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You know that many website users and online shoppers are cautious and paranoid about conducting their activities online. And they have a good reason to justify their paranoia- security threats that could lead to loss of their confidential information. You also know that cybersecurity threats are increasing; most business owners do. Accenture’s 2019 Cost of Cyber Crime Report indicates that 68% of business owners feel that cyber threats are growing. You also know that you will witness hostile drops in your traffic and revenues without your web visitors' trust and confidence in your website. You also understand that you could beat your competitors with the right Search Engine Optimization strategies and popularize your brand.
Knowing all these, you then decide that you need to buy a Secure Socket Layer certificate. This decision can lead to headaches and additional costs, especially when doing it for the first time. You are torn between so many vendor options, and you are not sure which subdomains to secure and which one you should leave out. You don't know how much the right SSL certificate should cost, and you are probably wondering if a cheap SSL certificate could be as effective as the most expensive. Well, in this article, I will help wipe out these confusions.
A Wildcard SSL certificate is one that protects multiple subdomains of the same domain name. If you own the domain www.abcxyz.com, you can encrypt various subdomains like payments.abcxyz.com, cart.abcxyz.com, etc., with a single wildcard SSL certificate. A wildcard SSL will lower your administrative costs and SSL maintenance costs. It will save your time and resources by consolidating the management of your SSL certificates. A single Wildcard SSL certificate can secure both your top-level domain and an unlimited number of subdomains.
How Wildcard SSL Certificate Works
Wildcard SSL certificates work similarly as regular SSL certificates. They will encrypt the connection between your web servers and your visitors' websites. However, unlike regular certificates, the Wildcard SSL certificate comes with one significant advantage- that just a single SSL certificate can provide encryption to an unlimited number of subdomains of your main domain. When you buy a wildcard SSL certificate, you will be saving both money and time because you do not have to manage multiple SSL certificates.
For instance, say you have *.yourdomain.com as your main domain, installing a single Wildcard SSL certificate will not only encrypt the main domain but other first-level subdomains such as:
A wildcard SSL certificate will erase all the worries that you might have about the technical efforts of handling multiple SSL certificates, costs, time, among other resources that are needed to manage multiple SSL certificates. I highly recommend that you purchase and install a Wildcard SSL certificate to reap from the many that the certificate has.
Reasons for Using Wildcard Certificates
Your organization will benefit a lot by purchasing and installing Wildcard SSL certificates.
1. Maximum Security to an Unlimited Number of Subdomains
As I have already mentioned, the Wildcard SSL certificate will provide encryption to an unlimited number of subdomains. Encryption helps to keep hackers and intruders who have malicious intentions out of your website. With an SSL certificate, all communications will be coded, ensuring that no attacker will decipher the communication's true meaning.
2. Easy SSL Management
As with the case of regular SSL certificates, you will need to secure every subdomain with an SSL certificate. This can be a real headache. You have to buy an SSL certificate for every subdomain, install the certificate separately, configure your servers suitably and keep track of the expiry dates of each certificate. That is a lot of work. However, with just a single SSL certificate, everything is simplified. Instead of managing a whole battalion of SSL certificates, you only manage one. A single purchase, a single issuance, a single installation. Done.
3. Wildcard SSL Certificates Are Cost-Effective
Refer to the example I have described above and imagine all those costs incurred in purchasing, installing, and renewing certificates for each subdomain. The cost of doing business will be too high. You are paying an extremely high price for every subdomain. You do not have to do that. All you have to do is purchase and install a single Wildcard SSL certificate. It does not matter the number of subdomains that you will be securing. The price never changes. Think about the amount of money that you will be saving by installing a wildcard SSL certificate. If you want to save your time and money, you should buy and install a Wildcard SSL certificate.
4. Wildcard SSL certificate Scale perfectly.
The certificate grows with you. Suppose in your certificates' lifespan; you decide to introduce other subdomains to your website, the wildcard SSL certificate will automatically secure the latest subdomain. You will not have to re-issue the wildcard certificate for it to protect your new subdomain. Wildcard SSL certificates are, therefore, future-proof certificates that you can bank on.
Key Points to Keep in Mind While Buying Wildcard SSL Certificates
Now that you understand how useful a cheap Wildcard SSL certificate can be to your business, you should consider buying it. Different vendors offer different Wildcard SSL certificate prices and options. Before finally settling on a vendor, there are several factors which you ought to put into consideration. Here are some of the key points that you need to consider before you buy Wildcard SSL certificate from a vendor:
When buying a Wildcard SSL certificate, you should look at the price of the certificate. Wildcard SSL prices will vary depending on the services and benefits that the certificate will bring to your website. A cheap SSL certificate could mean that the certificate will bring many benefits to your business. You must check out the prevailing market prices before finally purchasing the certificate to ensure that you do not pay too much or too little.
2. How Fast the Certificate Will Be Issued?
We are at war with cyber attackers, and anything that can compromise your victory, such as delay receiving security tools, should never be entertained. When purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate, ensure that you get it from a Certificate Authority that issues high-level Wildcard SSL certificates in a few hours or less. Any delays in securing your main domains and subdomains could lead you into great jeopardy.
The warrant attached to your Wildcard certificate is not for you as the buyer but for your users. Suppose a security breach occurs during a transaction between your website visitors and your servers (which has the Wildcard SSL certificate). In that case, the Certificate Authority should offer reimbursements for any damages or data losses to your website visitors. Although it is very rare for such a situation to occur, having a warrant assures your visitors of their security.
4. The Lifetime of the Certificate
How long a certificate will take before it calls for a renewal matter. When purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate, ensure that it has a long lifespan, say 2-3 years. Such a certificate is perfect and cost-effective since you do not have to worry about the time and costs for validation, renewals, and installation every year.
5. Customer Service
Being able to contact a real person can be a lifesaver in times of uncertainty. Ensure that the Certificate Authority issuing the Wildcard SSL certificate is within your reach at any hour of the day or night.
6. Reputation of the Certificate Authority
The Certificate Authority that you choose conveys a lot of trust to your users. For that matter, please go for a reputable vendor when purchasing your SSL certificates. To know the reputation of the vendor, you can check out reviews online and you can use that reviews to understand the CA's customer support, issuance speed, ease of managing the certificate, and customer satisfaction.
Wildcard SSL certificates are a great companion to anyone who wants to save time and money while providing the maximum security level to an unlimited number of subdomains. Why waste money buying a certificate for every subdomain when one Wildcard SSL certificate can do the job for you? In this article, I have explained the concept of Wildcard SSL certificates, how they work, the benefits that you will accrue by having the certificate, and some of the factors you need to consider before purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate.