[thelist] Subdomains, Wildcard SSL and Proxy servers

David Kaufman david at gigawatt.com
Thu Sep 2 20:03:05 CDT 2004

From: "Doug Patchin" <DPatchin at NORWOOD.COM>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 07:04 p
Subject: [thelist] Subdomains, Wildcard SSL and Proxy servers

> Questions about a project
> Can I have multiple subdomains (*.mycompany.com) on a single SSL
> Certificate. I assume I can use a wildcard SSL Certificate. Is this

yes.  but wildcard certs are significantly more expensive than the more
common single-host certificates that most sites use, even if you go with
one of the low cost certificate providers like http://instantssl.com
(see the pricing info in large print right there on the top of the

> Is there a way for me to assign a subdomain such as ABC.mycompany.com
> have it point/redirect to a specific URL such as
> https://www.mycompany.com/something/somethingmore
> <https://www.mycompany.com/something/somethingmore>  ?

that depends of your webserver software and, in the likely case that you
use a hosting company rather than run your own server, their pricing
structure.  you see, like the certificate providers, hosting company's
tend to restrict what you can do with their servers.  and normally they
set their servers up such that customers are prevented from creating an
unlimited number of websites (for resale) without paying them something
for each site ( which they define as a hostname or virtual domain).

there's no real technical reason you can't do that, but you paying the
hosting company $10 or $20 a month (or less), and being able to setup a
zillion sites for your customers without paying *something* extra to
them, per site, per month, just kinda flies in the face of their
business model.

that said, you *can* use wildcard DNS and wildcard certificates to do
exactly what you describe, with an Apache webserver.  you will need root
access to the (presumably dedicated) server to make the necessary
httpd.conf configuration changes.  i've done something similar with
mod_perl before (and wildcard dns, but not a wildcard ssl cert) so that
anything.domain.com was served dynamically from the
/path/domain.com/anything/ directory, if such a directory existed.

> Wouldn't a proxy server take care of this for me?

you don't need a proxy server to do it.  just apache, the ability to
install any non-stock apache modules you might need, like mod_perl, and
a good working knowledge of apache configuration-fu -- or a consultant
with a black belt in apache-fu :-)

> Will this work with weblogic?

beats me.  don't touch the stuff, myself.


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