Wildcard SSL Overview

What are wildcard SSL certificates?

A wildcard certificate is a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate with a wildcard character in the domain name field, such as *.(yourdomain).com. A wildcard certificate secures a domain and many sub-domains as long as they have the same root domain. For example, the certificate *.([yourdomain.com](https://yourdomain.com)) can be used for www.yourdomain.com, mail.yourdomain.com, or any other additional sub-domain under yourdomain.com.

Regular certificates versus Wildcard certificates


  • They have the same industry encryption strength.
  • Both come standard with 2048-bit RSA signature keys and facilitate encryption up to 256 bits.


  • Regular SSL certificates can only cover one domain and one sub-domain.
  • Wildcard SSL certificates can cover a domain with multiple sub-domains.

Drawbacks to using wildcard certficates

After you share your private key across all your sub-domains, you might have a problem. If your website is situated on one server, there are no issues. However, if your sub-domains are scattered on different servers, you need to share your private key. If you are securing multiple public-facing sub-domains, a compromised key impacts the security of all of your subdomains instead of just one.


If you have a website with multiple sub-domains, we recommend a wildcard SSL certificate from a cost perspective and to make managing multiple SSL certificates easier.