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What is a wildcard SSL certificate?

September 09, 2019

Wildcard SSL certificates secure website URLs and an unlimited number of subdomains under a single IP address.


Wildcard SSL certificates secure website URLs and an unlimited number of subdomains under a single IP address. For example, it is possible to assign one wildcard SSL certificate to all of the example subdomains below:

  • www.example.com
  • mail.example.com
  • blog.example.com
  • shop.example.com


Domain owners are required to verify ownership of the domain, and provide applicant contact information. Applicants are asked to provide their name and employment status or authority within the company to request the Wildcard SSL certificate.

  • Proof of domain ownership
  • Applicants contact information
  • Applicants corporate title

How is the Wildcard SSL certificate issued?

A Wildcard SSL certificate is structurally similar to other certificates, offering the same level of security. However, they are designated by an Certificate Authority’s (CA) policy identifier so that the company’s domain name is featured in the SSL certificate. Wildcard certificates are issued by Nexcess according to a specific set of identity validation criteria. 

Go here to learn how to purchase a wildcard SSL certificate from Nexcess.

Benefits and advantages

Wildcard certificates secure the common name and all subdomains at the level you specify when you submit your request. You would add an asterisk (*) in the subdomain area to the left of the common name. For example, *.example.com, will secure:

  • example.com
  • www.example.com
  • photos.example.com
  • blog.example.com

If your certificate request is for *.www.example.com, you can secure:

  • www.example.com
  • mail.www.example.com
  • photos.www.example.com
  • blog.www.example.com

Wildcard certificates secure websites just like Standard SSL certificates, and requests are processed using the same validation methods. However, some Web servers might require a unique IP address for each subdomain listed in the Wildcard certificate.

For more information or sales inquiries, visit the Nexcess website or contact our sales team between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. eastern time (ET), Monday through Friday.

Jason Dobry