Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I purchased an inexpensive SSL Cert from GoDaddy. Right now everything on production is hosted off of www.domain.com. When specifying the common name would a wildcard (i.e. *.domain.com) cover the case of a lack of a third-level domain such as domain.com? Just to be sure, I made it for www.domain.com rather than a wildcard. If it matters, I will be using with nginx and a mod_passenger.

If I want to cover everything including domain.com and staging.domain.com, www.domain.com etc., would a wildcard be the proper cert? Does the inexpensive GoDaddy cert ($12.99 / year) cover wildcard certs (it didn't seem to for me)?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You won't be getting a wildcard SSL certificate from anyone for $12.99. They are typically much more expensive; I see on GoDaddy's site that their base price for wildcard SSL is $199/year, for instance.

A "normal" SSL certificate like you purchased should already serve both www.example.com and example.com.

You can probably get away with self-signed certificates for your development/staging servers.

share|improve this answer
thx, cool - that's what I figured regarding price. would a self-signed certificate (*.domain.com) be able to handle domain.com? Or do you just send everything to www.domain.com? –  timpone Oct 6 '12 at 1:37
A "normal" SSL certificate like you purchased should already serve both www.example.com and example.com. –  Michael Hampton Oct 6 '12 at 1:38
thx for info MH –  timpone Oct 6 '12 at 1:41
@timpone: Technically the answer is no. *.domain.com does not match domain.com but I think most registrars will automatically add domain.com to your cert as an alternative name (SAN, also known as a UCC certificate) so modern browsers will see the cert as valid. –  DerfK Oct 6 '12 at 2:49
Could someone with edit permission incorporate @DerfK's remark in the answer? I almost overlooked it. –  Chris Wesseling Oct 9 '12 at 9:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.