What is a wildcard certificate?

Article Number: 000071008

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A wildcard SSL certificate enables you to secure a website’s domain and an unlimited number of its subdomains. For example, a single wildcard certificate could secure both www.example.com, anddeals.example.com.

Wildcard certificates enable the securing all of the subdomains at the level specified when you submit your certificate request. Add an asterisk (*) in the subdomain part of the common name (CN) where you want to use the wildcard.


If you configure *.example.com, you can secure www.example.com, deals.example.com, info.example.com, etc.

If you configure *.www.example.com, you can secure mail.www.example.com, deals.www.example.com, info.www.example.com, etc.

Note: A wildcard certificate secures only the level of subdomain you specify. So, if a certificate is configured for*.www.example.com, it will not secure www.example.com.

Wildcard certificates secure websites the same way as a regular SSL certificate, and requests are processed using the same validation methods. However, some web servers may require a unique IP address for each subdomain on the wildcard certificate.

Note: Extended Validation (EV) certificates do not support the concept of a wildcard, but they do work with Subject Alternative Names (SANs), which enable the use of extra fully-qualified domain names and subdomain names.

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