I want to purchase an SSL certificate for my domain, but I have never worked with certificates.

I will purchase it at DNSimple, my APP is on heroku and my domain is at all-inkl.

Will the wildcard certificate also cover all subdirectories (These are generated by my python flask app and are shown as URLs):

for example: www.example.com (root) and www.example.com/sub and www.example.com/sub/test

  • 4
    What you've shown in your example is a sudirectory, not a subdomain?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:24
  • These are the URL names which my flask python app generates
    – Roman
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:27
  • But I am currently reading an article about subdomains / subdirectories. It seems I use the wrong terms. A wildcard will not secure subdirecotries?
    – Roman
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:28

3 Answers 3


You don't need a "wildcard" certificate to secure subdirectories. All SSL certs will secure subdirectories. SSL certs secure hosts (domains). A "wildcard cert" will ordinarily secure subdomains eg. <anysubdomain>.example.com - but this should be made clear when you purchase the cert.

  • 4
    Also, check out the Lets Encrypt project for a free SSL cert.
    – L Martin
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:33
  • Thank you very much! Will a single name cover both versions: www.mysite.com and mysite.com? Or is this handled in the DNS settings?
    – Roman
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:35
  • @Yhorian Yeah I was playing for a long time with that. Its comlicated for apps on heroku and an external domain. Plus it does not have windows servers yet. I use letsencrypt on simple websites.
    – Roman
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:37
  • 5
    Yes, a single named cert will usually cover both www and non-www versions these days (hasn't always been the case) - but again, double check this when buying the cert. (This isn't a DNS thing.)
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:37

Wildcard SSL certificates are used to secure sub-domains.

For example,

  • mail.example.com
  • shop.example.com
  • anysub.example.com

You can install any single domain SSL certificate on your website, it can secure your root domain as well all directories / folders.

For example,

  • example.com/your-product-name
  • example.com/discount-offer-page
  • example.com/any-web-pages
  • What does this add that the other answer does not?
    – AStopher
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 12:50
  • @cybermonkey I can't speak for Jason but IMO this answer is simpler. Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 16:07
  • I find the examples useful. Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 17:38

You have mentioned, you are wishing to secure your sub-directories. When you install any SSL certificate on your server, it secures example.com and all its sub-directories.

Which means not only example.com displays with HTTPS but sub-directories also display with HTTPS.

  • Website before SSL Certificate - http://example.com
  • Website After HTTPS - https://example.com
  • website sub-directory before SSL certificate - http://example.com/sub-directory
  • Website sub-directory after SSL certificate - https://example.com/sub-directory

A Wildcard SSL certificate, on the otherhand, is aimed to secure unlimited sub-domains, but for sub-directories (as I've mentioned above) a single Domain-Validated (DV) SSL certificate will work fine.

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