How Does a Wildcard Certificate Work and How Much Will It Cost Me?

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Imagine you’ve got a multitude of subdomains you want to secure but also don’t want to deal with managing individual certificates to cover each one. What do you do? You use a wildcard SSL certificate. But what exactly is a wildcard certificate? How does a wildcard certificate work, and how much does it cost?

How Do Wildcard Certificates Work?

In the most general sense, wildcard SSL certificates are SSL/TLS certificates are x.509 digital certificates that help to facilitate a secure, encrypted connection between your client (your visitor’s web browser) and your web server. Ever heard of an SSL/TLS handshake? Yeah, these certificates help to make that process possible to not only authenticate your site and/or organization — depending on your validation level — but also to protect the integrity of your data.

More specifically, wildcard SSL certificates are used to secure your main domain — also known as a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) — and an unlimited number of subdomains on a single level. Again, to reiterate: A wildcard SSL certificate does not secure subdomains on all levels. Anyone who tells you that they do is lying and should be drawn and quartered.

Furthermore, if anyone tells you that you can purchase (or, worse, get for free) a wildcard EV SSL certificate — meaning one that comes with extended validation (EV) — then they need to be tarred and feathered before being drawn and quartered.

Okay, we admit, that may be a bit harsh. But that kind of industry dishonesty is what makes our jobs more difficult when people come to us with incorrect assumptions. The CA/B forum strictly prohibits the issuance of EV wildcard SSL certificates because EV requires an in-depth verification process of the domain and requesting organization before any reputable CAs will issue them. Wildcard certificates are issued with either domain validation (DV) or organization validation (OV) only.

… And this is why we’re here to educate you about how wildcard SSL certificates work in real-world applications.

How Much Does a Wildcard SSL Certificate Cost?

Now that you know how these certificates work, how much do they cost? The cost of a wildcard SSL certificate differs depending on a few different factors, including:

  • The issuing certificate authority (CA);
  • The brand of SSL certificate;
  • The certificate’s level of validation; and
  • The warranty and other benefits that may come with it.

For example, here at, a Comodo PositiveSSL wildcard certificate costs just $52.95 per year. That’s a savings of up to 78%! You can also purchase multi-domain wildcard SSL certificates, which protect both your FQDN and up to 250 SANs (subject alternative name domains) as well as an unlimited number of multi-level subdomains.

We’re confident that we’ve answered your questions about “how does a wildcard certificate work” and how much does it cost. Now, we invite you to see why we’re known for offering the best prices in the industry. Check out our selection of wildcard SSL certificates now:

Purchase a Wildcard SSL Certificate & Save Up to 80%!

We offer the best discount on all types of wildcard SSL Certificates with DV and OV validation. We offer wildcard certificates from the leading CAs, including Comodo CA, Sectigo, Thawte, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL starting for as little as $52.95 per year.

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