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My company's development team is in process of developing two sites that will have two separate domain names (let's say foo.com and bar.com), but will be hosted on a single cloud Linux/Apache server.

Do we need to purchase SSL certificates for each domain (one for foo.com and one for bar.com), or do we just need one for the server? And are there any specific security concerns that need to be taken in to account when using SSL in this environment?

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Just saw this question - webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/47639/… - which is helpful but I'm interested in the specific requirements of multi-domain/single server environments (if there are differences). – Willl Jul 31 '13 at 15:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you want to provide HTTPS connections to both domains, you'll need a separate SSL certificate for each one. If you try to use just one for the server, visitors will receive a domain mismatch security error in their browser.

Each SSL will require a separate IP address, as standard SSL certificates are assigned to one domain and one IP address. If you've only been assigned one IP address for your account, you'll have to request another (non-shared) IP address from your web hosting company or ISP.

SSL certificates only secure the connection between your web server and client browsers, so you'll need to employ good security practices on your server if you'll be storing sensitive data. How to do so, and whether cloud-based web hosting is secure, is out of the scope for this question, but a worthwhile consideration in that case.

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Adding an additional SAN certificate (Subject Alternative Name) with SSL Certificate purchase, can secure multiple domains on single server.

If you want to secure two domains on single server, then you should buy a 1 certificate with adding a 1 SAN certificate during purchase.

Below table shows the number of domains on single server with requirement of SSL Certificates:

             2 domains = 1 Certificate + 1 SAN

             3 domains = 1 certificate + 2 SANs

                       :           :

                       :           : 

             N domains = 1 Certificate + (n-1) SANs

Generally, Major certificate Authorities allows you to add additional SAN up to 24. It may vary by Certificate Authority.

Selection of Certificate:

There are three types of SSL Certificates DV (domain validated), OV (organization validated) and EV (extended validation) certificates. You should buy OV or EV certificate, because it has better SAN option then the DV certificate.

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