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How to Install a Wildcard SSL Certificate on Multiple Servers

Installing a wildcard SSL certificate on multiple servers involves several steps, including generating the certificate and key pair, distributing the certificate files to each server, and configuring the web server software.

What is a Wildcard SSL Certificate?

A Wildcard SSL Certificate is a type of digital certificate that secures multiple subdomains with a single certificate. This certificate offers an efficient and cost-effective solution for securing numerous hostnames under one domain name, such as mail.domainname.com, shop.domainname.com, and more. Unlike other certificates that can only secure a single domain or subdomain, the wildcard SSL allows you to protect all your subdomains on the same server with just one certificate.

Benefits of Wildcard SSL Certificates

The following benefits of Wildcard SSL certificates make them an attractive choice for businesses:

Unlimited Sub-Domains: With a Wildcard SSL certificate, you can easily install the certificate on multiple servers and secure all subdomains with just one certificate.
Cost Savings: Installing a Wildcard SSL certificate is more cost-effective compared to buying individual single domain certificates for each subdomain. This leads to significant savings in terms of both time and money.
Easy Installation Process & Management: Installing a Wildcard SSL certificate is simpler than purchasing and managing multiple certificates. You only need to install one certificate on the server and configure it for all your subdomains.
Unified Certificate Across All Domains: When you install a Wildcard SSL on multiple IIS servers, it provides unified security across all domains by offering encryption and authentication with just one certificate.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

1. Generate the Wildcard SSL Certificate:
Purchase or obtain a wildcard SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA).
Follow the CA’s instructions to generate a certificate signing request (CSR) and private key.

2. Receive the Certificate Files:
Once the certificate is issued by the CA, you will receive the SSL certificate files, usually in a zip file.

3.These files may include:
YourDomain.crt (the SSL certificate)
YourDomain.key (the private key)
Any intermediate certificates or CA bundles.

4. Distribute Certificate Files to Servers:
Copy the certificate files to each server where you want to install the SSL certificate.
Use secure methods like SCP (Secure Copy Protocol) or SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) to transfer the files securely.

5. Install the SSL Certificate on Each Server:
Log in to each server where you have copied the certificate files.
Place the certificate and private key files in appropriate directories, which may vary based on your server configuration (e.g., /etc/ssl/certs/ and /etc/ssl/private/ for Apache).
Ensure that the file permissions are appropriately set to protect the private key (e.g., 600).
Update your web server configuration to point to the SSL certificate and private key files.

6. Configure Web Servers:
Depending on your web server software (e.g., Apache, Nginx), you will need to configure it to use the SSL certificate.
In Apache, you would typically edit your virtual host configuration file (e.g., httpd. conf, apache2.conf, or a separate .conf file in the sites-available directory) and add directives like SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile to point to the certificate and private key files.
In Nginx, you would typically edit your server block configuration (e.g., nginx.conf or a separate .conf file in the sites-available directory) and specify ssl_certificate and ssl_certificate_key directives.

7. Test the SSL Configuration:
After configuring SSL, restart your web server to apply the changes.
Test the SSL configuration using online SSL checker tools or browser inspection tools to ensure that SSL is properly configured and working.
By following these steps, you can successfully install a wildcard SSL certificate on multiple servers. Ensure that you carefully follow the instructions provided by your Certificate Authority and double-check your server configurations to ensure a secure and functional SSL setup.

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