.net vs .com

If you want to create a great website, you need a domain for that final professional look. This process entails that you must pick between two major extensions: .net vs. com.

In any website design and hosting platform, you’re typically asked to choose your domain name. This typically includes your name, brand, or store. You must also choose a domain name extension that works as an indicator as to what kind and for what purpose a website is. The three major domain extensions are listed below.

  • website.com
  • website.net
  • website.org

These extensions are also known as top-level domains. Think of it as a category tag that can declare a website’s type, location, or business model. This isn’t to say that people haven’t chosen certain domain extensions simply because it rolls off the tongue better (some people have), but here’s a quick guide on the most popular two - .net vs .com.

What is .com?

To best compare .net vs.com, we must first define what is .com. As one of the most recognizable and popular domain extensions, .com websites typically offer a product or service. The “com” is shorthand for “Commercial”, but the extension hasn’t limited itself to strictly commercial businesses like online stores. For-profit companies, personal and non-personal blogs, and even event websites have utilized “.com” because of how synonymous it is to going online.

What is .net?

In a comparison of com vs net, we must also dive into the specifics of the net domain. The second most popular domain extension .net extension derives its name from “network” and is usually used by umbrella companies or groups that can act as a portal to smaller, inter-connected websites.

The net domain name has also been used as an alternative to “.com” when a domain name has already been claimed with a .com extension.

What is .org?

Other than .net or .com, you can also use the extension .org. This stands for “organization” and is typically used by nonprofits like charities, NGOs, crowd-funding initiatives, and the like.

This is as credible as .net vs .com as one of the original domains established in 1985, but the restrictions over this extension to be used by nonprofits has been removed in 2019. For-profit businesses are now legally allowed to use this domain extension, but the public still associates “.org” as an indicator for nonprofit websites.

Other Domain Extensions to Consider Besides .net vs .com

If your brand isn’t a business - in which both .net vs .com doesn’t work, here’s a couple of alternatives that may work better for you:

1. .edu

Shorthand for education, these sites are used by schools, universities, and other higher education institutions that want to establish a presence of authority. These education websites typically include information that markets their programs and enrichment opportunities for students and faculty but also work as a kind of academic network for visiting professors and delegations.

2. .gov

This extension is required by sites that are associated and managed by the many departments and branches of a country’s sovereignty. The U.S. government typically uses the simplified “.gov”, but the rest of the world may also use the same or a tweaked version of this extension to include geographical markers (e.g., European sites may have “.gov.eu” or simply “.eu”).

In these matters, comparing .net vs .com won’t be necessary as government-based websites must use the .gov extension. .net or .com extension is more fitting for private websites.

3. .blog

A self-explanatory extension, “.blog” may be an option for the client who simply wants a website to house personal long-form content. This is commonly chosen by individuals who want to establish themselves as an authority in a given blog niche or prefer a digital journal that they can make public or private as desired.

Face-off: .net vs .com

net domain

For the professionals who want to maximize their reach and ground themselves as a credible authority, you may need to choose between the tried and true .net vs .com. This is especially true if you’re running blog websites with heavy content and you need to find a domain name for your blog site. Here are a few important pointers to consider when choosing between .net or.com:

1. Function

You know your brand better than anyone, and you may already know your choice between .net vs .com. But for those who are still on the fence, keep in mind that distinction between a “network” or a “commercial” site.

If you’re looking to provide a networking platform, creating a forum, or an internet-based service, a .net is recommended. But if you’re looking to make money through a personal blog or an eCommerce website, you’ll need a .com domain to fully establish yourself.

2. Popularity vs Recognition

This a long-standing pointer of the decision between choosing .net vs .com. Since “.com” is ubiquitous on the internet. It is the most commonly used extension and, therefore, harder to make unique without compromise. And in making a site, you need a brand image that stands out from the rest of the competition.

How do you make YourName.com stand out? Not to mention, because of its popularity, a “.com” can be cheaper or incredibly expensive if you’re looking to capture YourBrand.com from an already existing entity.

Still, .net is a perfectly usable alternative for unavailable website domains, but there’s an added burden of ensuring that your audience and potential customers don’t accidentally go to the wrong webpage - which brings us to:

3. Brand and UI Design Impacts

Users who have had to use “.net” due to an already existing YourName.com have had to go the extra mile to fully include the phrase and visualization “dot-net” into their core branding.

A core concern remains to be how “.net” extensions can impact mobile browsing’s UI (user’s interface) design. There’s a rising trend in mobile keyboard designs that include a dedicated button to a “.com” as a default.

While this could be a minor inconvenience, users will have to manually type for .net domains when they search, and can become time-consuming for a regular consumer. This tiny detail can have a significant impact on the success of your site.

Whichever the case, learning more about how to stay competitive in the mobile age is an edge you need no matter extension. But knowing the difference between .net vs .com can tremendously help your website and domain or subdomain name.

A bonus pointer for the marketing language-conscious user on deciding between .net vs .com, you may also have to consider:

4. Semantics

There is a vast majority of the world’s population today that has grown into and with the internet and with it, the birth of new meanings informed by events and personal experience. These defined the major differences in .net vs .com and how they are used in each website.

While factually, “.net” is only second in popularity to “.com”, users might subconsciously associate “.net” as simply less than a “.com” website. This is also a marketing challenge for those who already have an existing business model. They may also need to set themselves apart from an existing same-name brand that already owns a “.com”

These are only a handful of the points of consideration between .net vs .com. But if your website does not fit into any of what is .net or what is .com, you may have a better fit into other extensions. Remember to use a domain extension that increases brand credibility and recognition. Don’t forget that your domain must also maintain your brand identity.

In the end, the choice between .net vs .com is a matter of practicality - is your brand at its best as a network or a commercial entity? Will your website be easy to find or get lost on the world wide web? You can learn more about how to get a website domain that drives traffic here.

Buying a Domain Name

Now that you’ve seen a comparison of .net vs .com, you can now learn how to buy a domain name from Strikingly. This can help you decide if you want to go for a .net extension or opt for another domain.

Depending on the type of website you’ll run, you can choose between .com or .net or even use .org if you’re running an organization. Here’s a guide on how to buy domains from Strikingly:

1. Change Your Site’s Name

site name

Image taken from Strikingly product

After mulling over .net vs .com, you must first give your website a unique name. Make sure that it’s easy to search by a regular user. Also, be aware of your spelling to avoid any future nuisances. Make sure that you’re well guided by your brand name to create a website name the people and potential customers can remember.

2. Connect a Custom Domain or Register a New Domain

custom domain

Image taken from Strikingly product

You have the option to connect an existing domain, whether it’s .net or .com. If you don’t have a domain name yet, you can opt to buy one from Strikingly. Getting your domain name from Strikingly allows you to get a domain that’s unique and accessible. Make sure to know the difference between com vs net to find which one is better for your website. Read on to find out how to buy your domain and how much it will cost you.

3. Search for Available Domain Names

.net extension

Image taken from Strikingly product

As you can see in the image above, you can choose between .net vs .com. You can also select .org if you’re running an organization website. If the domain name you’ve chosen is available, you can register that domain. Buying a domain only costs $24.95 every year. The best part is, your first year of getting a domain is for free.

4. Register New Domain

 register domain name

Image taken from Strikingly product

To secure your chosen domain, you must complete the form displayed in the image above. After you’ve provided all the necessary details, you can now use your domain. Make sure that you’ve read a comparison of .net vs .com to determine which one is best for you.

Knowing the specifics of .net vs .com can help you select the right domain extension for your website. With Strikingly, you can enjoy affordable domain registration that allows you to run your website smoothly. Unleash the power of domain extensions in making your site more visible. Create your Strikingly account today and register your domain for your website.