The Wildcard SSL Certificate Multiple IP Solution
While many website owners turn to the services of a professional website design and development service, there are always a significant number of startup ecommerce businesses that are a do-it-yourself project.
Today, with the various hosting services, free templates, excellent online tutorials and even the major ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento and even WooCommerce producing a quality website is certainly possible. Unfortunately, without a professional to guide the basics of the features offered it may be very easy to offer security for the site.
Additionally, it may be possible to set up a small ecommerce site using subfolders and all contained within the main domain; this will soon become unmanageable with increased products and items. At this point turning to a more effective and complete way to provide security start with getting a Wildcard SSL certificate for multiple IP addresses.
A Quick Primer
We are jumping a bit ahead, so let's go back and look at the meaning of SSL and why it is so critically important for a new startup ecommerce site. SSL or now more often TLS stands for Secure Sockets Layer or Transport Layer Security respectively. TLS is the more recent version of SSL but the old name is most commonly used by IT professionals and even by Certificate Authorities (CAs).
Originally started by Netscape in 1994, the goal of SSL was to form a secure, encrypted connection between the web and the server. This would protect customers when they provided their financial and personal information and it was transported from their browser to the host server.
This is still the same process, although the encryption has become much more significant. Now any SSL certificate, including a Wildcard SSL certificate for multiple IP addresses, uses 2048-bit encryption for the signatures and 256-bit encryption for the transfer of data.
To add SSL technology to a website you can use several different types of SSL certificates. This can include single domain certificates or a Wildcard SSL certificate for multiple IP addresses.
For a single main domain SSL certificate on the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) information provided to the CA you will include the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for your website. This is often called the common name and it includes three parts. There is the .com, .org, .net or other extension, more correctly known as the top-level domain. Next to the left there is the name you have selected for the website (mycompany for example) and then the subdomain which is the www.
When these three are together, they are read by the browser as an IP address that is unique. The FDQN on the website has to match the name on the certificate for the site to be secured. This is fine if you just have one main domain, but what if you want to add subdomains or subcategories to store data on the site for easy access?
The Subdomain Issue
Subdomains will have the same extension and second-level domain name as your main domain. However, instead of using the www (since this is already uniquely assigned to your main domain), they will have alternative subdomain names typically including options such as mail, photos, payments, login, docs and so forth.
As each subdomain has a different domain name, it would be necessary to have a separate SSL certificate for each, at least if you didn't use the Wildcard SSL certificate for multiple IP addresses.
Through the use of the Wildcard SSL certificate, which uses the (*) in the CSR to replace the "www" at the front of the FQDN, all IP addresses related to that same second-level and top level domain name (mycompany.com) will be covered by the same SSL/TLS product.
This makes it very easy to manage even large numbers of subdomains and a main domain as the same certificate is in place throughout the group. This limits the chance of any one certificate expiring and causing a problem for your users and customers.
It also allows you to include multiple subdomains to maximize SEO strategies and to make your website very user-friendly. Since each subdomain can carry targeted category of products or services, in-site searching can be very easy . You can also easily point customers to a specific area of the site for cross-selling and upselling purposes.
To learn more about how a Wildcard SSL certificate for multiple IP works, talk to our experienced and very helpful sales team. You can reach them by phone at +1 888 266 6361 or through the live chat or email system at https://www.instantssl.com.