If you’re a website owner of any type, you’ve likely heard of SSL certificates. If not, it’s time to get yourself acquainted. These powerful digital certificates have become a must-have for ensuring your site security hits all bases. But with so many types of SSL on the market, one of the biggest hurdles can be deciding which one to get.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to know when you should get a cheap wildcard SSL.
1. You need to secure your site
It might seem obvious, but it bears saying what exactly an SSL does and why it’s so important that you get one. When you don’t have an SSL, communications between your site and the user’s browsers are basically open for anyone to see if they want to. When it comes to exchanging sensitive data like personal information and credit card numbers, it runs the risk of attracting fraudsters. When you install an SSL on your site, these communications become encrypted, meaning the data is scrambled and rendered unreadable to prying eyes. Only those the data is intended for can see it.
The push for a more encrypted web has been going on for a while now, starting with the Google HTTPS everywhere campaign back in 2014, when Google began promising a search engine rankings boost for websites with an SSL compared to those without. Flash forward to today, when web browsers have actually started penalizing sites without SSL, flagging them as “not secure” to would-be visitors. Not having an SSL these days, as a result, guarantees a loss in traffic — because who wants to visit a site that apparently isn’t secure?
Now that you know why SSL is so important let’s discuss Wildcard SSL certificates specifically.
2. You have multiple subdomains under one domain
If your web property is split up into multiple subdomains, a wildcard certificate is the way to go. Specifically, if you have one main domain and several subdomains of one level: example.com and anything that looks like *.example.com. Plenty of people split up their sites into sections using subdomains these days, and it can be difficult to know how best to secure them with an SSL.
That’s where Wildcard SSLs come in. When you install one of these on your server, it will automatically secure the main domain and every one of its subdomains. You can create even more subdomains in the future, and the Wildcard SSL will automatically cover them. You won’t have to do anything extra to make sure they’re secure. The best thing is it secures unlimited subdomains, so you can basically go wild and create all the subdomains you ever wanted.
Convenience is also a significant factor with Wildcard SSLs, particularly the more subdomains you have. Instead of keeping track of multiple expiration dates, you only have one certificate to remember with a Wildcard, making it a way easier option when it comes to renewal times.
So, why a cheap Wildcard SSL?
3. You don’t want to pay more than you need
Who wants to pay more than they need to for anything? Fortunately, SSL certificates are one item you can go cheap on without regrets or foregoing quality. Current SSL certificates should have the highest 256-bit encryption, no matter their price point. Of course, that doesn’t mean going with just any SSL shop. Like before any purchase, check reviews, assess their customer service offering, and, most importantly, make sure that major web browsers trust their partner CA.
Choosing the right SSL for your site can sometimes feel like a minefield. But if you’ve got several subdomains under a single domain and don’t want to break the bank, a cheap Wildcard SSL is more than likely the best choice.