For most sites, a .com domain name will be the best fit. It’s the most recognized and well-known URL extension, and most people have learned to assume that a .com extension follows a business’s website. People might even be able to find you without googling you this way.
But what are the other types of domain names? What is a .com extension in the first place? In this article, we’ll talk a little about what makes each extension unique and hopefully help you decide which one you want to use.
What Is a .com Domain Name, Exactly?
The .com web extension is the most popular form of web extension by a large margin. Businesses and blogs mainly use it because it is the most recognizable form of web extension in the modern era.
The extension, which means .commercial, was originally intended to be used for commercial purposes online, but has come to be a shorthand for ‘the website’- for example- Dill’s Picke’s is the business, dillspickles.com is the website- and so on.
While there are no specific algorithmic advantages to having a .com extension- meaning no one web domain fares better in google search results than any other- it’s useful to have a more recognizable, modern domain extension over something more dated, like .net or .org.
So, to sum up, having a .com user name just makes your brand more recognizable and your website more memorable and accessible. There are advantages, but they’re not as evident as one might think.
A .net extension has no distinct differences from a .com extension. However, if a website domain name you want is taken, you can fill in ‘.net’ for ‘.com’ in the hopes that the .net version of your domain name won’t be taken.
The internet, you may not be surprised to learn, is very oversaturated with websites these days. Popular domain names for products and businesses- for example, [name]’s[product].com, are usually taken up by another user and have been held for years. Likely, businesses will not be willing to part with these domains, except for a large fee.
A .net extension is such a great tool in that it helps business owners skip over this issue and get the domain name they need. While dillspickles.com may have been swiped out from under you by another enterprising website owner, dillspickles.net may just be available.
That’s not to say that dillspickles.net will be just as recognizable as dillspickles.com, but you get the picture. If there’s a domain you’re just positively wedded to, and you can’t shake the disappointment at having to give it up, replacing that .com with a .net can get you what you want without having to pay the price.
What Is a .org Domain Name?
A .org domain name is usually used for organizations and is short for, unsurprisingly, dot orginization. Frequently, charities or public organizations, like radio stations or government agencies, will take up these domain names.
What this effectively means, though, is that there are a lot of openings for businesses on .org extensions. While these extensions are commonly used for organizations, .org domain names are for anyone to register and use. Just because you’re not a public organization doesn’t mean you can’t use a .org extension.
Keep in mind the implications of extensions, though. Just like how we said .com extensions are most commonly used for businesses and products, and .com is associated with those venues- .org extensions are most commonly associated with public sites, government agencies, and frequently, educational programs- not a good look if you’re trying to put out something fun and interesting like a blog.
So, if you really want that domain name, just like with.net extensions, you could probably risk it. But it’s sometimes harder to push websites with .org extensions because of the connotations that come along with them.
Are There Other Domain Name Extensions?
In the world of domain name extensions, there’s an infinite number of possibilities. If a .com website for your brand or business already exists, you could go the alternative route and try anything from .co to .xyz. Just keep in mind that it’s not quite so simple as just starting up a website and flying off to the land of clicks and profits.
For one, alternative domain names like .co or .xyz can often seem a little bit sketchy. They’re sometimes associated with scammers and other untrustworthy sites which prey on people’s data and personal information.
Because of these associations, it’s often much, much harder to push a domain name under an alternative or custom extension. People have a lot of biases about extensions going in, even though such a trivial detail might not seem so important. When you’re building your website, make sure to take into account how the domain extension on your domain name affects visitors psychologically.
Lastly, alternative domain extensions are a lot less memorable and nearly impossible to guess. Unless you’ve got something like .edu, you’re likely not to get random visitors to your website. To push an alternative extension, you need lots of internet clout.
So, Which Domain Name Extension Should I Use?
In the end, it all depends on your preferences and the ability you have to promote your domain name.
If you’re driven by aesthetics and don’t want to choose a sub-par domain name- say, without your product or business name in it- then you will likely have to resort to a lesser-used extension- like .net, .org, or any of the infinite alternative extensions.
We would recommend you go with .com if you can- just because of the familiarity audiences have with it- but it’s not guaranteed to get you any more clicks than .net or .org.