Wildcard SSL certificates are great for websites that demands security for multiple subdomains. Things to be discussed include Wildcard SSL certificates, the positive side of using it, and the negative issues of utilizing these advanced certificates. Whatever the case maybe, these SSL certificates are vital to the success of an online business, when it comes to security and customer safety.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is an important element when it comes to making investment in an online business. What it does is protecting the information of customers as they exchange credit card data or financial details for products and services, through encryption. Knowing that this kind of system can make data useless to hackers and social engineers upon transport, it provides confidence to customers that their personal information is safe. This can be applicable to the main domain. But what about those with subdomains? While you need to have every subdomain equipped with an SSL certificate of its own, it can turn out pretty expensive. This is where Wildcard SSL certificates come into play as it covers all subdomains available.
What is a Subdomain?
A subdomain is a webpage that is under the same domain, having the same properties, but have different data. For example, if the website is www.maindomain.com, you may have subdomains such as www.mail.maindomain.com or www.calendar.maindomain.com. Since each page is existing as a different entity or boundary in a browser, it should have an SSL certificate for its own to work accordingly. As this may incur so much cost, turning to a Wildcard SSL certificate will save so much money as it covers all subdomains.
Wildcard SSL Certificates
Wildcard SSL Certificates, as the name suggests, use its function to encrypt all information available in every site entity under one domain. Just as how wildcards in a computer is used to search items with the same file extension such as *.jpg which tags all files that are in JPG format, the same thing works with a Wildcard SSL certificate. However, simply put it, the certificate tags everything that has the common domain name is used as the main element such as *.maindomain.com. However, as you apply for this certificate, you need to prepare the domain to use and the subdomains to be included. These kinds of SSL certificates may cost about $350 to more than $2000, depending on the level of security to be used and the number of domains to utilize it.
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Drawbacks of Using Wildcard SSL Certificates
- Security Reduction: One risk that a Wildcard SSL certificate has is the level of breach that it carries. Since hackers are just as smart as most engineers issuing digital certificates from Certificate Authorities, there are possibilities that the keys used can be manipulated or copied. Once this happens, a hacker will be able to get into all the subdomains that the Wildcard SSL certificate protects.
- Management Issues: If a Wildcard SSL certificate can cover all subdomains in a one shot, then having to configure or remove the said certificate will also include all other subdomains tied up with it, causing headaches and unnecessary use of time.
- Compatibility Issues: Since Wildcard SSL certificates are quite new and more advanced, some browsers and other systems will not be able to make it work. When this happens, additional coding or altering other settings may be needed to make the said certificate to work.
- Warranty Issues: As Wildcard SSL certificates are used on many subdomains, warranties are limited as there are risks involved. This also means that there will be no extend guarantees just in case the coverage ends.
As you consider getting a Wildcard SSL certificate for your online business, consider many factors before making such investment. See to it that everything has been taken care of, such as settings and compatibilities for browsers, completed subdomain entries, and market focus on the subdomains made. Once done, you also need to prepare your budget to carry that worthy expense for your eCommerce website.
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