Securing Multiple Domains and Sub-Domains

These SSL Certificates play a huge role in protecting your website(s)

One of the most common dilemmas when it comes to purchasing SSL certificates is what to do when you're trying to secure multiple domains, or multiple Sub-Domains. Fortunately, there is a ready-made solution for both. But let's start with a brief explanation of what we mean when we say "Multiple Domains" and "Sub-Domains."

If you have Multiple Domains you have multiple root domains, meaning you might have:

  • www.yourdomain.com
  • www.yourotherdomain.com
  • www.yourdomain.net

If you have Sub-Domains, you have a domain that's part of a larger domain, meaning you might have:

  • mail.yourdomain.com
  • members.yourdomain.com
  • ftp.yourdomain.com

The right solution can save you time and money...

Multi-Domain SSL

Multi-Domain SSL Certificates, or SAN Certificates, are the best way to secure multiple domains with a single certificate. When you purchase one of these certificates you are asked to fill out a SAN, or Subject Alternative Name, for every additional domain you wish to secure. This, in turn, allows the certificate to be generated for all of your domains, and as an added benefit, makes managing your certificates a whole lot easier.

The one downside to SANs is that you have to purchase them individually. A lot of Multi-Domain certificates will come with between 2-4 free ones, but any SANs needed beyond that must be purchased at the time you buy your certificate. It's a small price to pay for the convenience that comes with a Multi-Domain SSL Certificate, but it's worth noting.

Purchase Multi-Domain Certs

Multi-Domain SSL
Multi Sub-Domain SSL

Wildcard SSL

On the other hand, if you're securing Sub-Domains, you can go the Wildcard route. When you're generating your Wildcard SSL Certificate you simply put an asterisk in front of your domain name, so input *.yourdomain.com on the CSR and you can secure an unlimited number of Sub-Domains.

Once again, the side-benefit to this is how much easier it is to manage your certificates. Rather than purchasing individual certificates for each Sub-Domain you're doing it all across one single certificate thus simplifying the administrative process. And unlike Multi-Domain certs, there's no paying for additional SANs. You just use the asterisk in the generation process and you're covered.

Purchase Wildcard Certs

Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL

That's right, there's a third option if you have both Multiple Domains and Sub-Domains. The Multi-Domain Wildcard can secure an unlimited number of Sub-Domains and, depending on brand, up to 25 or 100 all on a single certificate—making it the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. Regardless of what you need to secure, there's an SSL option that's right for you. The trick is simply finding it.