On March 13 Let’s Encrypt has announced support for free wildcard SSL certificates through their new ACME2 protocol.
What is a wildcard SSL certificate
Wildcard certificate is a single certificate that allows to secure multiple subdomains on a single domain, for example –
support.example.com, etc. However only one level of subdomains is supported, so
test.blog.example.com would not be valid for the certificate.
Why wildcard SSL certificate is needed
Wildcard SSL certificate helps to reduce administrative burden with multiple certificates because there is only one SSL certificate to manage.
Before Let’s Encrypt started offering free wildcard SSL certificates they also helped to reduce cost if there were many subdomains to protect.
Should I get a wildcard SSL certificate
Let’s Encrypt still recommends non-wildcard SSL certificates for most use cases. Only consider wildcard SSL certificate if you have more than one subdomain to protect.
Why do I need an SSL certificate
No matter whether you choose wildcard or non-wildcard SSL certificate, it is still important to have one installed for your website. Here is a quick summary of what it can provide:
- Encrypted data transfer between your visitors and your website
- Increased trust with customers
- Better SEO ranking
- Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance
For more technical information on wildcard SSL certificates, please see this post from Let’s Encrypt.