Choosing a domain extension for an online business (a WordPress site, for example) can be challenging if you don’t know the key differences between the primary domain extensions: .com, .net, and .org.
In this article, you’ll find all the critical differences between popular domain extensions, the best time to use them, and more.
Table of Contents
- What are Unrestricted Domain Extensions?
- Domain Extensions Types
- What are the Most Significant Differences Between .net, .com, and .org?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- A Final Summary
What are Unrestricted Domain Extensions?
Unrestricted domain extensions are domain extensions that are available for any member of the public to purchase.
The easiest way to find an unrestricted domain extension during domain registration is to type in your desired domain name into a domain name registrar; it will generate available unrestricted domain extensions for you (generic top-level domains).
You can keep track of all the domain extensions you claim and use with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
Domain Extensions Types
Before choosing a domain name on a domain registrar, you must understand the different domain types. Specifically, .com, .org and .net.
Here is an overview of the main domain extension types and the best time to use them.
When to use .com
Domain extension .com is the best choice if you need a domain name for a commercial business.
Additionally, using .com will make your business more brandable because .com possesses more authority and looks more professional than other domain extensions.
Also, .com is a popular choice for many businesses because it is recognizable and one of the most common domain extensions. When most people start to type in a domain name, they instinctively type in “.com,” so it makes sense to use it in a business domain name because it helps with memorability.
However, one thing to remember is that so many websites use .com, so unless you have an effective domain name, it can be challenging for people to find it on a search engine (focusing on SEO can help with this).
When to use .net
Similar to .com, .net is ideal for a commercial business. However, it is primarily helpful to use for network service providers.
It is an open-source platform for development and comes with features that make it ideal for network providers.
For example, you can access multiple languages on a .net domain (perfect for a United States company that wants international customers). So, .net can be helpful for any business that needs a sizeable international presence.
Websites with .net are also far easier to adapt to multiple different formats. For example, you can create effective sites for desktop and mobile and apps for mobile, smart TVs, and video game consoles.
If you want to use .net (or are pre-registering for it), keep in mind that it is pretty expensive.
When to use .org
A .org domain name signifies a non-commercial company like a non-profit charity organization.
Other businesses that typically use .org in the domain name registration period include:
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are non-profit companies that receive funding from the government.
- Open source projects are projects where the source code is accessible for any developer to modify.
- Educational platforms offer teaching resources like games, lessons, printable resources, and more. They may also provide training resources for teachers and other staff.
However, if you want to use .org for a profit organization, you can, but it may confuse your customer base because they would likely expect a .com domain name.
What are the Most Significant Differences Between .net, .com, and .org?
Although they all essentially fulfill the same purpose, the three primary domain names have relatively different applications.
For example, they all specialize in different types of businesses:
- .com is primarily for commercial businesses, but you can use it for almost any website. One of the most significant differences between .com and the other domain extensions is that it is far more recognizable. You may want to use it because many people find it extremely easy to remember.
- .net is primarily helpful for network service providers because you can access multiple languages and adapt to numerous formats like desktop and mobile sites and apps for mobile, smart TVs, and video game consoles. Additionally, .net can be helpful for any business that needs a sizeable international presence.
- .org domain name extensions are primarily for non-commercial companies like non-profit charity organizations, NGOs, open-source projects, or educational platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions
You do not receive massive benefits from using a specific domain name, but depending on your business type, you can obtain more minor benefits.
For example, you can benefit from having .com in your domain name if you have a profitable small business; this is because you will be easier to find. Conversely, If you use a different domain extension, your audience might be unable to find it.
It depends on the business you have. If you have a profit-focused business, you will likely want to use .com because it can offer more visibility and memorability for your business.
However, if you have a non-profit organization, you should use .org because users can quickly identify your site. You can still use either .com or .org if you have any business type.
It depends on the information you are looking for, but .org websites are usually the most reliable because they inform you that the website is for a registered organization. However, if you want government information, you should look for a website with .gov (.com is also reliable for most websites).
The domain extension you choose depends on your business type; if you have a free educational platform, for example, you should use .org as your domain extension because it informs your audience that you have a registered organization.
Registering a domain is as simple as checking for an available web address, choosing from Top Level Domains (TLDs) to find the perfect domain name for you, filling out the registration form, and paying for it.
You should choose from country code top-level domains if you have no interest in international business. For example, if you have a local business and only want a customer base in your nearby area (a small bakery, for example).
However, if you want an international business, choose a country code domain extension.
A Final Summary
The primary thing to remember is that you can choose to use any domain name extension; just because you have a specific type of business, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use .net (if you want to use it).
However, the commonly accepted rule is that each domain extension has its assigned role:
- .com is primarily for commercial businesses; it is recognizable and easy to remember.
- .net is primarily helpful for network service providers because you can access multiple languages and adapt to various formats like desktop and mobile sites.
- .org domain name extensions are primarily for non-commercial companies like non-profit charity organizations.
You can choose a domain extension based on your business type, but also keep in mind the price and visibility of the domain extension.