Free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL

Free Let's Encrypt Wildcard SSL

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.

Let’s Encrypt and SiteGround

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.

Should you use SSL? Definitely yes!

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.

What is Wildcard SSL and how to get it?

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.

Let’s Encrypt vs Premium SSLs

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.

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Monika is passionate about user experience and design that’s beautiful and functional. Addicted to video games and British shows. Loves to troubleshoot, analyse and organise stuff.

19 Comments

  1. Reply June 20, 2018 / 07:00 Fernando SalingSiteGround Team

    Hello, Monika!
    SiteGround, its support and Let's Encrypt is excellent!

  2. Reply July 22, 2018 / 23:49 BazarBitSiteGround Team

    Great article

  3. Reply August 19, 2018 / 09:46 Scott MunsonSiteGround Team

    But here it says it's $90 a year?

    https://www.siteground.com/ssl_certificates.htm

    • Reply August 21, 2018 / 03:27 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Please, check the page carefully. That's a different certificate. Let's Encrypt is free and available for all customers.

      • January 3, 2019 / 10:02 BillSiteGround Team

        How can I seamlessly transfer from my current paid Premium Wildcard to the new free Let's Encrypt option?

      • January 4, 2019 / 04:46 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

        Basically, you cancel your current subscription and issue a new certificate. You can contact our support via the Help Desk to get additional assistance on that matter.

  4. Reply October 3, 2018 / 11:06 Brian MitchellSiteGround Team

    Thanks for the info on Wildcard vs. Standard SSL's. I am incredibly grateful for Siteground's leadership and early adoption in the Let's Encrypt initiative.

    Are there any plans for auto-renewal on Let's Encrypt for Siteground Dedicated Servers? cPanel has been offering AutoSSL as an extension for WHM for about two years. However I am not able to get it on my Siteground Dedicated Server with GoGeek features.

    It is a real hassle having to manually request renewal on all my SSL's every 3 months. Any info on adding this feature is greatly appreciated.

    • Reply October 4, 2018 / 00:54 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      That's on our road map and I hope it will be available for our Dedicated server users soon!

    • Reply October 16, 2018 / 09:55 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Hey, we started adding the tool for new servers and patching old ones. Do you mind mailing me at Hristo.p [at] sitegrond.com with the main domain of your dedicated server because I couldn't find one using the blog comment info.

  5. Reply January 4, 2019 / 12:04 DebbieSiteGround Team

    Thanks for the article! As a non-profit, we are very appreciative for your service and support. I just installed the Let's Encrypt Wildcard SSL (whiterocklake.org) and got a message that it's in the install queue. How long does it take before the certificate is effective?

    Thanks!

    • Reply January 7, 2019 / 03:31 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      It should take just few minutes!

  6. Reply January 24, 2019 / 14:18 BobSiteGround Team

    I have several "addon" domains. Right now I have separate Let's Encrypt installed on each addon. Should I switch to wildcard on my main domain or just keep things as they are?

    If I add wildcard to my main domain will it automatically replace current individual Let's Encrypt certificates? Are addon domains treated like subdomains?

    Thanks!
    Bob

    • Reply January 29, 2019 / 01:12 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      No, wildcard SSL will cover a single domain plus all of its subdomains - *.domain.com while for separate (addon) domains, you need separate certificates. Each one of them can be wildcard too in case you use subdomains.

  7. Reply January 30, 2019 / 13:01 Garrett MurphySiteGround Team

    Do the Lets Encrypy SSL certs automatically renew? I see that they run for 3 months currently.

    • Reply January 31, 2019 / 04:59 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      Yes, we update certificates automatically.

  8. Reply January 30, 2019 / 15:23 Davy RobertsSiteGround Team

    Question about this.
    A have several domains pointing to one main domain/account with TYPO3.
    Per domain I can choose a different siteroot, so that works.

    Let's say domain aaaa.com, bbb.nl, cccc.eu, subdomain.dddd.info... they all point to different startpages.. and I wan't to be able to use for some domains certain subdomains like blog.aaa.com, stash.bbb.nl, and perhaps media.cccc.eu...

    How do I enable this SSL and which do I chose. How do I do that and how much would it cost me?
    The current structure works now without SSL without any problem (other domains cost let's say around 12 euro's per domain and another domain comes from a friended site which points to the current domain (with a 'parked domain' ) and this also works fine.

    What are the costs? How do I enable this without losing the current functionality?

    • Reply January 31, 2019 / 05:01 Hristo PandjarovSiteGround Team

      You can issue a free, wildcart certificate for each domain. Then you can get a GrowBig or higher account which supports addon slots which will cover your needs. For current pricing, check out the Web Hosting page on our site.

  9. Reply September 6, 2019 / 11:00 SeanSiteGround Team

    FYI Wildcard certs from Let's Encrypt do not always work with subdomains, I am on Support chat right now being told my site won't load at the URL because of the Wildcard Cert and to install a regular SSL cert instead as the only recommended solution. Before you pull your hair out wondering why the site won't load, try installing the regular SSL cert instead, as these are still buggy at the time of this writing.

    • Reply September 9, 2019 / 09:49 Angelina MichevaSiteGround Team

      Hi Sean,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It is correct that using WildCard Let's Encrypt SSL saves you time maintaining the SSL certificates for a website with multiple subdomains. The functionality works on our servers and we have made it available to our customers to make site management even easier for them. We will double-check what has prevented the WildCard certificate from working correctly when you installed it initially. Our agent via chat offered you as a solution to install the standard SSL as he aimed to quickly resolve the problem and make sure your website is working as intended.

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