Is .Com Really Better Than .Net or .US?

Which Top-Level Domain Name Extension to Choose

So, you've chosen your domain name, but when you go to register it, the .com version is already taken. What do you do? Chances are, your domain registrar has already suggested you switch to .org, .net, .biz, or some other top-level domain, or TLD. But should you?

.Com or Nothing

Many people believe that the .com domain is the only domain worth purchasing because it's the one that most people assume when typing in URLs.

While it's true that .com domains are popular, lots of businesses use other top-level domains without a problem.

Think about how your customers are going to access your site. If they are going to type your company name into the URL bar and hit Enter, then getting the .com domain is a necessity. However, if they will be clicking a link or if you can brand your site with the .net or .us and get people used to using that, it won't matter. One clever solution uses the TLD as part of the entire corporate name. The well-known social bookmarking site Delicious does this quite well with its .US domain: http://del.icio.us/.

.Org and .Net Domains

After .com, the .net and .org TLDs are easily the most popular. There used to be a distinction that .org domains were for nonprofits and .net domains were for internet companies, but without regulation, that distinction quickly went out the window. These days, anyone can get a .org or .net domain name.

If you can't get your perfect domain name as a .com, get it as .net or .org. The only real drawback to these TLDs is that some registrars charge extra for them.

The Perfect Domain Supercedes the TLD

One school of thought says that if you have the perfect domain name, one that is memorable, easy to spell, and catchy, it won't matter what TLD it has.

This is true if you have a company name that is already well established and you don't want to change it to accommodate a website domain. Then, becoming "mycompanyname.biz" is preferable to some other domain name even though it's on a less popular TLD.

Country Designation TLDs

Country designations are TLDs that are supposed to indicate products or services available in that country. These are TLDs like:

  • .us for United States
  • .co.uk for the United Kingdom
  • .de for Germany

Some country domains can only be registered by businesses that operate in those countries, while others are available freely to anyone willing to pay the domain fee. For example, .tv is a country TLD, but many television stations bought domains using it.

Even if you can use a country TLD while not operating there, it isn't a good idea. Some people might get the idea that your business is only available in that country, when in fact it's global or located elsewhere.

The Other TLDs

There have been other TLDs suggested and implemented for various reasons. The .biz domain is for businesses while .info should be to provide information about something. However, there is no regulation on how they are used. These domains can be tempting as they are often available when the more popular .com, .net or .org choices are already taken.

Some people are wary of new domains, suspecting them to be homes to hackers. Although .biz and .info are reliable TLDs that have been around for a long time, avoid lesser-known TLDs until they have established a track record.

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Kyrnin, Jennifer. "Is .Com Really Better Than .Net or .US?" ThoughtCo, Oct. 16, 2016, thoughtco.com/com-vs-net-vs-us-3467135. Kyrnin, Jennifer. (2016, October 16). Is .Com Really Better Than .Net or .US? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/com-vs-net-vs-us-3467135 Kyrnin, Jennifer. "Is .Com Really Better Than .Net or .US?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/com-vs-net-vs-us-3467135 (accessed September 23, 2017).