One domain name is the address that people type into their browser bar to access your site. It connects users to a hosting server that stores that website’s resources.
You main domain components are the site name and extension. Our website address, for example, is hostinger.com.br. Hostinger represents the domain name and .com.br is the extension.
There are thousands of extensions available, but the most popular options are .with and .net. Both extensions are business-friendly and have specific purposes that set them apart.
The main difference between .com and .net top-level domains is that .com is intended for business use while .net is better for network services.
So how to choose which one to use? In this article, you’ll see the differences between .com and .net, as well as their pros and cons. This will help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.
What is a Domain Extension?
If domain names didn’t exist, we would have to use IP addresses to access websites. These numbers are often difficult to memorize and inconvenient to type.
Domains are usually made up of the company name itself. This helps visitors find your site more easily, generating more traffic and increasing brand awareness along the way.
A domain extension is also known as top-level domain (TLD). TLDs are the last segment of your domain name. It is that part located right after the last point.
Extensions help inform visitors what your site is all about. There is one big variety of extensions in use: .with, .net, .org and many others.
Each of them serves a different purpose. Common domain extensions — such as .io.com and .net — fall into the category of generic top-level domain (gTLD). The .com TLD, which is already very well known, means “commercial”. .net means “network”, and comes from the English network.
Many companies and non-profit organizations use the extension .org, which originated from “organization”, to show its non-commercial nature. However, anyone can use these domains, regardless of the type of website they have.
Other gTLDs, such as sponsored top-level domains (sTLDs), are restricted to specific use cases. Examples: .thousand for military entities and .edu for educational institutions.
In addition to gTLDs, there are also country code top level domains (ccTLDs). A ccTLD represents the country where the company or website is based, such as .br to Brazil and .in to India.
You don’t have to use a ccTLD just because you live in a certain country or have a business there. However, the ccTLD generally makes it easier for customers to find local businesses.
Since .com and .net are generic top-level domains, many people assume they are interchangeable. Knowing the difference between .com and .net domain extensions is essential for you to choose the best one for you.
.com is the most popular domain name extension used in 52% of websites (link in English) from the Internet. With it, it is easier to identify that a site is commercial, in addition to being present in most people’s memory.
The first option a customer will think of when looking for your website will be .with. .com is a domain extension suitable for all types of online businessfrom online store websites to blogs and corporate pages.
On the other hand, a .net domain extension is not as generic as a .com domain. Companies that use .net extensions are primarily network services, database providers, and technology companies.
If you are still in doubt between using .com or .net, check out the advantages and disadvantages that each one can bring to your website. To help you, we’ve made a comparison of .com and .net extensions in this section.
When it comes to using extensions like .com, the main advantages are:
- It’s already on people’s minds. The .com extension dominates the internet, which makes it more recognizable than others. People often type .com instinctively when looking for a website.
- Credibility. The .com domain gives credibility to customers, and makes it easier for people to understand what your type of business is.
- Easier to type. Many devices have a dedicated key for fast typing, making your address mobile-friendly too.
- Affordable prices. This extension is available from BRL 29.99/year.
However, there are some disadvantages that should be considered:
- Unavailability. It can be difficult to find an available .com domain name as many websites already use it. As a result, you may need to look for a different domain name. You domain name generators can help you with that.
- Too generic. If you provide services in a specific location or language, you may want to use a country code top-level domain. This will help potential customers know that your business serves their area.
As for the .net extension, some of its advantages are:
- Built for technology. The .net extension is a great choice for companies that specialize in network and internet services.
- Availability. When compared to .com, the chances of you being able to register a .net extension for the domain name you want are higher.
- Marketing. The .net extension is best for promoting Internet-related services and websites, as customers will more easily associate it with your industry.
On the other hand, using .NET also has its cons:
- Limited scope. Few companies can use .net: it is more associated with technology services.
- Higher costs. At Hostinger, the .net extension costs R$29.99 for the first year of registration. If you want to renew, the fee will be R$64.99/year. As shared hosting plan you will have access to a fully free for you to save.
Domain Names and SEO
THE seo optimization is another factor you need to consider when choosing a domain extension.
The truth is that the extension you choose doesn’t affect your ranking much. Google or other search engines. You may have heard that .com can have a more positive impact on your site’s rankings. However, other extensions like .net have the same chance to rank well.
But note that there is an exception to this rule. Extensions like .br and .in may affect search rankings locally. The reason behind this is that the audience is more likely to click on the website when the domain name contains the country code.
Nonetheless, have a ccTLD (link in English) is only possible if your Business Manager and Domain Admin Contact reside in that specific country. In that case, secure your main domain extension with ccTLDs to expand your reach in target areas.
Experts advise including relevant keywords in your domain, such as mycakeshop.com rather than myshop.com. People who see your domain will know right away what your business is about. And this is more important than the domain extension itself.
So, if you want to increase your search engine visibility, the best practice is to invest in a good SEO strategy.
When to Use .com?
THE .com domain extension represents a professional entity that does business over the internet. Because of this, the suffix .with It’s good for reinforcing your brand.
But that doesn’t mean that only for-profit companies are eligible to use .com. If you have a non-profit organization, you can use .com to sell items or host events to raise funds for your cause.
Today, .com can be used on many types of websites. A business website, personal blog or portfolio can all benefit from .com to improve their online presence.
When to Use .NET?
There are situations where you might want to use a .net extension instead of .com to show the purpose of your business.
A .net domain extension is best for websites that operate in the field of technology and networking. It helps the public understand what your business is just by looking at your domain name.
An example is the slideshare.netwhich is a networking platform for sharing slide templates, infographics, and other professional content.
As long as .net represents your business purpose, you can use it as a domain for your website.
Furthermore, 3.1% of websites (link in English) have the .net domain name. As fewer websites use it, opting for a .net extension makes your domain more unique.
Do You Need Both Extensions?
To protect your site, it is interesting to acquire .com and .net. This way, you will reduce the risk of competitors using a domain name that is very similar to yours and profiting from it.
Imagine if your customer enters the site yourbusiness.com rather than yourbusiness.net, believing they are in the right place? It wouldn’t be very nice, would it?
Typically, this type of scam targets large websites. Malicious people can even ask for a large amount of money in exchange for the website that has been cloned.
In addition to security, having multiple extensions helps increase your website traffic. Even if customers come to your site using the .net domain instead of .com, they will still be redirected to the same page.
Domain Search Tool
Find out if a domain name is available
Check the .com and .net options in a domain checker and, if possible, buy both domains.
Your contact details will be visible through the WHOIS search. To protect your personal data, implement privacy protection domain privacy.
Both extensions, .com and .net, are used a lot on business websites, but before deciding which one to buy, consider the differences in each.
The .com extension was created for general use, but it is used a little more by sites that profit from the internet. For this reason, it can be more difficult to find an available .com domain extension.
On the other hand, many technology experts prefer to use a .net domain extension as it is more suitable for companies dealing with technology and other internet services. When compared to .com, the .net extension has more domain names available.
When it comes to SEO, there is no difference between .com and .net. The SEO strategy is more important to Google and other search engines than the domain extension.
We hope this article helped you understand when to use .com or .net. Register your domain while it’s still available by purchasing it through a domain name registrar or on your hosting plan.