The Pros and Cons of Using a Wildcard SSL Certificate

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate and How Does it Work?

When launching a website, protecting your site and its visitors from a cyber attack is likely at the top of your priority list (at least it should be!) – and having an SSL Certificate for your domain is an easy step to set up a level of protection. However, when it comes to SSL Certificates, not all are created equal. When selecting the best SSL Certificate option for your domain, you have a few options but if you’re looking to secure subdomains along with your main domain, a Wildcard SSL Certificate may be the perfect choice for you.

How Wildcard SSL Certificates Work

A standard SSL Certificate secures communication between a web server and a browser by encrypting sensitive information transferred between them, protecting personal data and financial transactions.

Wildcard SSL Certificates, on the other hand, secure multiple subdomains under a single domain, all with just one Wildcard SSL Certificate. For example, a Wildcard SSL Certificate for “” would secure “,” “,” and “”

Wildcard SSL certificates can come in two types: domain validation (DV) and organization validation (OV). DV certificates validate the domain ownership, while OV certificates also verify the organization’s identity. Because OV certificates offer a higher level of security, they are also more expensive and time-consuming to obtain.

The Pros and Cons of Using Wildcard SSL Certificates

The Pros
Having an SSL Certificate for your domain is a no-brainer step towards domain security. Without SSL Certificates, websites are more vulnerable to various types of cyber attacks, including man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing scams, and data breaches.

An SSL Certificate also has the additional benefit of increasing the site’s search engine optimization (SEO) and establishing legitimacy and trust to your site’s visitors.

Wildcard SSL Certificates offer these same benefits, in addition to added convenience, cost-effectiveness, and time-savings. With a single Wildcard SSL Certificate, you can secure all subdomains with one certificate, reducing the hassle that comes along with having multiple certificates.

When working with multiple traditional SSL Certificates, each certificate must be installed, configured, and renewed separately, which is a time-consuming and error-prone process.

Moreover, keeping track of the expiration dates of multiple certificates can be overwhelming and leave room for mistakes, potentially compromising website security.

Compatibility issues can also arise when managing multiple certificates, leading to website functionality problems and a negative impact on the user experience.

Then we get to the cost implication. A single Wildcard SSL Certificate is likely more affordable than purchasing individual certificates for each subdomain.

A Wildcard SSL Certificate streamlines the process of protecting multiple subdomains and reduces the risk of user-error.

The Cons
However, Wildcard SSL Certificates come with a few drawbacks. Since a single certificate secures multiple subdomains, if one subdomain is compromised, all subdomains are at risk.

We also want to stress that using a Wildcard SSL Certificate as it was intended is crucial to maintaining its security benefits. Using a singular Wildcard SSL Certificate to protect unrelated domains in an attempt to save costs can compromise the security of all domains. Trust us, it isn’t worth the risk.

Some Wildcard SSL Certificates can also have compatibility issues with certain devices or browsers, which could result in SSL errors. To avoid this, check with your chosen Wildcard SSL Certificate’s browser compatibility before purchasing.

If you’re only looking to secure a single subdomain, a Wildcard SSL Certificate isn’t going to be for you. A traditional SSL Certificate will meet your needs at a lower cost.

How to Obtain and Install a Wildcard SSL Certificate

Once you purchase a Wildcard SSL Certificate, the Certificate Authority (CA) will verify your domain ownership and issue the certificate – ideally within just a few minutes. Then, all you’ll need to do is install it on your server. Your provider should have plenty of installation and troubleshooting guides to help you out if you have any questions.

The installation process varies depending on the server and the SSL Certificate provider. Generally, you’ll need to upload the certificate and the private key to the server and configure your server to use them.

Secure Your Website with SSL Certificates from No-IP

If you have multiple domains to protect, check out a Wildcard SSL Certificate from No-IP. 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.

Don’t wait until your site has been compromised to explore your SSL Certificate options. Take action today to protect your website and explore our SSL Certificate options to get started.