Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates are a convenient and most cost-effective option that allows you to secure a main domain - also known as a Fully Qualified Domain Name or FQDN and an unlimited number of subdomains.

Wildcard SSL Certificate is a marginal cost to future-proof your website to ensure a completely secure website experience as your site grows and also simplifies the management of your SSL certificates. It is the one with an asterisk - *.yourwebsite.com

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Securing all of your sub-domains is easy when you use a wildcard SSL

Wildcard SSL certificates are a convenient and most cost-effective option that allows you to secure a main domain – also known as a Fully Qualified Domain Name or FQDN and an unlimited number of subdomains.

Wildcard SSL certificates do it all at once for an unlimited number of sub-domains.

This makes wildcard certificates one of the best values available if you are looking to secure multiple sub-domains without having to purchase an individual certificate for each one.

There are people who will buy wildcard SSL even if they only have one domain to secure at the moment because you never know what the future holds.

Wildcard SSL Certificate is a marginal cost to future-proof your website to ensure a completely secure website experience as your site grows and also simplifies the management of your SSL certificates. It is the one with an asterisk*.yourwebsite.com

Wildcard SSL / TLS certificates come in two varieties – Domain Validation – DV and Organisation Validation – OV.

Wildcard SSL Certificate

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate?

one certificate to protect multiple domains or multiple uses.

Wildcard SSL Certificate is one of the many options for multiple-use SSL certificates. Along with other options on the market such as multi-domain (SAN) SSL certificate and Unified Communications Certificate – UCC – these certificates are similar in terms that they can protect multiple domains with just a single issued certificate.

This means one certificate to protect multiple domains or multiple uses. The way to implement a Wildcard SSL Certificate is effortless and straightforward.

All that is required during the configuration process of the Certificate Signing Request – CSR is for the admin to add an asterisk in front of the main domain that requires protection in the Fully Qualified Domain Name – FQDN slot.

Therefore a Wildcard SSL Certificate with *.yourdomain.com can protect unlimited subdomains as shown below:

✅  www.yourdomain.com

✅  yourdomain.com

✅  blog.yourdomain.com

✅  mail.yourdomain.com

✅  dashboard.yourdomain.com

✅  anything.yourdomain.com

✅  support.yourdomain.com

✅  shop.yourdomain.com

What is a Sub-Domain?

Let us start at the top. To explain what Wildcard SSL certificates do? We need to start by explaining URLs and what a sub-domain even is. There are 3 main parts to a domain:

Sub-DomainSub-Domains are situated before the main domain in the URL. Technically – www. is a sub-domain however most certificates protect both www and non-www domains regardless. Think more like mail.domain.com where mail is the sub-domain.

Primary Domain – The Primary Domain is typically considered the name of the website. For instance – name of this domain is Best-Digital Marketing.co.uk and Google’s website is Google.com.

Top-Level Domain – The Top-Level Domain or TLD is the small portion at the root of a URL usually two or three letters. The Top-Level domain can indicate country of origin or a generic top-level such as – .com or .net or .co.uk

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A Little More About Sub-Domains

Sub-Domains can be used for a variety of things. You could host a blog at one, set up a members’ area, an FTP server and mail server and anything you need.

Situated ahead of the Domain name in a URLsubdomains usually look like this:

✅  members.bankofamerica.com

✅  mail.google.com

✅  en.wikipedia.org

✅  cwatch.comodo.com

Encrypting your domain and all of its accompanying sub-domains can all be conveniently encrypted with a single Wildcard SSL certificate.

An Asterisk Changes Everything – Wildcards and its crafty use of an asterisk *

Before your SSL certificate is issued – you must generate a Certificate Signing Request – CSR. This is like an application for your SSL certificate. The CA will check against the information you provide to validate you and will include that information in your certificate details.

Therefore it is very important you get it right the first time. Where Wildcard SSL differs from traditional SSL is in the Fully Qualified Domain Name field.

You list the exact URL of the website you are encrypting. With Wildcard certificates – you put an asterisk at the sub-domain level you want to encrypt, like this: *.domain.com. Once the certificate issued it automatically secures all sub-domains at the designated level.

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An SSL Certificate that Grows with Your Business

The best part of Wildcard SSL is that it is essentially future-proof. If you ever add a sub-domain during your Wildcard SSL certificate’s lifespan – simply re-issue the certificate and re-install it. From that point it will cover the new sub-domain as well.

✅  Add a Sub-Domain – Your business is growing and you are adding new functionality to your website – Excellent.

✅  Re-issue the Wildcard – Simply re-issue your Wildcard SSL certificate and it will cover all your new sub-domains too.

Wildcard SSL is a True Game Changer

Encrypting individual sub-domains would be very expensive should be avoided at all cost. Investing in a Wildcard SSL certificate now saves time and money today and into the future.

Customer’s trust is EVERYTHING

According to a CA Security Council customer survey:

✅  98% of customers do not even move past browsers’ ‘connection untrusted messages.

✅  97% of customers refuse to give credit card details without a padlock.

This shows us how cautious and savvy today’s customers have become. Installing a Wildcard SSL certificate on your website and subdomains immediately assures customers that you are safe to do business with.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment and ask yourself which site you would trust more?

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Increase Trust and Boost Sales

The success of any e-commerce business depends on its brand reputation, business identity and customers’ trust. Customers are more aware of their data security and most likely deal with trusted websites.

Wildcard SSL certificate helps both of them and put the trust in customers and make the business more profitable. As a result – your business will get higher conversion rates and increase in ROI.

Wildcard SSL Certificates

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If you are a small, medium or large business then you probably need a more assuring Extended Validation SSL or Wildcard SSL certificate. But what if you are not a business? You just need basic encryption to get browser compliant and an affordable encryption certificate.

We have amazing exclusive affordable Wildcard Validation SSL certificates that provide you with no-frills website encryption at a price you can agree with. We can even install it for you if you want.

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How to Generate CSR for Wildcard SSL Certificate

Step-by-step guide how to generate a Wildcard CSR.

It is easy to generate a CSR wildcard however there is one key difference in the process for generating wildcard CSR – the asterisk *. Before we show you how to generate CSR for wildcard certificate – the following is a short introduction into CSRs in general.

The Certificate Signing Request – CSR is essentially an application for an SSL certificate to be issued. It is an encoded file through which you send the Certificate AuthorityCA your personal information, details about your business or organisation, website and your public key.

Below we will show you how to generate CSR for a wildcard certificate.

Fill in the form and return it to us – simple

Buying a Wildcard Certificate

The first thing you have to do is purchase a Wildcard SSL Certificate. We offer a range of the most reliable wildcard certificates available today starting from £297.77/year. Get in touch now and ask for Wildcard SSL Certificate choices and we will email you with a selection to choose from.

Filling Out CSR Wildcard

While generating CSR wildcard – you will be asked to enter a series of details. You will need to provide the following details:

✅  Common Name Wildcard: This is your domain’s complete name.

✅  Organisation Name: This is the legal name of your company.

✅  Organisation Unit: This is the specific department within your company that you belong to.

✅  Your Company’s Location: This includes the state/province and country of origin.

✅  Company email address.

✅  2048-bit root length.

✅  SHA-2 signature algorithm.

The best aspect of a Wildcard SSL Certificate is that it allows you to secure unlimited sub-domains in addition to the primary domain. All you have to do is place an asterisk- * ahead of the domain name when filling out the CSR wildcard.

For instance – if you are registering the domain – mywebsite.com – you will have to enter *.mywebsite.com. This will ensure that you can add any subdomains you want.

This will allow you to add more subdomains in the future during the certificate’s lifecycle.

Generating CSR for Wildcard SSL Certificate

Wildcard SSL Certificate is a required SSL certificate for businesses that carry their business on subdomains and want to secure all of them under a single security solution.

To get a wildcard certificate on the server – you need to first create a CSR and a private key.

Here we will talk about CSR generation for a wildcard for Apache + Mod SSL + OpenSSL as well as the IIS platform.

First – we need to know how to create a private key in OpenSSL.

How to create a Private Key on OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is a free command-line tool for SSL and TLS protocols also used in general as a cryptographic library. OpenSSL should be installed on – /usr/local/ssl/bin path.

Before generating a private key – you should decide the key algorithm, size of a key, a passphrase which is optional. Below is an example of a command used to generate a private key.

openssl genrsa -out private-key.pem 2048

The private key is now generated in your current directory naming private-key.pem where 2048-bit is key size. The generated key format would be PEM.

When you do not keep a passphrase for a private key – you should keep restrictions into server access by admin persons only. A private key with a passphrase will look as follow.

opensslgenrsa -des3 -out .key 2048

However you can use the command below to decode the private key.

openssl rsa -text -in private-key.pem -noout

A decoded private key will look like gibberish with all sorts of characters as shown in the image below.

how to create a private key

How to create a Certificate Signing Request – CSR on OpenSSL?

After generating a private key – you should now generate a CSR on OpenSSL.

opensslreq -new -key .key -out .csr

NOTE: To directly access OpenSSL.cnf on windows server you can follow the path below.

opensslreq -new -key .key -config

“c:\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\conf\openssl.cnf”-out .csr

Enter CSR Details:

After applying the OpenSSL command for CSR generation – it is now time to enter CSR details.

✅  Common Name: It is a Fully Qualified Domain Name – FQDN you want to add and secure with the certificate. For example – htttps://www.best-digitalmarketing.co.uk

✅  Organisation: Here – you need to put your organisation’s legal registered name.

✅  Organisation Unit (OU): The department from which the SSL request has been made like HR, IT, Compliance Team, etc.

✅  City or Locality: A city or locality where your business is located.

✅  State or Province: A state where your business or organisation is incorporated.

✅  Country: A country in which your organisation is legally incorporated. It should be a two-letter country code.

Generating CSR For Wildcard SSL Certificate On IIS

We have just enumerated the CSR generation for the installation of Wildcard SSL Certificate on IIS.

IIS is an Internet Information Server created by Microsoft for the use of window. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP and NNTP.

It carries request filter which rejects suspicious URL and thus reduces the attack. As we are all aware SSL certificates are the most trusted certificate all over the world.

Generate Certificate Signing Request -CSR

Step 1: Open Internet Information Services – IIS Manager and click on the name of the server in the connections column on the left and double-click on Server Certificates.

internet information services -IIS

Step 2: Go to the right in the Actions column and click on Create Certificate Request.

create certificate request

Step 3: Enter all of the subsequent information about your business or company and the domain you are securing and then click Next.

fill in csr

Step 4: Allow the default Cryptographic Service Provider. Rise the Bit length to 2048 bit or higher. Click Next.

Cryptographic Service Provider.

Step 5: Browse the filename to save the request certificate and click Finish.

You will require that contents of this file to initiate an SSL Certificate.

save filename Certificate Request

Request Certificate from Certificate Authority

Now you have a Certificate Signing Request – CSR. Choose your SSL Certificate and provide company information to verify your identity.

The certificate request process varies by Certificate Authority. Open the .txt file – in this case – certrequest.txt which contains the certificate request. Copy the encrypted certificate request and paste it in the appropriate field on the order form.

When you fulfil the certificate request form and make your payment – please ensure to check your email is correct to get an SSL Certificate delivered by Certificate Authority – CA.

After generating your CSR – you will receive the certificate from certificate authority. Now you can proceed to install your certificate.

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Wildcard SSL Certificates Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions by potential clients.

If you have any queries please contact us and we will be happy to respond to them.

The simplest answer is that wildcard SSL certificate costs will differ depending on its validation level and the brand of the issuing certificate authority – CA.

Through best-digitalmarketing.co.uk – you can get our exclusive wildcard SSL certificate which starts from £297.77/year.

A Wildcard SSL certificate is used to secure and encrypt first-level subdomains on a single domain and we are talking about an unlimited, infinite number of subdomains.

This differs from a multi-domain wildcard SSL certificate which can cover multiple domains and an unlimited number of subdomains for them.

If you are not sure whether you have purchased a standard, multi domain or wildcard SSL certificate – there is a way how to check it. On a secure page of your website, click on the padlock in your web address bar to view the certificate information there.

Select Certificate and in the next window – select the Certification Path tab. Here you will see whether the common name – CN domain contains an asterisk * in front of your domain.

Here is the most simplified explanation for how a wildcard certificate works: It secures and encrypts all first-level subdomains on a specified domain. Examples of first-level subdomains include:

  • *.yourwebsite.com
  • www.yourwebsite.com
  • mail.yourwebsite.com
  • login.yourwebsite.com
  • store.yourwebsite.com

The best way to get a wildcard SSL certificate is by purchasing it through best-digitalmarketing.co.uk who will then obtain it from a trusted certificate authority on your behalf.

You will need to generate a certificate signing request – CSR for the wildcard certificate to be issued by your CA of choice and we will help you with that.

A certificate signing request – CSR is an integral component of getting any SSL / TLS certificate issued by a certificate authority – CA.

Since this is a popular topic we have created a step-by-step guide on How To Generate CSR For A Wildcard SSL Certificate.

Your Website Is Now Safe – SecureProtected and Trusted.

Customers coming to your website now will see that your website is safe, secure, protected and trustworthy. It will have a greater impact on your business – knowing that your customers’ safety is a priority. This will lead to more sales, revenue, enquiries and leads going forward whilst boosting your SEO website ranking on Google.

You can install an SSL certificate on your website after choosing the correct package from Best-Digital Marketing.

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When choosing from our  Website Design Packages such as from our WordPress Website PackagesE-Commerce Packages, Custom Builder Packages, Business Start Up Packages or Small Business Packages– All the websites comes with a FREE BASIC SSL as part of the package.

You can also add an SSL certificate to any of our Web Hosting Packages.

Please Contact Us to enquire MORE about purchasing a Multi Domain Certificate or Wildcard SSL Certificate for the best deals available.

We can expedite the validation process

Do you need your certificate FAST? We can help. Just contact us via email or call us. We will get to work speeding up your order.

Need help installing?

We would be glad to help you install your SSL certificate. For just £67 one of our well-trained SSL experts will work on your behalf to install your certificate and configure your server.

We have done thousands of these installations and it is really not a problem.

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