.com vs .net – What are the Differences and Which is Better for You

Inqiat Ahsan Reza ○ August 25, 2023 ○ 12 minutes
.Com vs .Net - which one to choose

In this fast-pacing adaptive world, we all are buzzing around the internet, and having a robust online presence is the name of the game! A website is like a virtual “home” of a business that plays a vital role in the brand’s impression on potential customers or visitors. Even the tiniest details can make a big difference with your audience!

Now here comes the dilemma: choosing the right domain extension for your website. Or if say specifically, choosing between .com vs .net. Cause they are undoubtedly the most popular domain extensions by miles. Sometimes, people get confused in thinking that they are the same but trust me they are not. That’s why we’re here to break it all down for you in an easy-to-understand,  no-nonsense way.

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What is domain extension and top-level domain?

The letters that follow the dot in a domain name, such as google.com, are known as domain name extensions. They are often referred to as top-level domains (TLDs), and they frequently describe the objective or region of a website. The domain extensions. com, .net, .org, .gov, .uk, and others are typical instances.

All TLD kinds are governed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), even if only a few are frequently used.

Websites with business objectives typically use the .com domain extension, where “com” stands for commercial. On the other hand, .net is used for websites or companies that provide infrastructure or network services. For instance, a provider of internet services might use .net for their website.

It’s important to remember, though, that using a certain domain extension is not required. You have to decide on the website builders and the domain extension that serves the best for you. Choosing between .net and .com might be difficult depending on a number of factors. Let’s learn about the TLDs and how to choose the right one for your website.

Types of TLDs (top-level domains) and the essentiality of choosing the right one

  1. Generic top-level domains (gTLD) and 
  2. Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs). 

gTLD: Generic top-level domain extensions are the domain extensions that are used for different purposes and fully qualified as Top-level domains. Such as .info, .org, .mil, .me, and many more. Some gTLDs and their uses are-

  • .com: for commercial companies
  • .net: for database or network-related websites
  • .info: for information-based websites
  • .me: for a personal website.
  • .org: For non-profit organizations
  • .edu: for educational institutes
  • .gov: for government websites

Countless gTLD domain extensions exist for no definite purpose. One can use them to make a website look unique (like .xyz, .space) or funny (like .ninja and .pizza). 

In most cases, search engines treat every type of gTLDs similarly. But it may affect visitors’ impressions of your website. 

ccTLDs: Country code Top-level domains indicate a website or business’s location and service area. Some of the examples are:

  • .us: for the United States.
  • .uk: indicating the United Kingdom.
  • .ca: for Canada.
  • .in: for India and so on.

For local and national services and businesses, ccTLDs can be quite beneficial. Using ccTLDs can help your visitors understand your zone of service, and usually, search engines prioritize ccTLDs over other websites for local searches.

What are the main differences between .com vs .net

You might discover that the exact .com domain extension you want is frequently taken when looking for a domain name. It’s true that there may seem to be no other suitable possibilities because so many websites (approximately 52% of them!) already use the .com extension.

When you come across websites that sell domain names, they might politely advise you to think about.net or.info as alternatives to .com. People often find themselves in the position of having to choose between a domain name they prefer with.net and settling for a less desirable name simply to get the .com.

We’ll break down the practical facts to help you understand the differences between .com and .net clearly. So, keep reading to make an informed decision for your online home!

1. Purpose of use

First off, .com was initially intended for business websites. If you’re providing services or products or engaging in any other commercial activity, .com is the domain to use.

On the other hand, .net was designed for websites in the networking industry, internet solution providers, and infrastructure-related enterprises.

However, .com has become so popular that it is now the default option for most websites. And .net remains popular and ranks second in terms of domain extension popularity. So it now has its own web presence.

2. Availability

When choosing between .com and .net, availability can make a difference. 52.87% of the website uses the .com domain extension. In contrast, only 3.1% of the website uses .net domain extensions. So naturally, if you want to create a website, you may have to spend hours finding a good domain name that is not already taken with .com.

On the flip side, as there are fewer websites with .net, you can easily find a suitable domain name for your business. As there are no restrictions and bad impacts of using a top-level domain with a different purpose, is it worth using .net instead of .com? 

It may be a good idea if you think the name may have a bigger impact than the domain extension. But before doing that, you should learn all the benefits of .com (later in the article)

3. Impression

Visitors’ impressions can be crucial in deciding between.net and .com domains. If you have a network-related website, .net may provide visitors with a better impression. However, if your network-related firm utilizes a .com top-level domain, practically no one will mind.

In all other circumstances, a website ending in .com creates more trust and a positive image. Some visitors may perceive your website as unprofessional if it does not use the .com domain extension. 

Although most people will not notice your domain extension, it may have an impact on those who compare your website to another when selecting a service.

4. Findability

Most people will naturally type .com after your domain name. There is also a .com button on most keyboards that appears while typing a URL. That gives a great advantage to the .com websites. 

There is probably no keyboard with a .net button, which may hurt your website’s findability. The good news for .net is most people search in Google for a service where domain extension does not matters.

5. Cost

.com domain extensions cost $9-14 on different platforms while.net costs $10-15. Cost is usually not a big deal when choosing between .com vs .net, as they cost almost similarly.

Here is a list of some popular domain purchasing websites and their price for .com vs .net:

Namecheap: .com- $5.98 .net- $11.98
Bluehost: .com- $12.99 .net- $18.99
Hostinger: .com- $9.99 .net-$12.99
Hostgator: $12.95 for both

Differences .Com.Net
Keyboard buttonYesNo
AvailabilityHard to find some easy and obvious namesHas a lot more good domain name options
ImpressionIt has a good and reliable impression on the visitorsIt has a good impression on the technology websites
UniquenessIt’s common and neutralCan be good if you are looking for something unique
MemorabilityEasy to rememberHard to recall
ProfessionalismIt increases professionalism and enhances the brand appealIt works similarly for network-related websites but not for other websites

Pros and cons of .com vs .net

Both .com and .net have their unique advantages and disadvantages. Check out the pros and cons of them.

Pros of .com

  • Looks normal: .com looks like the most renowned website and will not have any negative effects.
  • Credibility: .com will increase the credibility and value of your website.
  • Advantage of instinct: Most people will remember your brand name and type .com after it. 
  • Keyboard button: Most keyboard has a button for .com.
  • Cost: .com is slightly less costly than .net.

Cons of .com

  • Nothing unique: If you want to attract attention with your domain extension, .com should be your last choice.
  • Rare: A good domain name with .com is rare. Even some dedicated business buys good .com domain names and sells them at higher prices.
.Net vs. .Com comparison  - pros and cons

Pros of .net

  • Adds credibility to network-related websites: .net may look unprofessional in a normal website, but it looks very professional for related networking websites.
  • Availability: It is 17 times (literally) easier to find a good domain name with .net than .com.
  • Unique: If you are trying to make an unconventional website, .net can be a better option.

Cons of .net

  • Marketing: Does not add value to the branding for normal websites.
  • Impression: It looks less professional and reliable on non-tech websites.

Best reasons for using .com

  • When you are building a brand website and do not want to compromise any aspects of professionalism, .com is a must. 
  • It is a neutral domain extinction, so you can be certain that it is not affecting your visitors or customers.
  • It is a sign that you are a mainstream business. Even if that is not always true, it may seem like that.

Best reasons for using .net

  • When you are building a website for your network-related website.
  • You can not find the domain with your brand name in .com, and you think the domain name will have a greater effect than the TLD.
  • Suppose you have run an offline business, Joe’s Bakery, for many years. But if you can not find a .com domain for names like (joesbakery .com), it may be worth going for .net, as most people will search for you with your company name that they know.
  • When you want to create something more eye-catching. 

Does .com vs .net have any effect on SEO

.net vs .com will not have any direct impact on SEO. Some say search engines may provide an advantage to .com in commercial search and .net for network-related search, but that is not the case. Only county code TLDs may get some geographic benefits, but not others.

However, there are indirect effects of choosing .com vs .net. You may lose a small percentage of visitors who think your .net website is less reliable than other .com websites. 

That may slightly affect clicks on your website. The bad thing is that there is no way to know and fix if your website is affected by your TLD. Clicks are one of the major ranking factors for search engines. 

While if you have a .com website, you will be certain that you will not lose any visitors because of your domain extension.

Why is .com everywhere

In 1984 IANA introduced the .com domain extension for commercial websites. There were six other domain extensions at that time, but most websites adopted .com because of its board relevance compared to other options like .gov or .edu.

Although hundreds of other domain extensions emerged over the year, .com remained the by-default choice for most websites. The main reason is that .com provides a sense of normality and professionalism.

Most people go with .com without much thinking, and people who think and research about the domain extension find it the best option as it creates a sense of trust and credibility.

What to do when you can’t find .com for your preferred domain

When you search about how to find a good domain name, you may find guides like shorter domain names are better. It makes choosing a good and small .com domain name hard. In 2023, finding a short domain name can be even more challenging as a new website is created every 3 seconds!

Now a good strategy can be, choosing a longer term that may not be small but interesting and meaningful. Suppose you want to make a car repair website. Choosing shorter names like (car0xm .com) may not always be good. You can select longer words like (carfixingonline .com, thecarfixer .com) or something easy to remember and catchy.

Can you choose both .com and .net

Choosing both TLDs can be important if you have a large brand. This way, no one can use your domain name with .net TLD. 

Scammers usually do that to capitalize on your website or ask for money in exchange for the domain extension. Using both domain extensions and redirecting to your website is the key to avoiding those situations.

FAQs about .com vs .net

Here are some frequently asked questions about .com vs .net you should be looking at

Are .com websites reliable?
.com websites look more reliable as most large and credible websites have .com. But .com alone can not be a sign of the reliability of a website. You can get scammed by .com websites and get good service from .net or others. Always look for other signs, such as customer reviews and online presence.

Can you sell on a .net site?
Although .com websites are best for selling, you can also sell on .net. Selling services related to the internet, technology, and networking suit .net websites.

Is .com still better?
Yes. Hundreds of TLDs are out there, but they are nowhere near as popular as .com domain extensions because of .com’s credibility and high value.

Wrap up

Deciding between .com vs .Net depends on your specific needs and goals. .com is perfect for commercial websites looking to establish credibility and professionalism, while .net suits technology and network-oriented services.

Remember that .com domain registration may be more difficult due to its popularity while.net domain registration is simpler. When deciding between the two, you should take into account aspects like price, promotion, and discoverability.

The secret is to choose a domain extension that improves your internet presence and supports your objectives. You can choose the ideal TLD with confidence by investigating costs and features, comprehending your market and target audience, and consulting experts in the field.

Inqiat Ahsan Reza
Inqiat Ahsan Reza

He loves to play in the arena of WordPress and learn new things every day. Whenever he’s not writing, he’s playing billiard or spending quality time with his family.

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