How can I get a free wildcard certificate?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

To get a free wildcard SSL/TLS certificate, you can use Let’s Encrypt, a popular certificate authority that provides free certificates. Follow these steps to obtain a wildcard certificate:

1. Access the Websites & Domains section of your hosting control panel or server management interface. This may vary depending on your hosting provider or server setup.

2. Find the domain for which you want to secure a wildcard certificate. It could be your main domain or a subdomain. Click on the domain name to access its settings.

3. Look for the Let’s Encrypt option within the domain settings. Let’s Encrypt should be supported by most hosting providers and server management interfaces. If you don’t see it, contact your provider for assistance or consider using an alternative method.

4. Within the Let’s Encrypt settings, you will typically find an option to issue a wildcard certificate. Enable this option by ticking the corresponding checkbox. This tells Let’s Encrypt that you want a certificate that covers all subdomains of your chosen domain.

5. If you have additional domain aliases that you want to secure with the wildcard certificate, select them as well. This ensures that the certificate covers all the necessary domains.

6. Once you have made your selections, click on the “Issue” or “Obtain” button to initiate the certificate issuance process. Let’s Encrypt will then generate and sign your wildcard certificate.

7. Depending on your hosting provider or server management interface, the process may take a few seconds or a few minutes to complete. You may need to wait for Let’s Encrypt to validate your domain ownership and generate the certificate.

8. Once the certificate is issued, it will be automatically installed on your server or hosting account. You may need to restart your web server or update your website configuration to start using the new certificate.

9. After the installation, your wildcard certificate will be valid for the specified domain and all its subdomains. This means that any HTTPS connections to your domain and its subdomains will be encrypted and secured by the Let’s Encrypt certificate.

It’s important to note that Let’s Encrypt certificates are valid for 90 days. Therefore, it’s crucial to set up automatic renewal to ensure uninterrupted SSL/TLS protection. Many hosting providers and server management interfaces offer built-in tools to handle certificate renewal automatically.

Obtaining a free wildcard certificate from Let’s Encrypt involves enabling the wildcard option within the Let’s Encrypt settings for your domain and issuing the certificate. This process may vary depending on your hosting provider or server management interface, so it’s recommended to consult their documentation or contact their support if you encounter any issues.