If you’re creating a website and feel unsure about which kind of SSL would be best to secure it, you’re definitely not alone. When you’re new to SSL, things can often seem complicated and confusing. Fortunately, looks can be deceiving, and the SSL options available are typically less complicated than they appear. In this article, let’s zero in on Wildcard SSLs. Whether you’ve been exploring Wildcard certificates by Namecheap or another vendor, this article should help you decide if it’s the best choice for your site.
What is a Wildcard?
A Wildcard SSL certificate secures one primary domain and unlimited subdomains linked to it. That’s right, there’s no limit to the number of subdomains it can protect, so feel free to go wild! Like all SSL certificates, it uses the TLS protocol to create an encrypted link between your domain or subdomain and anyone visiting. This shields users from malicious actors potentially looking to steal sensitive data like passwords or credit card information.
Who needs a Wildcard SSL?
Anyone with a single domain and multiple subdomains of one level would really benefit from a Wildcard SSL certificate. This means that if you have a site called example.com, anything that looks like *.example.com would be protected by SSL. Some common examples could be subdomains like:
There are many reasons someone might want to use subdomains, from keeping certain site functionalities away from your main domain or having a sandbox version of your site that you can play around with. Whatever the reason may be, you must keep it secured with SSL.
The benefits of a Wildcard vs. other SSL types
The main benefit is convenience, particularly if you have a lot of subdomains. If you were to secure each subdomain with separate certificates, you’d probably have difficulty keeping up with all those individual expiration dates. Especially now that it’s mandatory to renew an SSL certificate annually. You’d run the risk of letting an SSL lapse, potentially bringing part of your site offline. Not good. With a Wildcard SSL, you just have one expiration date to keep track of, which is much easier to keep up with. Plus, if you create a new subdomain later, it will be automatically secured by your current Wildcard. So no need to mess around with reissuing SSL certificates. Simply install it on your server and you’re good to go.