Website addresses are comprised of two primary components: a domain name and a domain name extension. While almost everyone knows and is familiar with domain names, not many people are familiar with domain extensions. There are thousands of different domain name extensions that you can have for your website, but some are more popular than others. When registering a domain and choosing a hosting plan, you are going to have to choose a domain name extension that works for your website. Popular domain name extensions for top-level domains include:
Out of these, .com and .net extensions are most commonly used by individuals and businesses who work or interact with general online audiences. Furthermore, end-users use .com as their default extension when they are unsure of their desired domain’s extension, as do businesses and brands that want to build a general-purpose online platform.
With this in mind, if the more desirable .com domain extension is available on the domain name registrar for your name of choice, why should you buy a .net domain?
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Domain Extension
Although both the .net and .com extensions are very popular, there are various factors to consider before choosing between them. Regardless of what you intend to use your website for, your domain extension will play a crucial role in the minds of your visitors and will affect your website’s search engine ranking.
It’s essential to consider these three factors to help decide whether you should go for the .net or .com extension:
What You Aim to Achieve with Your Website
The primary purpose of your website is a key determinant of the extension you should choose. Are you selling a product or service? Are you providing a specific type of information? Are you running a charitable organization? Whatever it is that you do, there is a domain extension for it.
- .net stands for “network.” Umbrella sites, or websites that accommodate several smaller sites, usually use it. For example, service providers, such as the likes of internet service providers (ISPs), email services, and more, would use .net.
- .com stands for “commercial” and is used by a wide range of businesses. The .com extension can be used by product sellers, bloggers, service companies, brands, and more. Virtually anyone can use this extension with the domain name of their choosing, regardless of what that they do.
For businesses, if the .com extension is not available, .net can serve as an alternative.
Is Your Business Name Common?
Another factor to consider is the popularity of your business name. If your business name is popular, then it is very likely that the .com extension for your desired business name is unavailable. If that is the case, then .net would be an excellent alternative for you.
Last year, over 46% of websites used the .com extension, while only 3.7% used the .net extension. It might be easier for you to register a domain with the .net extension because it is more likely that someone already registered your name with the .com extension.
However, we recommend that you check the availability of different domain names and extensions before making a decision. Taking the time to plan your website strategy ahead of time will save you a lot of time and energy when you start developing your site and building your brand.
Easy to Remember
The last factor you should consider is how easy it is to remember your domain name. Sites with the .com extension are easier to remember than others, and it is the default extension for most users who don’t remember a website’s extension. Also, many browsers use the .com extension when auto-completing website URLs, so if the .com extension is available for your website, then you should give it preference over a .net extension.
Reasons to Buy a .net Domain
There are several reasons you might want to purchase a .net domain name:
Many experts recommend purchasing the .net extension for your website in addition to the .com extension. This will protect you from competitors who might try to use your website’s name with a .net extension to either commit fraud or to pass themselves off as your website. Also, buying the .net extension of your existing domain name gives you the option to expand your brand in the future.
Higher SEO Ranking
When registering a domain alongside your web hosting, it’s wise to go for something that reflects your website but is also memorable. Fewer websites use the .net extension compared to other top-level domains like the .com extension, so using one for your website might help to boost its SEO ranking on search engine results pages. A higher search ranking will help drive traffic to your website, and a .net domain extension to your domain name can help you do that.
Promote a Positive Image
The general feeling around .net websites is that they have a community around them. In this way, .net websites benefit from better-perceived credibility and better overall brand image when it comes to conveying a sense of community and belonging to your website’s customers and visitors.
The .net domain extension is less popular than the .com extension in the domain registrar. However, it comes with numerous benefits, and it might be a good idea to register the .net domain of your website or to make .net your choice domain. Having a .net domain alongside a .com extension can help you expand your business into different niches over time. It also enables you to protect your brand identity against fraud and prevents other companies from opening an identical company with your name, which is a common issue with popular websites.
Lastly, .net domain websites are often perceived as a community, a fact that helps businesses create a positive image for their brand. In short, a .net extension can help you create a website that is unique, memorable, and good for your brand.