Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL Certificates are Here!


March 16th, 2018

Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL Certificates are Here!

Let’s Encrypt announced this week that Wildcard certificates are available through their new ACME2 (Automated Certificate Management Environment) protocol! We wrote about the free wildcard announcement last year, and it’s great to see this feature released.

What is a Wildcard Certificate

A wildcard certificate is one SSL certificate that can be used to provide HTTPS for all subdomains on a given domain, for example, *.laravel-news.com means that any subdomain, like www.example.com or links.example.com, would use the same SSL certificate. Using a wildcard certificate is useful for applications that allow users to pick a subdomain, for example, all blogs under the wordpress.com subdomain.

Why does Wildcard HTTPS matter?

Wildcard certificates can make managing SSL easier in some cases and is an essential step in helping Let’s Encrypt with their mission of making the web 100% HTTPS:

Wildcard certificates can make certificate management easier in some cases, and we want to address those cases in order to help get the Web to 100% HTTPS. We still recommend non-wildcard certificates for most use cases.

To support wildcard domains through Let’s Encrypt, you will need to update DNS records on your end to validate your ownership of the domain:

Additionally, wildcard domains must be validated using the DNS-01 challenge type. This means that you’ll need to modify DNS TXT records in order to demonstrate control over a domain for the purpose of obtaining a wildcard certificate.

There are many reasons why HTTPS is an important step that many companies are behind, including issues ranging from user privacy to online security, and Google is known to prefer HTTPS in its search rankings. Malignant intruders can exploit users through unprotected resources, and HTTPS protects against tampering between your applications and the user’s browser.

To learn more, check out the official announcement from Let’s Encrypt.

If you are a Laravel Forge customer, they are already releasing support for wildcard SSL through Let’s Encrypt this Friday:

Wildcard LE support will launch on Forge in the morning. ???? https://t.co/IvdYlDVOKF

— Taylor Otwell ????‍♂️ (@taylorotwell) March 15, 2018

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Paul Redmond

Full stack web developer. Author of Lumen Programming Guide and Docker for PHP Developers.