There are several extension options to accompany a domain name. Your website domain can affect how people view your business. You want the domain to look official and professional. So .net vs. .com—which is better?
Choosing a Domain Name: .net vs .com
A website domain is the face of your website and brand. It is a way for someone to find your website or a specific page on your website. The domain name and extension are two important components of a website. These components make up the “address” for your website.
A second-level domain (SLD) signals the name of your brand. The domain specifies the entity your website represents. A top-level domain (TLD) follows the “dot.”
For example, in www.seodesignchicago.com, the name seodesignchicago is a second-level domain. The extension .com is a top-level domain.
There are three different types of domain extensions: generic, sponsored, and country code.
A generic domain extension is the most widely used by businesses. These extensions can be purchased or possibly found for free. The most popular extensions are .com, .net, and .org.
A sponsored domain extension can only be used by organizations that meet specific requirements. Some examples are .edu, which is used for educational institutions, and the .gov extension, which can only be used by U.S. government entities.
A country-code extension is a two-letter extension signifying an organization’s location. Some examples are .us (United States), .uk (United Kingdom), and .de (Germany).
Purchasing a Domain Name
There are many things to consider when purchasing a domain name.
When you choose .net or .com, you need a reliable domain registrar. The registrar should be accredited with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). They are a non-profit organization that coordinates all of the numerical spaces on the internet.
Some of the leading domain companies are:
Domain.com is best for its simplicity and quality of service.
BlueHost is a great platform to get a free domain and web hosting in one go.
Porkbun is a platform in which you can take advantage of finding domains other than a .com extension. Here you can search keywords and Porkbun will generate new and trending domain extensions from which to choose.
Network Solutions is a registrar where you can secure your domain name for one to one hundred years.
GoDaddy is the best registrar for protecting your personal data. It is cheap and easy to use.
Namecheap is the best registrar for a tight budget. They offer great domain names at affordable prices.
NameSilo is an easy way to buy domains in bulk and is the second-fastest-growing domain registrar in the world.
Use a domain availability checker tool to ensure your domain is available. The registrars listed above all offer a domain availability checker tool.
Domain Registration and Verification
Choose the best domain name option. Then, purchase your domain name and complete its registration. Finally, verify ownership of your new domain.
What Does .com Mean?
A computer manufacturer first implemented .com in 1985. It was introduced as one of the first top-level domains (TLD). It was used by computer scientists and universities who utilized the internet for communication and research. As more institutions started using the network and electronic communication became more challenging, it became clear that there needed to be some organization to the internet.
The .com extension stands for “commercial.” Initially, .com was intended for e-commerce websites. Examples of the original intent for commercial .com usages include business websites and websites looking to make money online, personal websites, blogs, and portfolios.
Today .com is the most common domain used by over half of all websites. Because .com is used so widely, the website extension may not be available if it is already in use by another entity.
Even though .com is the most popular extension, there are several ways you can cleverly choose a .com domain. Here are some tips for getting a great .com domain.
- Make sure your domain name represents your business and what you do.
- Add a word before or after to make your domain unique.
- Make sure your domain is easy to remember and pronounce.
- Avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain name.
- Use a domain generator to help you come up with a creative domain name.
What Is .net?
The .net extension stands for “network.” It was created in the 1980s. At the time, networking companies or web service businesses used this extension. The .net extension was first used for the internet, networking, and email service providers. Today, many companies use a .net extension. It is the second most popular TLD after .com. Many businesses opt for the .net extension when .com is already taken.
Under the right circumstances, there are a few reasons you would choose a .net extension. First, .net has been around long enough and is relatively easy for people to remember. Second, .net is authoritative and trusted by consumers.
.net vs .com: What’s the Difference?
As mentioned above, these two extensions had different purposes initially. .com and .net are the most common extensions. When choosing a domain name for your business be sure to check the .com extension first. If .com is already used, then you should try .net next.
There are some things to consider when choosing a website name and extension.
1. Consider the purpose of your website. Is it informational? Are you trying to sell something? What are you trying to accomplish and what is the heart of your website?
2. How common is your business name? Does your business include common words? If your business name contains common words, it is likely that someone is using the .com extension. Because .net is the next common extension, businesses may default to that extension. Before moving forward with a business name or idea, checking the availability of a website extension could be helpful.
3. Consider the memorability of a web address. Have you ever been searching for a business or service and typed in the wrong extension? Because the website was .net instead of .com, the search engine takes you to a completely different, or non-existent, website. Since .com is more popular, that’s usually what someone tries first. Also, you’ll notice that the .com extension is available on your cell phone’s keyboard, but other extensions are not.
4. Trying to stand out may sound like a good idea, but other businesses and customers may view it in a negative light and think it is unprofessional.
5. When choosing a domain name, don’t forget about SEO. How will your website rank on Google? Does your website include straightforward keywords? Can users easily find and recognize your website?
Whether you choose .net or .com, Google treats both extensions the same. The most important part of your web address is the domain name. You should make sure you also focus on SEO best practices.
Pros and Cons of .com
There are many pros and cons when choosing a .com or .net extension. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of a .com extension.
Pros of a .com Extension
.com is the first extension people think of when looking for a website and they will type .com as the first extension into their preferred browser. A .com extension is internationally recognized.
Cons of a .com Extension
Many URLs use the .com extension, so there is a greater chance someone already took it. Additionally, the .com extension will most likely be more expensive to own.
Pros and Cons of .net
Microsoft developed the .net framework. It makes application development easier for the developers. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of a .net extension.
Pros of a .net Extension
A .net website has higher productivity. It is most productive for developers because of its multi-language support, powerful Visual Studio Tools, expensive class libraries, and common APIs (application programming interface).
The .net extension ensures security through services in place to prevent critical issues. Upon discovering threats, Microsoft sends prompt updates. Businesses and developers often use .net. The community tests and trusts it as well.
.net is very versatile, enabling developers to use any type of application on any platform and to reuse skills and code across platforms.
Cons of a .net Extension
The .net extension can be expensive. Also, it can have speed issues and it is slower than native code. Additionally, a .net website can have memory leaks and memory issues. The extension has a garbage collector for these issues. However, engineers should invest in additional resource management.
Microsoft owns the .net extension. Therefore, future developments, as well as apps already created using .net, will depend on Microsoft’s decisions.
Choose the Best Domain: .net vs .com
Domain names and extensions are just one key part of your business, brand awareness, and marketing strategy. As part of your success, you always want to make it easy for consumers to find and respect your business. Choosing the right domain can help your business improve its online presence.
SEO Design Chicago can help you create an attractive website that converts visitors into customers. Check out our web development and design services today.
- Why is a domain name important?
- What is the best extension?
- Where can I find a good registrar?
- What are some differences between .com and .net?
- What are the pros and cons of website extensions?