When you visit a website, you’ll either type in its address in the search field or be directed there from an external source.
Whichever way you visit a site, you will see the website’s name followed by ‘.’ Immediately after this, you will often find ‘com,’ ‘net,’ or ‘org’ amongst many others.
All in all, a website address has two components. The first part is its domain name. This is a unique identifier that connects the address online to the brand’s name and/or goals.
The second part is the domain name extension. This displays the type of website it is as well as its main purpose.
Most internet users will probably argue that the domain name that comes in between the first dot (www.) and the second dot is the most important component of a website.
But, the letters that appear after the second dot are also very important, as they can determine how the site aligns with a specific brand and how credible the overall site is.
Domain extensions, also known as top-level domains (TLDs), are implemented, so websites can be categorized by business models, locations, and their type.
Whilst there are thousands of domain extensions on the World Wide Web, there are three main common ones:
It’s important to understand the differences between these and what they each stand for before choosing what to use for your site.
Today, we will be discussing exactly what .org means and comparing it with .com and .net. Therefore, you can make an informed decision on what best suits your website, going forward.
Let’s cut straight to the chase and find out what .org means. This familiar domain extension simply stands for ‘organization.’ You will usually find this on websites that are not-for-profit, such as charities.
Some examples are wwf.org and redcross.org. Other organizations that use .org include NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), educational platforms, and open source platforms.
.org is not a newbie to the world of domain extensions. In fact, it was one of the first domains, established way back in 1985.
Due to its longer history, spanning the majority of the web’s lifespan so far, .org is considered a more credible and stronger domain when compared to newer versions.
The .org domain extension was initially introduced for organizations that did not fit the concepts of other domains existing at the time.
So, that included websites that were not involved in networking, the military, government, universities, or those that were not in any way commercial.
As time went on, .org transformed into nonprofit websites. But, this restriction ended in 2019 when the domain name registry was purchased by an investment firm.
Nonetheless, although for-profit organizations can now buy and use.org domains legally, most people agree that .org should only be used in its traditional sense.
So, businesses that use .org but can not prove outright that they are non-profit could face a backlash from the public and authorities.
This is certainly the most popular domain extension in the world. Therefore, it tends to hold the most value for making websites appear professional.
When .com was first introduced, it was intended for commercial websites. But, today, .com can be used for just about any type of website.
Even alternatives that are designed for particular sites and businesses are ignored, as website owners prefer the look and professionalism of .com.
The phrase ‘dot-com’ is probably one of the most used in the world. Interestingly, it was first used to describe the rise and fall of start-ups online during the 1990s.
Since then, though, this phrase has become synonymous with the internet and websites.
.com is so popular that around 48% of websites use it globally. Many consumers see it as the default domain extension for web addresses and feel safer buying from a site that displays.com.
One reason .com has become so popular is that it is very easy to remember. If someone hears of a website but doesn’t remember the domain extension, chances are they will try .com first.
One issue with .com is its sheer popularity. Because it is used on so many websites, its availability is somewhat limited.
Therefore, choosing a domain name can be a little complicated if you want to use .com.
Therefore, potential website owners must check their domain’s name and its feasibility before starting their business.
If .com is already taken, there are other options and extensions, of course, but you don’t want something almost identical to another site.
‘Dot-net’ is another very popular domain extension. In fact, it is the second most popular after .com.
If you find that a website you wanted to create already has a .com in use, the recommended alternative is typically to use .net.
Although dwarfed by the number of .com websites, it is believed that approximately 4% of the world’s registered domains use the .net extension.
Standing for ‘network,’ this domain extension’s original purpose was for umbrella websites that acted as portals for smaller sites.
In general, .net should be used for businesses that provide services such as website hosting, the internet, or databases. But, more often than not, .net is used simply because .com was not available.
If this is the case, you must ensure that your business that has the same domain name as a .com counterpart is not part of the same industry.
If it is, your audience and clients could end up going to the opposing site instead.
As you can see, the domain extension .com comes out as the most popular out of the three big guns. But, .org has its place on the web.
This extension, although once only used for non-profit platforms, can now be used with for-profit organizations, but this is still frowned upon by the public.
That is why, if you see the extension .org today, you can be pretty sure that it is associated with a not-for-profit business.
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