When it comes to setting up your website, the first thing you need to do is find a domain name. This is the first interaction that someone will have with your website, so the name of your page matters. The only real problem is that you have to settle on a domain extension. What should you know about choosing a .com vs .net domain name?
This is the guide you will want to read before selecting a domain name extension for your new page.
Let’s take a closer look.
Popularity of .com vs .net Domain Names
Popularity is one of the most important aspects of choosing a domain name. What do people think of or assume about your website’s address when they type it into the search bar? You should know how the various websites across the internet stack up on domain extensions.
By far, website owners will find that .com is the most prevalent domain extension out there. The number of these “commercial websites” is far greater than those of any other domain extension, including .net. They make up roughly 46 percent of all websites.
In comparison, the .net domain extension makes up just 2.8 percent of all websites.
This is an important thing to consider when you choose your domain name. Because .com is far more prevalent, this is what most people will assume for your site. It may be better to choose .com over any other extension simply because people expect it.
Be sure to see our full guide on how to choose a domain name here.
Choosing the right domain extension starts with understanding the intricacies of each one. A .com domain extension was originally intended for commercial websites and for-profit businesses. If you wanted to run an e-commerce store, the best thing you could do was select a .com domain name.
If you intend to make money from your website, a .com domain name extension is your best choice. People trust it, and this trust can do wonders for your business website.
It also allows you to have better branding. People won’t have to remember an out-of-the-norm domain name, so they are more likely to recall your business and URL. This is typically the preferred domain name for almost every business.
For more information on what domain extension should be used for niche websites, see our guide here.
What is .net Best For?
On the other hand, .net domains can be great for their unique purpose. A .net extension was originally designed to be used for tech companies and stands for “network.” If you run an email service or other networking technologies, these domain names are a great fit for you.
However, they have shifted in recent years and are a great runner-up to .com domain names.
While they are growing in popularity, they are still significantly less common than any .com website address. This means that it may be easier to score the exact domain name you want with this type of extension. If you don’t want to compromise on your domain names, consider switching from .com to .net.
When to Use .com Domain Names
Maybe you are on the fence before you select your free domain name (or pay for one, depending on your hosting provider). Here are a few things to think about when you might want to choose a .com domain name extension.
Professional Websites and Online Business Websites
Search engine optimization is crucial for any type of business. How will people find your business page or even your personal website? Commercial businesses are better off selecting a .com domain name if they want people to find them.
As far as a top-level domain (TLD) is concerned, .com tends to be more trustworthy, which signals to the search engines that your site is what people are ultimately looking for. Because of its prominent usage in domain names, trust is implied as opposed to other top-level domain options like .biz.
While a .org domain might be great for a nonprofit website, anything professional or relating to an online business where you make money should have a .com address.
Easy to Recognize and Remember
How many websites do you encounter daily? Chances are that you interact with dozens of websites, whether it is at work or for personal use. Because of the sheer volume of sites available, you likely have a hard time recalling every website you visited without checking your search history.
One of the best reasons to choose a .com site is that it is far easier for people to remember.
Given that most sites have a .com top-level domain, you should consider sticking with what people are familiar with.
Do you want people to come to your site as the ultimate authority in your niche? That all starts with their very first impression of your page: your domain names. Even if they found you via search engines, they will still look at your URL to determine whether they can trust you.
Shady websites often use lesser-known domain extensions, but reputable sites often use .com. A .edu or .org domain extension might be a better option for something academic. However, a niche website, e-commerce store, or other commercial endeavors should opt for the more credible .com vs .net.
You want your brand to be memorable to people without even trying. This starts by choosing a domain name that people have come to expect for your industry. In the majority of cases, this means a .com domain name. Don’t jeopardize your branding by going with something specific or obscure.
According to Growth Badger
, a .com domain name is 33 percent more memorable than other domain extensions.
This could mean the difference between a successful website and one that falls flat. People need to be able to view your website at a glance and then remember it for later when they want to revisit it. The name should stick in their mind. Because most websites use .com addresses, you may want to go with the flow.
When to Use .net Domain Names
Of course, there are times when you may want to consider .net extensions for your domain name. If you are trying to figure out whether to go with .com vs .net extensions, here are a few things you may want to consider about this runner-up.
Sectors Using this Domain Extension
Websites that aim to conduct business or provide a reputable resource are often tagged with a .com domain extension. However, a .net domain might be a great option if you work in one specific field: technology.
The question is: what fields are ideal for this type of domain name extension so that you can give people what they expect?
Short for network, .net domain extensions are great for email service providers, internet service providers, or anything related to online infrastructure. You could use these domain extensions for all sorts of websites, but these are the most common and expected uses of a .net domain extension.
Need Lower Competition for Domain Extensions
Are you having a hard time getting your desired domain name? Oftentimes, top-level domains are taken for .com websites because of the sheer volume of commercial websites and the competition from people who want the most trustworthy domain extension for their site.
If your name is taken, it might be worth looking into a .net extension with your domain registrars instead.
It might be worthwhile for you to consider keeping your domain name the same but changing up the extension for consistency. Consider whether this move could be right for you to keep branding as consistent as possible instead of shortening or changing your domain name to something that is less applicable to your business website or harder to remember.
On a Budget for Site Investments
Of course, most people don’t have an unlimited budget when it comes to selecting domain names for their sites. While there isn’t a huge difference in price between .com vs .net domains, it is important to note that a .net name might be slightly less expensive than a .com version.
This is also something to consider if you intend to purchase multiple domain names for your site. For example, you might want to buy various spellings or abbreviations that point back to your target site. This can increase your traffic, but it can also dramatically increase your costs.
If you want to invest in several and you don’t have free domain name registration, then a .net domain extension might be the better move. Check out the prices of your preferred domain extensions on Namecheap.
Should You Get a .com vs .net Domain?
If your head is swimming with all of the potential reasons you might want one domain extension over another, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. For most websites, a .com extension is preferable. It is viewed as authoritative and far more common than .net domains.
This makes it easier for people to remember and sets you up for success.
The only real problem is that a .com domain name is indeed popular. This means that there is fiercer competition when it comes to securing the domain name that you really want.
Consider searching for both to see which is right for you.
Investing in Both Domain Name Extensions
Of course, there is something to be said for investing in both types of top-level domains for your site. Some people may automatically think that your site has a .net extension simply because they know the business revolves around technology and infrastructure.
On the other hand, people might just assume that your website has a .com address because this is far and away more common on the internet today. With almost half of all websites operating off a .com extension, it might make sense to join the masses.
However, you could be safe and decide to invest in both a .com and a .net address for your page if they are both available. This keeps people coming back to your content time and again, no matter what they think your domain name actually is.
Pricing for .com vs .net Domain Extensions
Maybe you have settled on a business name and are ready to start showing up in search rankings. The first stop on your journey to success is actually buying your .com or .net domain name. You should know what to anticipate when it comes to the cost of each one.
The good news is that there may not be a substantial cost difference between .com vs .net domain names
Oftentimes, you can get a free domain name when it is originally created. This is great for your first year in business, but what should you expect when it comes time for the renewal of your domain and internet hosting plan? A .com domain name may cost you a few dollars more than a .net domain extension.
According to Hostinger, their .com domain names are $2.00 more expensive than .net names upon renewal. Because .com is more popular, most people believe they hold more value than other TLDs, which can result in a higher price tag.
Final Thoughts: Choosing Between .com vs .net Domains
With all of that in mind, how do you choose between a .com vs .net domain? The secret is that you may not want to necessarily choose between the two of them. Instead, website owners who have the budget might want to invest in both.
If you don’t have the budget, a .com site tends to be the better option for most niche sites, personal websites, and commercial entities.
On the other hand, tech companies might want to embrace the .net domain extension because it was initially created for these purposes and can be a little less expensive upon renewal. Smaller budgets are better served by .net domains.
Of course, you can always find a free domain name using some of these resources here.