What is my Common Name?

As part of generating an SSL certificate you will be asked for the common name. The common name is the domain name you wish to secure with your certificate.

If you are creating a single domain certificate, entering the common name is straightforward: it is the single domain you wish to secure. Don’t forget to include the subdomain if your single address includes a subdomain.


When you have a single-address certificate, if you create the CSR with the bare domain, such as “www.example.com”, the “www” subdomain is added automatically by the certificate authority. For example, “example.com” will secure both “example.com” and “www.example.com”. The reverse is also true; if you create the CSR with the “www” subdomain, the bare domain will be also secure. Just make sure to include a file for both if you validate by file.

If you are creating a certificate for several addresses you only need to include the primary domain you wish to secure. This is the only domain you will not be able to change. You will be able to add or modify other domains on your certificate in your Gandi interface after the completion of your order.


Unlike single address certificates, several address certificates do not also secure the “www” subdomain of a bare address you specify. You must declare each domain or subdomain you want to cover. In other words, if you have a several address certificate and secure the bare domains, they will not also secure the corresponding “www” subdomains.

If you are creating a full domain certificate, you must put in a “*” for the location of the subdomains you want to secure. For example, *.example.com will secure any subdomain that occurs right before the bare domain, such as blog.example.com, but will not include any subsequent subdomains, such as blog.store.example.com.


Full domain certificates also secure the raw domain in addition to any subdomains.