About Multi-Hostname Certificates

A multi-hostname certificate is a certificate which secures up to 100 specific hostnames for a per-hostname fee though the use of the certificate's subjectAltName field. This is distinct from a wildcard certificate, which secures all hostnames directly beneath a domain for a fixed fee and without needing to specify each hostname in the certificate. Learn more about the different ways to secure hostnames.

Note: SSLMate's standard single hostname certificates secure both your www hostname and your bare domain by adding the appropriate subjectAltNames; you do not need a multi-hostname certificate for this use case.

Multi-hostname certificates are an advanced feature. Generally, it's simpler (and less expensive) to use multiple standard certificates to secure multiple hostnames. There are a few cases when you need to use a multi-hostname certificate:

  • You need to support clients that lack server name indication (SNI) support, and can't use a separate IP address for each hostname.
  • Your server software can only be configured with a single certificate.
  • You need precise control over the subjectAltNames in your certificate.
  • You need to frequently change the hostnames that you secure.

Buying and managing multi-hostname certificates requires version 1.4.0 or above of the sslmate client

Buy a Multi-Hostname Certificate

Run sslmate buy as described on the buy page, but with more than one hostname:

sslmate buy HOSTNAME1 HOSTNAME2 HOSTNAME3 ...

The first hostname specified on the command line is the primary name of the certificate and is placed in the certificate's common name (CN) field, as well as a subjectAltName field. The remaining hostnames are placed in subjectAltNames. The certificate is referred to by its primary name when downloading, renewing, reissuing, etc. The primary name cannot be changed without purchasing a new certificate, but alternative names can be added and removed after the certificate is issued as described below.

Add and Remove Hostnames

The alternative hostnames of a multi-hostname certificate can be added and removed at will after the certificate is issued. The process to add or remove a name is to first edit the certificate with sslmate edit, and when you are happy with your modifications, to reissue it with sslmate reissue.

To add a name, run:

sslmate edit HOSTNAME --add-name NEWNAME

Replace HOSTNAME with the primary name of the certificate, and NEWNAME with the hostname you'd like to add.

To remove a name, run:

sslmate edit HOSTNAME --rm-name OLDNAME

Replace HOSTNAME with the primary name of the certificate, and OLDNAME with the hostname you'd like to remove.

To reissue the certificate after making your changes, run:

sslmate reissue --same-key HOSTNAME

Any names that were added since the last issuance will need to be approved. Existing names do not need to be re-approved as long as you preserve the existing private key by passing the --same-key option. If there has been a net increase in hostnames since the last issuance, your account will be charged for the new names.

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