You might have noticed that each website address is made of two critical components. The first part is the domain name, which is unique and captures the name of your brand or business, and the second part is the domain extension that essentially tells what kind of a website this is. Domain extensions play a vital role in deciding the credibility of your website and helping the audiences understand what is the exact intent of your website. Is it for commerce, is it for informational purposes, or something else?
These domain extensions, particularly the TLDs (Top-Level Domains) help categorize websites by not only their types but also by business models and location. Of all the websites on the internet, some of the most common and popular TLDs are .COM, .NET, .ORG, .CO and .BIZ. Together they contribute to more than 60% of the TLDs registered worldwide.
With that being said, if you were to choose a domain extension for your own website, as a reseller of domains, or even suggest to someone which one to pick from all these, you should know what they stand for and what can be beneficial to a website or your brand. Because each one of them carries a different meaning altogether. To understand each one of them in detail, it is imperative that we dig deep and acknowledge their differences to highlight their uniqueness and USPs in different cases and scenarios. So, if you want to know the difference between.COM, .NET, .ORG, .CO and.BIZ domains pull up a chair and keep reading.
How to differentiate between .COM, .NET, .ORG, .CO and .BIZ?
Before we get into the differences, we think it is important to get to know each of these TLDs. If you are about to get your own website or even if you are a reseller, your clients will ask you which one would suit their website best and would want to know why. In such a situation, your own take on these domains would be important, as much as your knowledge about web hosting, if you do go ahead with any reseller web hosting plans.
Circa 1985, these TLDs were created to cater to certain kinds of websites with a specific role, keeping in mind the companies and organizations that existed and were upcoming. Here is getting to know each of them in detail.
What does .COM mean and who used it?
The .COM domain extension was used originally to host commercial websites. Any website that wanted to monetize online would go for a .COM. However, today, any website in spite of different choices and options chooses.COM because it is perceived as a default extension for a web address. Hence, if you are choosing a .COM or suggesting it to someone, it would be best to do so if only you are looking to monetize from the site i.e. if you have a commercial angle to the website.
Since the .COM domain extension is in demand, there are chances that your domain name might be taken for this particular domain. Having said that, not having a .COM is not the end of the world. In fact, it means there is an opportunity to stand out and have a unique web address with a different domain extension that suits your category.
What does .NET mean and who used it?
The .NET domain extension stands for network and was originally meant to be used by brands under their umbrella for different portals. So, if a business or a brand purchased a .COM, they would go for a .NET to talk about internal events. To give you an example, conglomerates like AT&T would go for a .COM for their official website and have a .NET for smaller sites and portals. Ideally you should go for a .NET if your business provides services or products like internet, web hosting, databases, or even collaboration tools.
Whenever you use or suggest a .NET domain, you will need to be super careful about ensuring that a similar domain name for a .COM or another TLD does not exist. Especially.COMs because people have a tendency to connect a website with it. An effective way of achieving this is by branding your website that has a .NET TLD. This will help fix the name of your business and/or your website firmly into the minds of the audiences.
What is .ORG and who can use it?
The .ORG domain extension is short for organizations and it was primarily used by non-profit organizations. Any institute that did not have any commercial offerings choose a .ORG to tell that they were a not-for-profit organization. Over a period of time, .ORG was exclusive for non-profit organizations but this restriction was removed in 2019 after the domain registry was sold to an investment firm.
Even though for-profit organizations can use a .ORG domain name extension, people prefer to use it for non-profit ventures and institutes only because of its long-standing image.
What is .CO and who can use it?
The .CO domain, initially a ccTLD reserved for Colombia got a different meaning altogether after it became open to everyone from 2010. Today almost anyone who has a business or a website, or an organization parallelly runs an online community with a .CO domain.
Today many marketers and businesses take to community building as an exercise to understand customers better but listening to them actively on the internet. A community just serves that purpose where people come together with a common goal of bettering their experiences with a brand or a purpose they believe in. The .CO domain extension facilitates this activity of community websites.
What is .BIZ and how is it helpful?
The .BIZ domain emerged as a fantastic and cheaper alternative when a particular domain name could not be acquired for a .COM. But today, many startups prefer this one for the simple reason that it is cheaper and not high on renewals. For anyone launching their own new venture, the .BIZ is a perfect way of saying that you are a business and you are here to do business.
With all these aspects, figuring out which TLD to choose and when is much easier. In fact, now you know that if you want to brand your products or your business, which domains can help you do the same. If you want a business and a community too a .COM and a .CO would be a great pairing for you.
As we close
We feel that any TLD you choose should fit your category and the audience you will talk to, through your website. Eventually, people remember the name of the website and share the same when they recommend a good experience with it. So why not have a fantastic domain name and a domain extension in the first place?
If you have enjoyed reading this article, please share it with your colleagues, or in case you have any feedback for us, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. We will be more than glad to hear from you. Hope you have understood the difference between.COM, .NET, .ORG, .CO and .BIZ. Till then, keep reading, and enjoy our blogs.
If you would like to know more about domain extensions, check out our other blogs in the Domains category.