Every business with multiple subdomains nowadays needs a wildcard SSL certificate to ensure its security in the age of hackers and scammers. This is where buying and installing an SSL certificate comes into play. It secures all your in-transit communication between the web server and client browser. There are various kinds of SSL certs available in the market at varying validation levels. If you own an ever-expanding business website, having a wildcard SSL certificate is a must.
Not only does it protect multiple subdomains to your desired level, but it also helps keep up with search engine standards.
Search engines like Google are sceptical about whether its users are spending their time in a safe zone or not. Google says, “Your privacy is protected by responsible data practices.” HTTPS section in Google’s Page Experience algorithm testifies the importance of this line for the search engine giant.
Since cybercrimes are mounting by the day, the use of HTTPS encryption and SSL/TLS certificate has become a mandatory requirement for websites to rank on Google.
But what are Wildcard SSL certificates?
Let us find out.
What is a Wildcard SSL?
A wildcard SSL protects multiple subdomains of a primary domain to the desired level at any given time.
Large firms have various parts of their main domain, which needs equal protection. For example, subdomains can be a website’s FTP server, mail servers, login portals, etc., doing various tasks for the primary domain.
Subdomains generally come ahead of the main domain, which is followed by the top-level domain. For example, blog.shuger.com can be broken down as blog (subdomain) (.) Shuger (main domain) (.) com (Top-level domain).
How does Wildcard SSL Works?
As we told you, a wildcard SSL protects your primary domain along with its subdomains to desired levels (default level- 1).
Let’s stick to our “Domain.com” example.
Wildcard uses Public Key Infrastructure like a regular SSL and, all the subdomains listed under *.domain.com will be protected.
But what if you want to protect your subdomain to level 2? What if you want to expand it to mail.login.domain.com?
Well, in that case, you need to buy an additional wildcard SSL where login.domain.com will be your primary domain, and mail.login.domain.com will become your 1st level subdomain.
However, wildcard SSL shares their private key across all subdomains, which is why they are considered less safe than an EV or Extended Validation SSL certificate.
They can be validated on two levels: an OV or Organization Validation and DV or Domain Validation.
Certificates with OV and DV level of validation are considered safe as houses.
Benefits of having a Wildcard SSL?
1. Wildcards are easily Manageable.
If you have multiple subdomains, you need multiple SSL certificates to protect them. Moreover, you have to keep track of their expiry and work. Buying a separate SSL for each subdomain will require you to get them issued separately, install and configure them and then track their working. The entire process will consume a huge chunk of your time which is why a wildcard SSL certificate is your best bet.
They come with a single dashboard consisting of all the information regarding all first-level subdomains.
2. Budget-Friendly Affair
If you want to employ multiple subdomains, you need to buy multiple SSL certificates to protect them. But, if you have a wildcard SSL, you do not need any other SSL certificate to protect your subdomains. Wildcard SSL are meant to protect multiple first-level subdomains along with a primary domain at a given time.
A single wildcard SSL will any day cost much lower than multiple regular SSL certificates, which is why choosing it is a budget-friendly affair. Moreover, you do not have to worry about the expiry of individual SSL certificates, as once you renew your wildcard SSL, the subdomain security automatically gets renewed.
3. Trust Indicator across all Websites
A wildcard SSL also adds a padlock ahead of your domain’s URL like a regular SSL certificate. The best part about a wildcard SSL is that the padlock appears ahead of all subdomain URLs.
This helps build trust among customers and testify to a website’s authenticity. Moreover, when HTTPS encryption is added across all subdomains, search engines don’t mark them up as “Not Secure”; instead, they allow free traffic flow to such sites. Thus, trust indicators such as a grey padlock is mandatory for every website to have.
Features of a Wildcard SSL
1. It helps Boost Rankings.
High search rankings are the primary goal of almost all websites trying to sustain themselves on Google.
Back in 2014, Google issued a notification saying that it will boost the rankings of those websites that having an ssl certificate.
And, this year it has issued a Page Experience Update talking about the mandatory use of HTTPS encryption to rank on Google’s SERP.
Having a wildcard SSL enables you to have an HTTPS encrypted website which can help boost the search rankings.
2. You can get it issued fast.
Unlike an Extended Validation SSL certificate, where one has to go through a robust issuing process, Wildcard SSL can easily be issued in a couple of days.
Wildcard SSL (if issued through Domain Validation) can be given to the owner within a few minutes by the Certificate Authority, which is why it is a good choice for protecting your website almost instantly.
Moreover, you do not have to share a lot of information about yourself with the CA, saving your time and keeping your information confidential.
Thus, getting a wildcard SSL is as easy as walking in the park, unlike an EV SSL.
Online business expansion needs segregating your operations across multiple subdomains to reduce the load on a single domain and keep them organized.
Like primary domains, subdomains also require protection from cybercriminals, which is why a wildcard SSL is a must.
Moreover, search engines like Google won’t rank your subdomains if they are not SSL protected, leaving them with a “Not Secure” mark which can harm your brand reputation big-time.
Customers do not prefer buying from websites that cannot guarantee their safety; thus, the website loses its entire customer base.
A wildcard SSL will protect your website against search engine sanctions and cyber-attacks that can come in the form of phishing and ransomware.
So, install a wildcard SSL today and protect all your first-level subdomains.