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What is a Multi-Domain Wildcard Certificate?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

SSL certificates are in high demand right now. Since Chrome and other popular browsers began flagging HTTP websites as Not Secure, installing an SSL certificate has become all but mandatory. From small blogs to massive e-commerce sites, everyone is switching to HTTPS to protect sensitive data in transit. With so many different websites to encrypt, there’s no shortage of flexible SSL certificates capable of securing even the most complex setups. Many users are familiar with single-domain, wildcard, and multi-domain certificates, but there’s a special breed of SSL which is often overlooked. It’s a hybrid SSL solution and the most versatile certificate of all. It’s the Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate.

Multi-Domain Wildcard certificates allow you to secure as many subdomains as you need on multiple domains, all under a single SSL installation. There’s no need to spend a fortune on multiple wildcard certs for each of your main domain and subdomains when you can protect your entire network of sites with just one Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate. This way, you can save money and time on installation and renewal, and invest these precious resources in other areas of your website.

Who can install a Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate?

Multi-Domain Wildcard certificates support both Domain Validation and Business Validation. Whether you have a few basics sites that need encryption, or you’re a medium-sized organization with a network of complex websites, Multi-Domain Wildcard certs are an excellent SSL solution for your projects.

As the most versatile digital certificates in the industry, Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL products offer many web security benefits. But the powerful features don’t stop with encryption. Each Multi-Domain Wildcard cert comes with impressive extras boost other areas of your sites. Here are the main advantages of Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificates:

Main features of a Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate

Besides state of the art encryption impossible to crack even by the smartest hackers, Multi-Domain Wildcard certificates offer exclusive advantages to boost your security and customer trust. Below are the main features of Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL:

Latest, unbreakable encryption for your websites

All Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificates adhere to the latest security protocols and requirements. The advanced SHA-2 algorithm, coupled with the key and certificate encryptions, seamlessly protect your visitors’ sensitive data. 

99.3% Browser compatibility

99.3% of web browsers, including their older versions, trust Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL issued by a reliable CA. The certificates are also compatible with Microsoft Products (Exchange, Server, IIS, Office, Skype), and most of servers and platforms. You can also use a multi-domain Wildcard SSL cert to protect numerous email clients and mobile apps.  

Additional, exclusive features to boost customer trust

All Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL Certificates come with static or dynamic site seals. You can place these highly popular indicators anywhere on your sites (sidebar and footer are the best locations) to improve customer trust, increase traffic and ultimately have more conversions. Moreover, for your clients’ peace of mind, Multi-Domain Wildcard certificates include an SSL warranty against potential damages and data breaches.

How to configure a Multi-Domain Wildcard Certificate?

Configuring a Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate is slightly different from the usual drill, but nothing difficult to handle. First, you need to create a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) for a single domain. Unlike Wildcard certs, where you must add an asterisk in front of the FQDN (fully-qualified domain name), here you put just your main domain (e.g., yourdomain.com).

In the additional SANs fields below the main domain, you can enter your Wildcard domains. Still confused? Here’s an example of how Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL works based on the highly-popular Comodo Multi-Domain (UCC/SAN) Wildcard SSL certificate.

By default, it comes with 3SANs (subject alternative names), but, depending on your needs, you can add up to 250 SANs at the checkout page. Suppose the default configuration with 3 SANs is enough for your project. Here’s what you can secure with this certificate:

One main domain and multiple Wildcard domains. For example:

  • yourdomain.com (specified in your CSR)
  • *.yourdomain.com
  • *.yoursecondomain.com

One primary domain and numerous Wildcard domains (with both first-level and second-level subdomains). For instance:

  • yourdomain.com (specified in your CSR)
  • *.yourdomain.com
  • *.news.yourdomain.com

Multiple domains and several Wildcard domains (with both first-level and second-level subdomains. For example:

  • yourdomain.com (specified in your CSR)
  • yourseconddomain.com
  • *.yourseconddomain.com

Note: When you add a SAN item such as *.yourdomain.com, you encrypt its unlimited subdomains, but not the domain itself.

To encrypt all your domains and subdomains, configure the Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL cert as shown below:

  • yoursite.com (specified in your CSR)
  • *.yoursite.com (for all subdomains)
  • yoursecondsite.com
  • *.yoursecondsite.com (for all subdomains)

As you can see, you can use the Multi-Domain Wildcard certificate in various situations and setups. And, that’s only with the default 3SANs that come out of the box. Imagine how much more flexibility you’ll have if you add additional SANs to your certificate.

Final Words

Website encryption, along with web hosting, and your content sit at the core of your online business or project. If you manage multiple sites, each with several subdomains, there isn’t a better option to encrypt them than a Multi-Domain Wildcard Certificate.