It is wise for any website owner to secure its website using an SSL certificate. There are two main types of digital certificates, a Wildcard certificate, and a Standard SSL certificate. Though both these certificates secure domain addresses, they serve different purposes for different website owners and network administrators.
For example, when you visit a website with an HTTP prefix, do you continue to browse on that website? We bet you don’t browse any more, rather you quickly close the website. Why? Because you know that the website does not have an SSL certificate.
Therefore, SSL encryption ensures security to the website. If a website has an SSL certificate, it has the HTTPS prefix before the website domain address.
What is a Wildcard Certificate?
A Wildcard Certificate is where multiple domain websites, applications, servers, etc. is secure with one private key. With this certificate, you can manage all your websites that lie under the same domain name. Thus, this is ideal for organizations that manage many websites.
Benefits of Wildcard Certificates:
- The administration of subdomain websites is more centrally managed.
- It is a cost-effective option.
- Manage the certificates easily and
- You can simply add and implement more subdomains to the original certificate in a faster way.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL Certificate or Secure Sockets Layer certificate is a standard certificate. So, it protects and secures a single domain website from potential hackers or intrusions.
Benefits of SSL Certificate:
- Secures each domain website with its own SSL certificate.
- Your visitors can safely browse on your website.
- You can safely communicate with your visitors or audience.
- It boosts your SEO initiatives, as your website ranks higher on SERP engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
- You fulfill the PCI/DSS and Information Security requirements.
- Your customers and visitors can easily identify with your brand and trust your websites.
Wildcard Certificate Vs SSL Certificate:
Though both the certificates fulfill the purpose of security and encryption, they have their differences
1. Encryption Level:
The encryption level is different in Wildcard and SSL certificates. Wildcard encrypts and secures multiple sub-domains. Whereas, SSL provides security and safety to just one domain website.
2. Private Key:
In Wildcard, the private key is shared for multiple subdomains. If the private key is compromised, then it can pose a threat to all your subdomains, applications, servers, etc. However, this drawback can be dealt with. The private key can be kept secure as per industry best practices and guidelines. Whereas, in SSL, the private key is specifically for just one domain, so even if one server is compromised, only one website is under threat.
A Wildcard certificate is affordable if you have many websites to manage. Whereas, an SSL certificate can be pricey, as you will need to implement SSL for each website.
The Bottom Line: Wildcard or SSL Certificate?
Wildcard and SSL certificates have their own set of benefits. However, many companies do not know which certificate is good for their websites. That is why comprehensive Hosting Solutions by Alpha InfoLab will provide you with a clear path forward to address information security challenges.