case, you should find an ideal SSL for subdomains. And the answer is a wildcard SSL certificate.
A wildcard SSL certificate can secure the first level of subdomains under the main domain. When you wish to secure subdomains, you should put an asterisk (*) before the primary domain. An asterisk allows unlimited subdomains under the main domain.
In the above image, we can say that *.yoursite.com is the main domain that can secure www.yoursite.com as well as the first level of subdomains like
To secure multi-level domains and subdomains, multi domain wildcard SSL can be of great help. With it, you can secure multiple main domains and their first level of subdomains. Below is an example that will give an idea of a multi domain wildcard certificate.
Regular wildcard SSL Scenario
*.blog.site.com can secure mail.blog.site.com, payment.blog.site.com
Multi Domain wildcard SSL Scenario
If you wish to add different levels of domains and their subdomain then a multi domain wildcard is necessary.
- *.example1.com can secure blog.example1.com
- *.blog.example1.com can secure tech.blog.example1.com
- *.example2.com can secure payment.example2.com
The above examples show multi-level domains and can secure their respective first level of subdomains.
Best SSL Certificates for Subdomains
|Product Name||AlphaSSL Wildcard||Positive SSL Wildcard||Comodo Multi-Domain Wildcard|
|Algorithm||SHA-2 Enabled||SHA-2 Enabled||SHA-2 Enabled|
|Search Engine Visibility||SSL will boost Google rankings||SSL will boost Google rankings||SSL will boost Google rankings|
|Validation Type||Domain Validation - DV||Domain Validation - DV||Domain Validation - DV|
|Issuance Time||15 minutes or less||15 minutes or less||15 minutes or less|
|Domains Secured||Unlimited subdomains||Unlimited subdomains||Multiple domains & its unlimited subdomains|
|SSL Encryption||Up to 256-bit||Up to 256-bit||Up to 256-bit|
|Mobile & smartphone support||99%||99%||99%|
|Client OS compatibility||99%||99%||99%|
|Includes Malware Scan||No||No||No|
|Includes Trust Seal||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Reissuance||Unlimited during certificate lifespan||Unlimited during certificate lifespan||Unlimited during certificate lifespan|
|Warranty||$10,000 USD||$10,000 USD||$10,000 USD|
|Refund Policy||30 days full money back||30 days full money back||30 days full money back|
FAQs for Subdomain Security
How can I secure my second level subdomains?
You can secure a second level subdomain with regular wildcard SSL and multi domain wildcard SSL certificate. For example, to secure site-1.blog.example.com, you need to purchase a wildcard SSL for *.blog.example.com and site-1.blog.example.com will be the first level subdomain. In multi domain wildcard case, blog.example.com will be shown as a SAN.
Can I secure different TLDs with a wildcard SSL certificate?
Different TLDs refers to different domain names, so you can secure different TLDs (.com, .co.uk, .edu) with multi domain SSL or multi domain wildcard SSL certificates.
Is wildcard necessary to secure www and non-www version of a domain?
No, a single domain SSL certificate can secure both www and non-www domains. The wildcard is for subdomains’ security.
Is wildcard + EV SSL possible?
No, wildcard and Extended Validation (EV) combination are not possible as wildcard does not verify its subdomains and secures the first level of subdomains automatically. On other hand, EV SSL verifies each domain added to the certificate. For wildcard SSL, there are only domain validation (DV) and organization validation (OV) options available.
How can I find the cheapest wildcard SSL?
You can find AlphaSSL wildcard at $34.00/year. which is highly low-cost wildcard SSL certificate that can secure first level of subdomains.
Can I install a wildcard SSL on multiple servers?
Yes, you can install the same wildcard SSL either regular or multi domain wildcard SSL on multiple servers with a simple free reissue process.
Is multi domain SSL can secure subdomains?
If you are having 1 or 2 subdomains, you can add them to a multi domain SSL certificate. Even, you can go with a wildcard SSL certificate too.
Can WordPress site be secured with a wildcard SSL?
Yes, a wildcard SSL certificate can secure the WordPress site domain and its subdomains too.
How can I install wildcard SSL certificate?
In a brief explanation, you need to sign up, pay the price and start the configuration process for a wildcard SSL certificate. Your SSL provider will guide you through the process.
- Create a CSR from the desired server.
- Submit the CSR to the SSL provider.
- Complete the configuration process.
- Finish the domain validation process.
- Get a wildcard SSL certificate from a certificate authority.
- Once you have a wildcard certificate, install it on the server from which you have created the CSR.
A subdomain is an essential part of any website that lessens the burden of a site holder and offers smooth certificate management as well. The wildcard is a cost-effective deal to secure subdomains. If you are in search for SSL for subdomains and have first level subdomains or want to add subdomains in near future then, a wildcard SSL is a must-buy for your website.