A wildcard SSL certificate is a type of SSL certificate that can secure the domain and all its subdomains. This means you can use just one SSL certificate to secure your domain and all subdomains under that domain, without having to use separate SSL certificates to secure the accompanying subdomains.

The domain name field of the wildcard SSL certificate will have the wildcard character (*), which will allow the certificate to secure multiple subdomains accompanying the base domain along with the domain itself. For example, you can use a wildcard SSL certificate to secure your main domain *.example.com and to secure accompanying subdomains like mail.example.com, blog.example.com, www.example.com, and more.

Validation Types of Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates are available in domain validation and organization validation options.

Domain Validation Wildcard SSL Certificates

Domain validation SSL certificates are issued almost immediately after the purchase as these certificates require just a one-step verification process. The validation process to get a domain-validated SSL certificate is pretty simple and it requires only domain ownership verification, which means you just have to prove you are the owner of the domain when you purchase the SSL certificate. Once your domain validation wildcard SSL certificate is installed, a green padlock icon will be displayed on the left side of the address bar, indicating that the website is secure.

Organization Validation Wildcard Certificates

To get an organization validation wildcard SSL certificate, you have to prove that the business is legally registered and that you own the domain name for which you are getting a wildcard SSL certificate. These wildcard SSL certificates are generally issued in two business days. The certificate authority will verify whether the one applying for the SSL certificate is authorized to receive the wildcard SSL certificate and this validation process will generally take around two to three days.

What Are the Benefits of Wildcard SSL Certificates?

Secure Multiple Subdomains

A wildcard SSL certificate can be used to secure a domain and all accompanying subdomains. This way, you can reduce costs as you need not buy separate SSL certificates for all your subdomains.

Easy to Manage

As you need not get different SSL certificates for all your subdomains, these certificates exempt you from managing multiple SSL certificates, which could be time-consuming and daunting.


Businesses that have multiple subdomains will have to secure them all with different SSL certificates, as a result of which they will have to spend a lot of money on SSL certificates. But when they use a single wildcard SSL certificate, they can use just one certificate to secure the domain and all its subdomains. This will help reduce additional costs. Wildcard SSL certificates are highly affordable. As you can secure multiple subdomains that accompany a domain, you will be paying for just one SSL certificate. Though it would cost more than a single-domain SSL certificate, it will be highly affordable as you can secure any number of subdomains using one wildcard SSL certificate.

Makes SSL Management Easy

You need not worry about securing multiple domains with multiple SSL certificates and individually managing them. Deploying multiple SSL certificates for all your subdomains could be time-consuming and the whole process will be a hassle. A wildcard SSL certificate will make the SSL management process easy, as you need to deploy and renew just one certificate for your domain and all its subdomains.

 Quick Issuance

Be it domain validated SSL certificates or organization validated SSL certificates, you can get the certificates issued in just two or three days. If you go for domain-validated SSL certificates, you can get your domain secured with an SSL in just a few minutes.

 Builds Trust

As soon as your domain is issued a wildcard SSL certificate, a padlock symbol will be displayed on the address bar before the name of your domain. This is a trust indicator wildcard SSL certificates provide the websites and this padlock will indicate that the website is secure and your website visitors will trust your site as it is secured with a wildcard SSL certificate.

How Do Wildcard SSL Certificates Work?

Wildcard SSL certificates save businesses a lot of time and money by helping them secure their domains and all accompanying subdomains with just one certificate. Businesses can save a lot of time and money as they need not purchase different SSL certificates for all their subdomains.

Wildcard SSL certificates are issued with an asterisk (*), the wildcard character, which is used to represent an unlimited number of subdomains. For instance, if you wish to purchase a wildcard SSL certificate for your domain example.com, a wildcard SSL certificate will be issued to *.example.com. This certificate will secure all your subdomains that have the primary name, .example.com. This includes blog.example.com, mail.example.com, support.example.com, etc.

Similarly, you can add as many subdomains as you wish and there is no limit on the number of subdomains a wildcard SSL certificate can secure. Remember, all the subdomains must accompany the same domain name and a wildcard SSL certificate will only cover first-level subdomains. This means it will not cover other levels of subdomains like admin.blog.example.com.

Wildcard SSL certificates can either be domain validated (DV) or organization validated (OV) SSL certificates. If you go for a DV certificate, you can get it issued in just minutes, as all you need to do to get this certificate is to prove that you own the domain and nothing else. Likewise, to get an OV certificate, you will need to wait for a day or two as the certificate authority will issue you this certificate after verifying that the website is legitimate, as the certificate will come with the company details.

What Are the Differences Between Wildcard and Multi-Domain SSL Certificates?

Wildcard SSL Certificates Multi-Domain SSL Certificates
Used to secure a domain and all its accompanying subdomains.Used to secure multiple domains and subdomains.
Any number of subdomains can be secured.Certificate authority sets limits on the number of domains/subdomains that can be added to a single certificate.
New subdomains can be added and unwanted ones can be removed at any time.The names of all the domains/subdomains that have to be secured, must be provided when the certificate is purchased.  
Only OV and DV wildcard SSL certificates are available. There are no EV wildcard SSL certificates.OV, EV, and DV multi-domain certificates are available.
Example: *.example.com Wildcard SSL can secure the domain and every first-level subdomain, such as order.example.com, blog.example.com, etc.Example: www.example.com, blog.example.com, www.examplesite.org, www.examplewebsite.in, etc. All the above can be secured using one multi-domain SSL certificate.

Wildcard SSL FAQs

What’s the Best Wildcard SSL for a Small Website?

RapidSSL Wildcard SSL certificate is the best option for small websites. It will secure your domain and all accompanying subdomains, as well. You can get the security you need for your multi-subdomain website at a reasonable cost. With this DV wildcard SSL certificate, you can secure your website almost immediately. This certificate will cover the www and the non-www versions of your domain.

What’s the Best Wildcard SSL Certificate for Medium-Level Businesses?

Comodo PremiumSSL Wildcard SSL certificates are a great choice for medium-level businesses. You can use this OV SSL certificate to secure your domain and all accompanying subdomains, as well. This full business validated SSL certificate will display your domain and the name of your business on the certificate details.

Which Wildcard SSL Certificate is the Best for Enterprise Businesses? 

DigiCert OV wildcard SSL certificate is our recommendation for enterprise businesses. This certificate can effectively and quickly secure your domain and all its subdomains, as well. Whenever you add a new subdomain, this certificate will automatically secure it. DigiCert Wildcard SSL certificate that meets the needs of enterprise businesses comes with the DigiCert Secure Trust Seal.

What’s the Best Wildcard SSL Certificate for Non-Profits?

Comodo EssentialSSL Wildcard is the most affordable option for non-profits. This certificate is meant for websites that are new and handle only a few online transactions. Comodo EssentialSSL Wildcard certificate offers domain validation and comes with a static secure site seal.

Final Word – Everything You Should Know About Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates are more like a boon to businesses that have a domain and multiple subdomains. These SSL certificates will help business owners save a lot of time and money and simplify the process of managing SSL certificates for multi-subdomain websites.


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