Are you confused about which domain name extension to pick – .com or .net?
Choosing the right domain name and extension is critical to the success of your site. It could possibly impact your SEO rankings and brand identity.
In this guide, we’ll break down the differences between .com vs .net extensions so that you can choose the right one.
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- What is a Domain Name Extension
- Key Difference Between .Com vs .Net
- Pros and Cons of .Com Domain Names
- Pros and Cons of .Net Domain Names
- Who Should Use .Com Domain?
- Who Should Use .Net Domain?
- Should I Buy Both – the .net and .com Extensions?
- How to Buy a .Com or .Net Domain?
What is a Domain Name Extension
A domain name extension is the letters that follow the dot after your domain name. For instance, in our website address nameboy.com, .com is the extension of the domain name.
Domain extensions are sometimes referred to as TLDs (Top Level Domains). And there are different kinds of TLDs like generic, sponsored, and country-code. We’ve covered this in-depth in our guide: What Is a Top Level Domain? (TLDs Explained + Popular Extensions).
Here, we’ll discuss the most popular domains – .com and .net.
Key Difference Between .Com vs .Net
The main difference between .net and .com TLD is the type of website you want to create with the domain. These types of domain extensions work for a number of businesses.
The .Com Extension
.com stands from ‘dot commercial’. This is THE MOST POPULAR domain name extension in the world. It’s highly sought after and most website owners prefer to get the .com.
Originally, the .com domain extension was meant for commercial websites. This meant business websites that want to make money online including online stores and blogs. But it’s become so familiar that it’s used by just about everyone including portfolio and personal websites.
It’s easy for most people to remember a .com domain. They also tend to trust .com domains more. So this is a big plus for commercial businesses especially where a customer’s confidence is of utmost importance.
The .Net Extension
.net stands for ‘dot network’ and was meant for networking websites or organizations that used networking technology. This could be Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other infrastructure companies.
Now, .net domains are used for almost every kind of business and website. In fact, it’s one of the most popular generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
There are approximately 13 million registered .net domain names, and .net remains the second most popular top-level domain after .com.
Pros and Cons of .Com Domain Names
If you choose a .com domain, you’ll benefit from the following:
- .com website makes you look professional
- It’s easily recognizable and memorable
- It suits any website purpose including businesses, eCommerce, blogs, and more
- Users automatically have more trust in .com domains
- .com is auto added on mobile, there’s even a dedicated .com button on keyboards now
While there’s so many pros, there are roadblocks to .com domains though. One, in most cases, registering a .com domain costs more than the .net version. Two, .com domain names are so popular that it feels like all the good ones are already taken.
Pros and Cons of .Net Domain Names
With a .net domain, you’ll likely benefit from the following:
- A .net domain extension is sometimes much cheaper than its .com counterpart.
- From an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, Google does not favor .com in all circumstances. They will rank your website on SERPs (search engine results pages) if your content is relevant to the user’s search query.
- As for trust factor, .net is widely used now and is popular enough to be trusted and remembered.
The downside here is that if the .com version of your domain name is taken, users could mistakenly visit example.com instead of example.net. So you stand to lose traffic.
For this reason, many site owners buy both the .com and .net versions of the domain name. Or startups and small businesses may choose the more affordable .net version first and then buy the .com as well.
They then redirect one of the domain URLs to the main site to ensure all traffic comes to the right property.
We recommend choosing a .net website only if it makes sense to your brand and the type of business you intend on running.
Who Should Use .Com Domain?
.com domains should ideally be used by businesses for commercial purposes but there are no restrictions on who can use them, so anyone can register and build a website using a .com domain.
Who Should Use .Net Domain?
While .com is the most preferred domain extension, .net is the second most popular.
It works best for companies that offer internet services, networking services, database hosting, email hosting, or similar services.
It also is a good option for community sites. For instance, Behance.net is a popular online design community for artists and designers to network. Companies looking for talent can join the platform to easily connect with members.
Should I Buy Both – the .net and .com Extensions?
Many brands who already own a .com will still claim a .net too in order to protect their online presence.
They do this so that no one else buys the name as it can confuse users, infringe on their copyrights and trademarks, and so on.
So while they may not use the .net extension, they’ll set up a redirect to the main .com site.
Some businesses also get started with .net initially as the .com is too expensive or simply unavailable. They make the switch later and retain the .net domain for legal and technical reasons.
Whichever domain extension you choose, we’ll show you a quick and easy way to register it in your name right away.
How to Buy a .Com or .Net Domain?
Below we’ll guide you through 2 easy steps to register your .net or .com domain in your name.
Step 1: Search for the Domain
Head over to Nameboy’s Domain Name Generator to search for your domain name.
Simply enter your keywords into the search bar and hit ‘Submit’.
The tool will run an AI-based algorithm to find the most suitable domain name ideas for your keyword. It checks domain availability as well with Bluehost and Domain.com.
It takes a couple of seconds and you’ll see a list of available domain names along with the different extensions you can get.
Once you select the domain name you want, you can choose to register it with 2 domain name registrars:
- Bluehost: The best web hosting company that is even officially recommended by WordPress. If you choose to host your website with Bluehost, plans start at just $2.75 per month and you can secure a .com domain name for free for the first year. They also offer free SSL and free CDN.
- Domain.com: Domain.com is one of the oldest and best domain registrars and hosting providers. Register your domain name with Domain.com and get a 25% discount.
For this tutorial, we’ll show you how to check out with Bluehost.
Step 2: Check out with Bluehost
Simply click on the button that reads “Get a Free Domain Name with Bluehost”.
This will take you to Bluehost with the special offer auto applied. The offer contains:
-A web hosting plan at $2.75 per month
-Free domain registration for the 1st year
-Free email accounts
-1 click WordPress website install
Click on the Get Started Now button and follow the onscreen instructions to claim your domain name.
On the next page, select the plan that fits your needs. You get 3 options here – Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.
Then, you need to Create a New Domain. Enter the domain name you want and select the extension from the drop down menu.
Now you’ll see that your domain name is available as Nameboy promised! You simply need to enter your information to create a new Bluehost account.
Scroll down to review your package details. You’ll see addons that are available with Bluehost. You can uncheck all of them at this point. You can always buy them later if you need them.
When you scroll to the bottom, you can enter your payment information and submit the form.
The domain will be registered in your name and you’ll have a brand new Bluehost account. You can access your dashboard and start setting up your website right away.
1. Does .net or .com matter?
Yes. The right TLD can tell your users what your business is about. It can enhance your branding as well. Both TLDs are popular, but .com is preferred more over .net.
2. Should I get a .com or .net domain?
This depends on 3 things: the type of business you’re running, whether the .com is even available, and your budget.
There are cases where a .net extension is more suitable and can favor the brand. It may also be more affordable than the .com version of the business name.
3. Is .net a good domain?
Yes, .net is widely used and is recognized all around the world.
4. Is .net good for business?
The .net domain extension is good for businesses that offer internet services, networking, database hosting, email hosting, or similar services. It also works well for online communities and forum type of websites.
5. Is .com better than .net for SEO?
Domain extensions do not affect your SEO. They can influence what your audience thinks your website is about. So for example, it can have an effect on your rankings if you’re running a commercial site and you’ve selected a .org domain that’s meant for non-profit businesses.
6. Is .com still the best?
.com is the more popular choice for a majority of commercial entities.
7. Why is .com so popular?
.com is one of the oldest TLDs launched back in the 1990s. Over 40% of all registered domain names are .com domains . It’s been around so long that it’s become much easier for people to remember a .com domain name than any other domain extension. It’s familiar and reassuring, plus it makes your site look professional.
8. What are the top 5 TLDs (top-level domains)?
The 5 top level domains are:
9. Do .com domains rank higher?
Not necessarily. The domain extension generally isn’t considered a Google ranking factor so it does not affect search engine rankings. You need to follow SEO best practices. You should also write good content that is relevant to your business and that your audience will find valuable. This will help you rank high on search engine results.
10. Should I use .net if .com is taken?
If the .com domain is being used by a popular company, chances are you’ll run into multiple issues by taking the .net version. First, if they trademarked their domain name, you’ll be sent a notice for copyright infringement. Next, users could mistakenly visit example.com instead of example.net. It could confuse users and you stand to lose traffic.
So it isn’t advisable to get any other extension if the .com is in use unless you’re absolutely confident you can make it work.
11. What is TLD in SEO?
The domain extension, commonly referred to as the Top-Level Domain (TLD), is usually not considered in search engine rankings.
However, in the area of Local SEO, having a specific country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) can make a difference. If you’re located in New York and catering only to New York, then having a .ny extension makes sense. It indicates to search engines which country or location your content is targeted at.
You could also choose .edu for educational institutions, .org for non-profit organizations, and .gov for government sites.
That’s all we have for you today. We hope you found this comparison of .net vs .com helpful in choosing the right domain name extension.
Up next, you’ll want to read our resources:
- Should You Register an XYZ Domain (Are They Worth It?)
- How to Find & Buy Expired Domains (2 Best Ways)
- How Much Does a Domain Name Cost? (Pricing Breakdown)
These posts will help you further in your quest for the right domain name.