Buy and Use a Wildcard SSL Certificate

Wildcard SSL Certificate
Wildcard SSL Certificate

Do you find yourself using a lot of subdomains on the web? If so, you can save money and time by going with a Wildcard SSL certificate. This may sound scary to some, but it’s actually quite easy.

Below, we’re going to go over the basics of buying and installing this type of certificate to show how easy it is to get done. If you have any questions at the end, you can leave a comment below or contact us to get answers.

How to Buy a Wildcard SSL Certificate

The good news is that buying a wildcard SSL certificate is super simple and actually affordable – especially when you consider the cost of buying a separate certificate for each and every subdomain you use.

Basically, after you purchase your certificate, you will need to issue a Certificate Signing Request with a Certificate Authority. After you are verified – which can take a while – you will receive the actual certificate files.

It’s important to note that you need to install the SSL certificate on the same server that issued the Certificate Signing Request. We’ll go into this more below, but once it’s installed on the machine that sent the CSR, you will be able to use it on other servers in your network.

How to Install an SSL Wildcard Certificate

This is going to depend on what web server software (i.e. Apache or IIS) you are using as well as the operating system of the server. We have more information on specific system elsewhere on our site, but here is a rundown of the basic steps you want to take no matter what system you’re using.

  • Install Certificate to Main Server – You’ll receive a text file with encrypted data that will be used after the certificate is installed.  This is what your server software (i.e. Apache, IIS or another) will use to enable SSL functionality. Again, it’s important to make sure you install the file on the server that issued the CSR.
  • Export / Import SSL Certificate – After you have the Wildcard SSL certificate installed on your main server, you will be able to export it and then import it on another server in your network that’s using a subdomain. As you can see, this saves a lot of work of not having to go through the entire CSR process for each and every subdomain you’re using.

Again, the specifics are going to vary a little bit depending on what operating system and web server software that you’re using, but the short outline above should get you pointed in the right direction. Additionally, the list shows how simple it is to install one after it’s been purchases. Browse the rest of our FAQ and Knowledgebase to learn more.

Why Go with a Wildcard Certificate?

We’ve gone over the pros and cons of Wildcard SSL Certificates recently and recommend going to check out that article, but in general going this route is going to save you quite a bit of time. Nothing is worth than having to purchase and install an SSL Certificate for each and every subdomain you may be using.

What do you think? Are you currently using a Wildcard SSL certificate?