I have a website (hosted by Amazon S3) which redirects example.com to www.example.com. I am setting up an Amazon CloudFront distribution for this website, and would like the same redirection to work for HTTPS. I believe I therefore need to secure both example.com and www.example.com.

I will be using free SSL certificates generated by AWS Certificate Manager. My first instinct is to create one certificate for each of example.com and www.example.com. However, are there any advantages to putting both example.com and www.example.com (or even example.com and *.example.com) on a single certificate?

2 Answers 2


It's easier to maintain if you have one certificate, and there are no real downsides. You can put as many unrelated domains as you like on a certificate, so putting the www subdomain on seems fairly reasonable. Just use one certificate IMHO.

  • Thanks. Would you recommend adding just the www subdomain, or would you prefer a wildcard certificate (adding *.example.com)? Might the latter further ease maintenance, even though no other subdomains are currently being used (or planned for the near future)?
    – user200783
    May 21, 2016 at 3:49
  • If wildcard is easy I suggest you do that.
    – Tim
    May 21, 2016 at 4:07
  • 3
    @user200783 If you have no plans to add more subdomains, then a wildcard cert would just be unnecessary expense. May 21, 2016 at 7:16
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton - Certificates from AWS Certificate Manager are free. This includes wildcard certificates. So, a certificate for example.com and *.example.com would cost no more than one for example.com and www.example.com. In this case, is there any reason to prefer the latter certificate over the wildcard one?
    – user200783
    May 21, 2016 at 12:02
  • No reason comes to mind, in the context of ACM. May 21, 2016 at 12:55

These two domains ideally considered as one. So they do not need two various certificates.

At present, most of SSL certificates (Comodo, RapidSSL) support both WWW and Non-WWW version of domain name. So both version of your domain name example.com and www.example.com will be supported by HTTPS. Therefor you will have to set 301 redirection of example.com to www.example.com, so anyone types example.com then browser will redirect users to www.example.com

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