A Beginner’s Guide to Wildcard SSL Certificates

Everything you need to know about using a Wildcard SSL Certificate for your domain

In today’s digital age, website security is of utmost importance to ensure the safety of user data and prevent cyber attacks. One of the most essential components of website security is the use of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates. SSL Certificates encrypt the data transmitted between a user’s browser and the website server, making it nearly impossible for hackers to intercept and steal sensitive information.

While you may already be familiar with SSL Certificates, you may not have heard of Wildcard SSL Certificates. Wildcard SSL Certificates are a powerful tool that can help you secure your domain and subdomains in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

What is an SSL Certificate?

Just to cover the basics, SSL Certificates are digital certificates that authenticate the identity of a website and enable secure communication between the website server and a user’s browser. When a user visits a website secured with an SSL Certificate, their browser initiates a secure session with the website server, which encrypts all data transmitted between the two parties.

SSL Certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities (CAs) and contain information about the website’s domain name, organization name, and location. The SSL Certificate also includes the website’s public key, which is used to encrypt data transmitted between the website server and the user’s browser.

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate?

Now what about Wildcard SSL Certificates? Wildcard SSL Certificates are a type of SSL Certificate that can secure multiple subdomains of a website. For example, a Wildcard SSL Certificate can secure all subdomains on one domain with a single certificate.

How do Wildcard SSL Certificates differ from regular SSL Certificates?

Traditional SSL Certificates are issued for a specific domain or subdomain. For example, if you have a certificate for www.noip.com, it will only secure that specific domain. If you want to secure other subdomains, such as blog.noip.com or sslcertificates.noip.com, you would need to purchase separate certificates for each subdomain.

Since Wildcard SSL Certificates can secure multiple subdomains with a single certificate, it can be a more cost-effective and easier to manage than SSL Certificates for websites with multiple subdomains.

It is important to know the limitations of a Wildcard SSL Certificate before deciding if one is the best fit for you. A Wildcard SSL Certificate is only able to protect one level of subdomains, meaning, a wildcard certificate for noip.com would not secure subdomains like Sub.blog.noip.com or shop.sslcertificates.noip.com.

Why have a Wildcard SSL Certificate for your site?

All SSL Certificates, including Wildcard SSL Certificates, are crucial for website security as they encrypt sensitive data transmitted between a user’s browser and the website server – something especially important for sites that have users login with credentials, or enter credit card information or other personal data.

Without SSL Certificates, this sensitive information can be at risk of being intercepted and stolen by hackers, putting users at risk of identity theft and fraud. For a site with subdomains, a Wildcard SSL Certificate provides these protections without the need to purchase and manage multiple certificates.

If you’re looking for an additional incentive beyond security – they make it pretty easy for visitors to know if a site has an SSL Certificate or not. Internet users easily determine if a website has an SSL Certificate by looking for the “HTTPS://” prefix in the website’s URL. As we’ve shared in a past blog, websites without an SSL Certificate are now being flagged as insecure, and you may get a warning on Google Chrome when you try to visit a flagged site.

Image 5-31-23 at 10.50 AM

Not only do SSL Certificates (including Wildcard SSL Certificates) help secure your website and prevent it from being flagged as insecure by browsers, but they can also positively impact your website’s search engine ranking. Search engines such as Google prioritize websites with SSL Certificates (Wildcard or otherwise), giving them an SEO boost and potentially increasing their visibility in search results.

By implementing an SSL Certificate, you not only protect your website visitors’ sensitive information but also gain a competitive advantage by appearing more trustworthy and legitimate. The last thing you would want are visitors to your website seeing the “Not Secure” warning message, which can be a major turnoff and result in lost traffic and potential customers.

Secure Your Website and Boost Your SEO with No-IP’s SSL Certificates

Investing in an SSL Certificate, or a Wildcard SSL Certificate if you’re looking to protect subdomains as well, is a wise decision for any website owner, and something that we at No-IP would highly recommend. It not only provides added protection and peace of mind for your visitors but can also boost your search engine ranking and improve your online reputation. By doing so, you ensure that your website stands out among competitors and remains secure, trusted, and easily discoverable.

As industry leaders in the domain name services game for over two decades, we’ve honed our expertise in Dynamic DNS, Managed DNS services, and SSL Certificates. Our services have helped over 30 million internet users, from home users to small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, to navigate the complex world of DNS.

Ready to take the next step in securing your website? Check out our SSL Certificate options today and find the perfect solution for your needs! Whether you’re looking to secure a single domain or multiple subdomains, we have a range of SSL Certificates to choose from.