I have 180 or so websites that all run of a single MVC app.

The app runs on a domain, which is not accessible directly by the public, and each of the 180 public facing sites are set up as domain aliases of this.

I have always put off using https because the cost of 180 certs was prohibitive. But recently I started using Let's Encrypt for some other sites and now I want to try it on these.

The problem is, there is a maximum domain alias limit of 100. As Stephen pointed out, I'd like to cover the www and non-www versions, so that's really 360!

Until now I have only used the plesk plugin which makes it REALLY easy. So now when I want to go beyond the 'default' usage, I have absolutely NO idea where to start. I am worried that in my ignorance I will spend days persuing a solution that it was never suitable in the first place!

So I have 3 questions:

  1. What is the easiest / simplest approach for me to get certification for 180 domain aliases with LE? Is it even possible?

  2. It appears that I will need to install an ACME client on the server, is that correct?

  3. If so, a Rick Strahl blog post led me to Win Acme. Is this a suitable tool for the job?

We're using Win Server 2012.


Stephen also suggested splitting up the sites into groups of 50. This is do-able but it would require maintaining a number of code bases, which I would prefer not to do, if possible.

  • Do you want the certificates to cover both example.com and www.example.com? I'd recommend doing so. If so, that is two aliases for every domain. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 9 at 14:34
  • I've never used Plesk before, but you may be able to just rearrange your domains within Plesk so you don't hit that limit. For example set them up as separate sites so they each get their own certificate. Or group them into 50 domains per site instead of all in one site. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 9 at 14:36
  • Yes you're correct, both versions. Updated the question. I hadn't thought of rearranging the domains and I'm not sure how possible that is. But I will look into it as it would make things a lot easier. Thank you. – Martin Hansen Lennox Jan 9 at 14:40

For want of a better solution, and to get this working, I've ended up creating multiple sets of the codebase onto 'fake' domains and pointing a number of the aliases toward each one.

If anyone has a better approach I'd still be very interested to hear about it, and change the accepted answer.

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