We’ve got the scoop with everything you need to know about SSL multisite solutions for WordPress platform users
You may not realize this, but a “WordPress multisite SSL certificate” doesn’t actually exist — it’s just a multi-domain SSL certificate that’s used on a WordPress website. So, in a way, a WordPress multisite SSL certificate is just the synonym of a WordPress multi-domain SSL certificate.
Now that you know the truth, the next question is, are you aware of what a WordPress multisite SSL certificate covers and how you can deploy it on your server? Let’s explore more details about the WordPress multisite SSL certificate to get answers to your questions.
What Types of Domains Does a WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate Cover?
As the name suggests, a WordPress multisite SSL certificate secures multiple domain names under the same certificate. So, if you’re running various websites on WordPress, you don’t need to buy separate SSL certificates for each of them. There are three scenarios where you’ll need to use a multi domain SSL certificate for your site(s):
1. You Need to Secure Multiple Domains
If you have more than one WordPress website. For example,
2. Your Domains Have Different TLDs
If you have the same domain but with different top-level domains (TLDs) and want to secure them all with a single certificate, you’ll need to have a multi domain certificate. For example,
People often buy the same domain name with different TLDs to protect their brand name. For example, everyone knows the brand name Amazon. What if someone buys a website named Amazon.in and starts the same business in India? Indians would think it’s Amazon (the corporation) itself, but in reality, it’s just a domain with a different TLD that has nothing to do with the original Amazon.com!
However, in the world of SSL certificates, a domain with different TLD is treated as a separate domain, hence why you need a separate SSL certificate to protect the same. While initially may sound like a hassle, the good news is that a WordPress multisite SSL certificate can secure your domains with different TLDs under the same certificate umbrella using subject alternative name (SAN) domains.
3. You Need to Secure Some of Your Subdomains
Subdomains are also considered separate domains in the world of SSL certificates.
So, for example, domain.com/blog and blog.domain.com are treated in different ways when it comes to an SSL certificate. The former is just a page of your website which is, by default, going to get covered under any existing SSL certificate. The latter, on the other hand, is called a subdomain, for which you need a new cert.
Let’s say, if domain.com is the primary domain, the following are its subdomains:
So, if you’re looking to secure your subdomains in WordPress (or any other hosting platform for that matter), you need a WordPress multisite SSL certificate, a wildcard SSL certificate, or a multi domain wildcard SSL certificate.
Buy a wildcard SSL certificate only if you’re using a large number of subdomains because it secures one primary domain and an unlimited number of its accompanying first-level subdomains.
However, a WordPress multisite SSL certificate is a more flexible and convenient option than a wildcard because it can include not only subdomains but also multiple domains, second-level subdomains, domains with different TLDs, etc. The only limitation with a multisite SSL certificate is the number of domains and subdomains it can cover. Although, it can cover up to a total of 2,000 domains under a single certificate (up to 250 for some certificates), you might need to pay extra money for each additional SAN (domain/subdomain) you add after a certain limit.
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How to Get and Install a WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate
Now that you know what a WordPress multisite SSL certificate covers and whatnot, let’s understand how you can install it on your server by following these five steps.
Step 1: Buy a WordPress Multisite SSL Certificate
Don’t be fooled by some SSL certificate providers who are trying to sell you “WordPress multisite certificate” for hundreds of dollars when you can get virtually an identical multi-domain SSL certificate for less than 30 bucks at SectigoStore.com. Our multi domain SSL certificate start as low as $25.60/year!
Step 2: Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on Your Server
During this process, you’ll be prompted to write details such as domains you want to secure, the physical address of your organization (or home), company name, etc.
Step 3: Complete the Validation Process
You need to prove your domain ownership to the certificate authority. If you have opted for a business verification such as organization validation (OV) or extended validation (EV), there are more validation steps involved and can take up to five business days.
Step 4: Install Your SSL Certificate
After the successful validation, the certificate authority will issue an SSL certificate for your website/s. Congratulations! Now, you need to install it on your server.
If you’re using a hosting provider other than WordPress.com, you should follow this guide: How to install an SSL certificate on your server.
If you’re getting your domain names and hosting from WordPress.com itself, check out this guide to understand how to enable an SSL certificate via domain mapping.
Step 5: Force HTTPS to Run Your Site via the Secure Protocol
After the successful installation of the SSL certificate on the server, you still need to force SSL on your WordPress dashboard. One of the best plugins to install SSL in WordPress is the Really Simple SSL plugin. After the installing the plugin:
- Go to Plugins, locate Really Simple SSL plugin, click on Settings.
- Click on “Go ahead, activate SSL!”
- If there are no mixed content errors, your website will be shifted from HTTP to HTTPS.
- If you have mixed-content errors, use plugins like Better Search Replace. Under the Search/Replace tab, write your HTTP domain in Search for and HTTPS domain in Replace with fields. Click on Run Search/Replace, and it will replace all the absolute reference HTTP URLs with HTTPS.
Final Thoughts on WordPress Multisite SSL Certificates
An SSL certificate is inevitable for any website. But when people have number of websites, installing the certificate on each site separately makes the entire process tedious. Luckily, with multisite SSL certificates, you just need to go through the entire installation process once and all your websites will show the padlock sign simultaneously. Plus, you are saving money, too. A multisite SSL is a true blessing for everyone who has more than just one website. If you buy it from SectigoStore.com, you can get a multisite SSL certificate for as little as $25.60/year.