There are a variety of reasons why you may want to use two SSL certificates for one domain or IP address. For example, you may choose to install a second SSL certificate to ensure that your site and services don’t experience downtime because your existing certificate will soon expire. Or, you may have one domain hosted on multiple servers and may be using a load balancer.
Regardless of your reason why, using two SSL certificates for the same domain or IP is possible thanks to server name indication (SNI) — it just isn’t necessarily ideal with regard to scalability and security. There are a few things you should be aware of before you jump into installing two SSL certificates on a single domain.
What Happens When You Install Two or More SSL Certificates
Installing two or more SSL certificates can result in:
- Forcing your domain or server to decide which certificate to use. It may opt to go with the most recently install certificate with the assumption that it is more up to date and secure. Or, it could choose to rotate between the different certificates instead.
- Clashing and incompatibility issues between various extensions and plugins, which may cache SSL certificates.
However, if either of these scenarios are not a concern for you — or, perhaps, you just want to replace a soon-to-expire SSL certificate to avoid expiration — then you likely want to proceed full speed ahead. We can help.
How to Have Two Certificates for the Same Domain
First, you’d need to purchase the additional certificate (or certificates) that you wish to install on your server. You can technically have as many certificates as you want… it’s just a question of why you want to install so many, and what you hope to accomplish.
Next, you’ll need to have any new SSL certificates validated by your chosen certificate authority (CA). The exact way to go about doing all of this may vary depending on your issuing CA and may require some additional configuration.
After that, you’ll need to actually install your certificate using something like cPanel, Apache, or WHM. Each of these methods has a different process, of course, so you’ll need to use installation directions that are specific to each server. We offer many SSL installation guides if you need further information on the installation process.
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