A premium and business-specific domain name is prime online real estate. Whether the purpose of buying a domain is to sell it at premium price or establish a high value website, a decision needs to be taken regarding its extension: .com or something else and today we’re going to present a comparison between .com vs .net.
Domain Extensions: A Brief History
During the early years of the web, computer researchers used one network for communication and research. This network would later evolve into the Internet we know and use today.
Unfortunately, as more and more people started using the Internet, organizing data became a challenge. Jon Postel and his research team at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute stepped in to help organize the web, setting the stage for the birth of the .com domain extension.
What are Domain Extensions?
All website names are powered by a registry operator. The registry operator can use different suffixes such as .com, .net, .org and so on. These are called domain extensions.
Domain extensions are identifying texts that appear as a part of your website’s address. Depending on the type of domain extension you used, it works to specify a website’s internet category or country code. For instance, domains ending in .com are often used for commercial websites while domains ending in .edu represent educational institutions’ web pages.
Your choice of domain extension helps identify your brand, enhance your online presence, and boost your marketing campaign. There are hundreds of domain extensions to choose from but the most popular ones are .com vs .net. These top level domain extensions are often used in business, but they can be used for personal websites too. So what are the differences between these popular domain extensions and which one is the right choice for you?
.com vs .net – A Detailed Comparison
Let’s find out:
.com: An Overview
The .com domain extension was created in 1985, around the same time the internet hit the mainstream. Initially, this domain extension was created for commercial purposes. Essentially, the .com stands for “commercial”.
Because the .com domain extension identified business websites during that era, entrepreneurs began embracing this domain extension. Eventually, the .com presence and familiarity spread, establishing its reputation as an industry standard.
Benefits of the .com Domain Extension
The .com domain extension is hands down the most widely used domain extension on the internet. It is the most recognizable of all the domain extensions. In fact, you are more likely to think of a website that ends with a .com than a .net or .org. That’s because .com is the industry standard for domain names.
#2 Building a Brand Online
The .com domain extension shines in brand building. It is much easier to build a brand using a .com domain extension because users are already familiar with it. A .com website registers to a user’s memory better than .org or .gov extension. As such, the .com domain extension works better in online and offline marketing.
#3 Stronger Online Presence
You are more likely to establish a stronger online presence with a .com website name because these domains rank better than most other domain extensions. As your target audience becomes more familiar with your .com domain, the faster and easier it is for your website to rank online.
The Drawbacks of the .com Domain Extension
#1 Availability and Price
It is hard to come up with an excellent website name that represents your brand because that name is most likely taken in the .com category. And if you are committed to scoring a specific name and it’s already taken, you are bound to pay more to secure a domain name that ends in .com.
The .com domain extension is primarily used for commercial purposes. You cannot use the .com extension for any website because the brand will not fit the domain name. This affects website ranking as well. For example, it is better to use a .us or a .uk domain extension than a .com if you are targeting the US or the UK markets specifically.
.net: An Overview
Now that you know more about the most popular domain extension on the net, it’s time to get to know the second most used domain extension there is: .net.
The .net was born around the same time that .com was created. While the .com domain extension was reserved for commercial use, the .net was made specifically for business purposes. As the name suggests, .net stands for “network” and it was originally intended for companies that offer internet services.
Unfortunately, .net was not as successful as the .com name because more people preferred the latter as a part of their domain name. Sure, multinational companies adopted the .net domain extension right away but consumers were more familiar with the .com name. As such, .net was relegated as second most preferred domain extension.
Benefits of the .net Domain Extension
Most people believe that a .com site ranks better than a .net site but this is not true at all. Your .net website will rank just as quickly and easily as its .com counterpart. The fact is that search engines like Google focus more on the relevance of your domain name rather than the domain extension.
As long as your domain name represents your brand, your .net website will perform well online. Of course, it will take more time building an online presence with a .net domain extension but this will not be an issue if you are developing a large business with lots of excellent content.
If you are building a website for business purposes, then you are more likely to get better results with a .net domain extension because it fits your brand. This works especially if you are building a service-based website.
#3 Availability and Price
Because the .net domain extension is not as widely used as .com, you have better chances of securing a domain name that you really like. Also, that .net domain name will be much cheaper than its .com counterpart.
The Drawbacks of the .net Domain Extension
Most users are familiar with a .com domain extension and this may affect your business, at least as far as direct traffic goes. A user may mistakenly type in a .com instead of a .net suffix when looking for your website. That’s because the brain is used to typing in the .com suffix before typing in the .net domain extension when searching online.
#2 Not Ideal for Niche Sites
This domain extension is not ideal if you are developing small niche sites. Why? Niche sites need to rank better than commercial websites. If you are after better ranking, it will take more time to see results with .net websites because you have to build more incoming links. Unless you are building a website for a large business with great content, a .net domain extension is not ideal for your niche-oriented marketing campaigns.
In the .com vs .net comparison, both the domain name extensions are valuable. Choosing a .net or any other extension apart from .com is as valuable to your purpose as a .com is. Moreover, sources say that .com domains are running out of availability. Hence, between .com vs .net and other extensions, choose wisely.