SSL (Secure Socket Layer) security is an important factor for any website. In 2018, Google made SSL security compulsory for all websites, to decrease the cyber-crime rate and for user benefits. SSL certificate encrypts all the data transmitted between browsers and servers keeping sensitive information safe. Malicious users find it difficult to decrypt, this encrypted information and usually abandon sites having an SSL certificate.
Since then, the majority of the users prefer and opt for websites having HTTPS (Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure) instead of HTTP (Hyper Text Transport Protocol) to make transactions. SSL security is symbolized by an additional “S” in the address bar and a padlock in the URL. This is a visual proof which shows the visitors that their visited site is secure.
There are various types and brands of SSL certificates available in the market. They are available in different validations like Domain Validation, Organization Validation and Extended Validation. Different companies have different security requirements, and hence it’s essential to select the appropriate SSL certificate; which best suits their business requirements.
In this article, we will have a look at similarities and differences between the Wildcard SSL certificate and Standard SSL certificate.
What is a Regular SSL or Standard SSL certificate?
Regular SSL certificate or Standard SSL certificate is Domain Validated SSL certificate. It is also called Single Domain SSL certificate because it secures only one primary domain or one sub-domain of your website at one time. This certificate issued by the Certificate Authority (CA), is an entry level certificate and it provides the lowest level of validation.
They are the best for individuals or small businesses having a single website without any additional sub-domains.
For e.g. Regular SSL certificate only covers website https://www.example.com.
What is a Wildcard SSL certificate?
Wildcard SSL certificate secures your primary domain and its unlimited first level sub-domains with one single certificate. In short, SSL encryption is extended to sub-domains by using wildcard SSL. An “*” is placed before the domain name thus securing all additional sub-domains.
It’s an all in one certificate, which is cost-effective and time saver, meant for medium or large businesses.
For e.g. If your website is *.example.com, Wildcard SSL certificate covers sub-domains like blog.example.com, account.example.com, store.example.com etc.
Similarities between Wildcard Certificate and Standard SSL certificate
Before going for comparisons and differences between wildcard certificates and regular certificates, let’s have an insight into some of the similarities between both these security certificates.
- Online issuance in a few minutes
- Budget-friendly prices
- 99% browser and mobile compatibility
- 24/7 customer support
- SHA2 Enabled, 256-bit CSR encryption and 2048 bit RSA encryption
- Unlimited server licences and free of cost reissues
- Free Site Seal
- Money-back guarantee
Both these certificates provide strong encryption security and are compatible with all browsers.
|Product Name||AlphaSSL Wildcard||Comodo Positive SSL|
|Algorithm||SHA-2 Enabled||SHA-2 Enabled|
|Search Engine Visibility||SSL will boost Google rankings||SSL will boost Google rankings|
|Validation Type||Domain Validation - DV||Domain Validation - DV|
|Issuance Time||15 minutes or less||15 minutes or less|
|Domains Secured||Unlimited subdomains||FQDN (www+non-www)|
|SSL Encryption||Up to 256-bit||Up to 256-bit|
|Mobile & smartphone support||99%||99%|
|Client OS compatibility||99%||99%|
|Includes Malware Scan||No||No|
|Includes Trust Seal||Yes||Yes|
|Reissuance||Unlimited during certificate lifespan||Unlimited during certificate lifespan|
|Warranty||$10,000 USD||$10,000 USD|
|Refund Policy||30 days full money back||30 days full money back|
Differences between Wildcard Certificate and Standard SSL certificate
|Wildcard SSL Certificate||Standard SSL Certificate|
|This certificate secures your domain and multiple sub-domains. Even future addition of sub-domains can be secured.||This certificate secures only one domain or one sub-domain. It will not secure any additional sub-domains.|
|Example: *.example.com, site.example.com, blog.example.com etc.||Example: www.example.com|
|It is best for medium and large enterprises.||It is best for individuals and small enterprises having a single site.|
|CSR generation can be done by entering “*” accompanied with the domain name. This will allow you to add multiple additional sub-domains in future.
Example: If your domain is example.com, then while generating CSR, in the domain field you need to enter: *.example.com
|CSR generation can be done by entering the domain name. Use of “*” is not needed as no other sub-domains can be added.
|It is not available in Extended Validation (EV) type as CA/Browser forum has excluded wildcard and EV format separately. EV certificate requirements don’t blend well with Wildcard SSL requirements because, in Wildcard, sub domains are automatically secured and verified under the main domain. It is due to this security reason that EV certificates don’t go with Wildcard SSL as their assurance level is very high.||It is available in all the validations like Domain Validation, Organization Validation, and Extended Validation.|
It is necessary to keep private key safe as it is spread across multiple servers and if a private key is compromised, then all subdomains’ security will have a bad time.
Hence EV SSL is not available with Wildcard, but you can always opt for EV Multi-domain SSL certificate for securing multiple domains too.
In a nutshell, Wildcard SSL has more of advantages than disadvantages. Go for it, because this budget-friendly certificate with its easy and quick issuance secures your whole business.