Web Analytics

What is the Common Name?

Before you can enroll for an SSL Server Certificate, you must generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) from your web server software. During the creation of the CSR, the following fields must be entered: Organization (O), Organizational Unit (OU), Country (C), State (S), Locality (L), and Common Name (CN). The Common Name field is often misunderstood and filled out incorrectly.

Need a certificate? SSL.com has you covered. Compare options here to find the right choice for you, from S/MIME and code signing certificates and more.


The Common Name is typically composed of Host + Domain Name and will look like www.yoursite.com or yoursite.com. SSL Server Certificates are specific to the Common Name that they have been issued to at the Host level.

The Common Name must be the same as the Web address you will be accessing when connecting to a secure site. For example, an SSL Server Certificate for the domain domain.com will receive a browser warning if accessing a site named www.domain.com or secure.domain.com, as www.domain.com and secure.domain.com are different from domain.com. You would need to create a CSR for the correct Common Name.

Note: For examples of browser error messages resulting from an incorrect common name, please see this article.

By default all Basic, Wildcard and Enterprise EV certificates ordered from SSL.com will automatically add www. to any domain name registered. You can thus secure www.domain.com when filling out the Common Name field automatically – just enter your own domain.com and your certificate will automatically cover domain.com AND www.domain.com.

When a Certificate will be used on an Intranet (or internal network), the Common Name may be one word, and it can also be the name of the server.

Thank you for choosing SSL.com! If you have any questions, please contact us by email at Support@SSL.com, call 1-877-SSL-SECURE, or just click the chat link at the bottom right of this page. You can also find answers to many common support questions in our knowledgebase.

Subscribe to SSL.com’s Newsletter

Don’t miss new articles and updates from SSL.com

Stay Informed and Secure

SSL.com is a global leader in cybersecurity, PKI and digital certificates. Sign up to receive the latest industry news, tips, and product announcements from SSL.com and stay informed of the latest changes about digital identity and encryption that can impact and enhance your life.

We’d love your feedback

Take our survey and let us know your thoughts on your recent purchase.