Net Vs Com: Which Is Right for Your Business?

ByJulija A.
February 21,2022

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.

Why the Domain Extension Matters

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:

Helps Identify Your Website’s Purpose

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.

Improves Your Brand Perception

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.

Builds Audience Credibility

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.

When Should You Use a .com Domain Extension?

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?

You Want People to Know You Have a Business Website

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. 

You Don’t Want a Country-Specific Domain Extension

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. 

When Should You Use a .net Domain Extension?

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:

1. When You Run a Tech Business

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.

2. Your Website Is an Internet Service

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.  

Which Domain Extension Is Better for SEO?

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Is .net or .com better?

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.

What's the difference between .com and dot net?

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.

Is .net bad for business?

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.

About the author

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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In order to make an informed decision about purchasing a business, it’s essential to have a complete understanding of how its finances work. What Is the Company's Yearly Gross Revenue? You have to know how much you can earn through your chosen business and what the ongoing company expenses are. A seller needs to be forthright with this data by showing you profit margin figures, making this one of the most important financial questions to ask when buying a business. If they seem cagey and try to deflect your question, it’s a sure-fire sign that this business may not be worth purchasing. What Was the Profit Margin in Recent Years? If the profit margins are slim compared to gross revenues, the business most likely has significant active expenses. Don’t settle for just asking the current owner, though: getting a professional and independent auditor to check the financial books and tell you the company’s situation should be your highest priority. What Is Your Asking Price for This Business? The aim is to get a ballpark figure and haggle with the owner if the price is worth negotiating over. As simple as it sounds, this is one of the first and best questions to ask when buying a business. The asking price should generally be up to three times the yearly profit figures. Also, be sure to research similar companies in the area, price range, and market to get a feel for how realistic the asking price is. Why Are You Asking for This Much? This is another very direct question that will help you determine how the seller thinks, providing they are honest. It will also tell you whether you trust this person enough to conduct business with them. What Company Assets Will I Acquire? You'll need to evaluate everything you're getting when purchasing a business, preferably with a good task management tool. For this reason, one of the questions to ask the owner when buying a business should be regarding asset acquisition. The answer needs to tell you about the assets in detail:  equipment, a client list, and delivery or business vehicles. It should also include intangible assets like social media accounts and goodwill. Did You Run an Independent Business Appraisal? The seller can do their own business evaluation to get an idea about a fair asking price. Otherwise, an independent auditor can comb through their finances and assets to determine if the asking price is too high. You can be much more confident in a  seller who doesn’t mind an independent evaluation. That's why it's one of the more important accounting questions to ask when buying a business. Both the seller and the buyer may ask for an independent appraisal at any time before the transaction is concluded. Can My Auditor Check Your Books? An honest seller won't mind if you hire a competent and independent auditor to run a financial analysis on their business. That includes checking the finance books for balance sheets, tax returns, investments, active leases and contracts, income and cash flow statements. An ideal analysis should cover at least three to five years of prior business operation, up to the current date. Questions To Ask Yourself You've done an extensive study of what you were getting yourself into when you decided it’s time to buy that arcade shop or manicure business. However, the list of questions to ask before buying a business shouldn’t include only those directed at the current business owner.  Buying and investing in a new company is no small feat. You need to take a good look at everything and think long and hard about whether becoming a business owner is the right career path for you. Asking the following questions and giving yourself an honest answer can help with that. Why Do You Want To Acquire This Business? Take some time to run through all the obvious and hidden reasons for buying a particular business. These reasons must be compelling enough to motivate you to put the maximum effort into running the company properly.  Maybe you like working in a specific industry, or it looks like a sound investment. Or it could be an online store you loved visiting and now want to take over and improve by increasing conversions and giving it your own unique spin. On the list of questions to ask yourself when buying an existing business, your motivation to buy a particular venture is perhaps the most important one. Whatever the reason is, it must be strong enough to motivate you to push through any difficulties that running it in the future may bring. Why Don't You Start Your Own Business? You need to be sure you’d rather tackle running an existing business than do your own thing from the ground up. Perhaps you want to continue the company's legacy and values, or you want to change it into something new and exciting. If you like the niche but feel that the business itself would need a complete rework, maybe starting your own venture is a better idea. Do I Have a Solid Financial Plan To Present to Potential Lenders? Having a bullet-proof financial plan is crucial to developing your business and making the company profitable. As such, this is one of the most helpful questions to ask yourself when purchasing a business. A solid financial plan will attract potential lenders to assist you, especially if you end up needing a loan on a suboptimal credit. Who Else Do I Need To Contact? If buying the business goes well, you need to start thinking about the next steps. Do you have a list of people you want to reach? Will you be using customer relationship management software? Scheduling a meeting with employees, suppliers, clients, customers, and other business-related contacts will help alleviate any potential concerns they may have about the new management.  Further Reading https://www.smallbizgenius.net/knowledge-base/how-to-start-an-ecommerce-business/ https://www.smallbizgenius.net/news/small-business-job-index-hits-highest-level-since-january-2018/ https://www.smallbizgenius.net/knowledge-base/how-to-start-a-bookkeeping-business/ Conclusion The questions listed above are just a starting point. Be sure to ask other questions specific to the business you're interested in and the industry it operates in. Buying a business is a big decision, so make sure you have all the information you need before moving forward. By asking the right questions, you'll be able to make an informed decision that will go a long way towards making your next business venture a success.  
By Julija A. · February 17,2022

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