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Starting from today, all SiteGround customers can get a free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL. This will make the setup and maintenance of websites with subdomains much easier, as they can now be encrypted with a single certificate. All it takes is a few clicks in our updated Let’s Encrypt interface in the cPanel. Ever since we heard that Let’s Encrypt plan to launch free Wildcard SSL, we’ve been eagerly waiting for this and we are proud to be among the first hosting companies to successfully integrate the new SSL in their platform. We strongly believe that global adoption of SSL certificates makes the Internet a more secure place.
Today’s launch is a logical step in our ongoing effort to encourage all SiteGround customers to use the secure HTTPS protocol. This process started in 2016 with SiteGround being among the first hosts backing up the Let’s Encrypt initiative. Then we provided an interface, where our customers could issue the standard single domain Let’s Encrypt SSL. In 2017 we went even further and started to automatically install this certificate on every domain hosted with us. Today, we are happy to offer the new Wildcard Let’s Encrypt certificate too. The Wildcard option was added to our interface just 2 weeks after it was officially launched by Let’s Encrypt.
Why use SSL? Basically, because it makes browsing more secure. However, this reason has been around since SSLs existed and yet sites with HTTPS across all pages wasn’t very common till recently. Today things are different because even if you don’t care that much about your own website security, Google does. HTTP sites will lose rankings, compared to HTTPS ones. In July Chrome will start displaying a warning that non-HTTPS sites aren’t secure, which will quickly scare away visitors. These are some of the reasons why we started to install the standard Let’s Encrypt SSL and encourage its use in the first place.
The Wildcard SSL is different from the standard SSL because it secures the traffic not only for your primary domain name, but for all of its subdomains as well (e.g. sub.domain.com). This is particularly useful for websites with different sections divided by subdomains (like online stores, websites with message boards, chats, etc). With a standard SSL you need to install a separate domain certificate for each subdomain, and with Wildcard you can secure them with a single certificate. This makes setting up and maintaining a website with multiple subdomains much easier.
Note that the standard Let’s Encrypt certificate is perfectly fine, if you do not use subdomains. SiteGround will continue to automatically install this type of certificate for every new domain name. However, every SiteGround customer can upgrade existing Let’s Encrypt standard certificates or install new Wildcard ones in the Let’s Encrypt Tool, located in your cPanel. All Let’s Encrypt Wildcard certificates and installations remain absolutely free.
Even though we now offer Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL for free, we will continue to provide Premium EV and Wildcard SSL certificates through GlobalSign for the customers who need them. While Let’s Encrypt is an excellent alternative for informational and personal websites, bigger organisations and ecommerce websites may want to take into consideration the Premium SSLs, which come with dynamic seals, extended validation options and underwritten warranty of between $10,000 and $1,500 000.