Most businesses choose between two types of domain extensions when looking to establish a reputable online presence. The .com and .net domains are prime online real estate when you want to appear professional and credible. But which one of these should you choose? Our guide on the .net vs .com comparison will help you select the right one for your business.
Given that 20% of new businesses fail within the first year, having an online presence and a professional-looking website is more important than ever. Aside from having experts design and host the site for you, one thing you’ll need is a domain name extension that reflects your brand.
If you haven’t thought about domain extensions until today, you’re underestimating the significance of your digital address. These extensions are designed to categorize your website by business model and type, and there is a real difference between .com and .net domain extensions. Here’s why:
What kind of business are you starting? An eCommerce website? Consulting services? Something unique and unusual? Choosing the right domain extension means you can help people who aren’t necessarily familiar with your brand and website quickly figure out what you’re all about.
For example, .com domains, which are the most popular option, were originally conceived to host commercial sites, including online stores. Meanwhile, .net is derived from the word network, and the extension is a recommended alternative to .com. It’s meant to be used by businesses and companies that provide services such as website hosting.
Another reason to think carefully about the domain extension you choose for your business website relates to brand perception and how to improve your reputation.
Here, it’s worth noting that the .com domain extension isn’t just easier to remember, but it’s used by nearly half of all the websites on the internet. As such, your target audience will likely perceive your brand as being more professional thanks to this domain extension.
Another key component of your business that’s affected by the domain extension you choose is your ability to establish credibility with your audience. If you aren’t familiar with different domain types and select one that doesn’t align with your brand, it will undermine your credibility.
By now, you have a pretty good idea about why a domain extension is critical to business success. But it’s important to circle back to the .com vs .net comparison and delve a little deeper into why you should get a .com domain extension?
Firstly, selecting a .com domain extension is a wise move when you want everyone to know you’re running a business website. One of the great things about having a .com domain extension is that nowadays, it’s applicable to pretty much any business type.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a construction company or you print magazines - a .com domain extension will work for your website. In the .com vs other domains showdown, the former should always be at the top of your list because it’s reassuring and familiar to users. However, the popularity of .com extensions also translates into limited availability.
It’s no secret that you can buy domain extensions for virtually all countries on the planet. For instance, if you have a UK-based operation, you could purchase a .co.uk or .uk domain for your business.
However, if you want to promote your business on a global scale, a .com domain extension makes the most sense. This is also true when it comes to the .com vs .net domain extension comparison. The former is simply more internationally recognized. Believe it or not, some people aren’t aware of .net domains.
While there are many reasons it makes sense to invest in a .com domain extension, there are times when a .net is a better fit for your needs. Below are a few instances when a .net domain extension is more appropriate for a website:
A .net domain extension is perfect if you run a tech firm. For example, if you run a business that offers computer networking products and services or installs network infrastructure for other companies, a .net domain extension could be the way to go.
So is .net a good domain if your business is launching a new Internet service or platform? Absolutely. A .net domain extension is typically associated with sites that specialize in network-based technology such as email services or ISPs.
It’s also important to note that .net is sometimes used by businesses that can’t find a suitable domain available with the .com extension.
The domain name you choose for your website can also impact your SEO capabilities. For example, having your brand or company name in your domain name can make it easier for people to find you.
It’s worth noting that domain extensions, irrespective of what they are, don’t particularly impact your website’s SEO. However, the .net vs .com showdown can be relevant when two sites have the same name and implement the same SEO practices but have different domain extensions. In those instances, the site with the .com domain extension will likely rank higher.
The answer depends on your website’s purpose. If you’ve gotten a network-related website, .net is often the best choice for your needs. On the other hand, .com domain extensions are applicable to almost any business because online users tend to associate them with professionalism and credibility.
Both .com and .net domain extensions are popular around the world. Originally, the main difference between .com and .net was that the latter was created for network sites and the former for commercial ones. But over time, those lines have been blurred, with many businesses now looking to secure a .com extension.
Not at all. A .net domain extension can be used by any business offering online services. In fact, this domain extension is used by some of the world’s most popular online brands like Slideshare.net and Slickdeals.net.
Julia A. is a writer at SmallBizGenius.net. With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.
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