When most people think about creating new websites, choosing a domain name is one of the major considerations. They want to select the right name that will help them connect with their audience, build a brand, and eventually drive traffic to their web pages. One area that deserves just as much thought is the choice of domain extensions. In this article, we’ll specifically look at two popular extensions: .co vs .com.
Which one is the better choice? Do online users prefer one over the other? Is there a difference in price? 💰
If you’re currently looking into purchasing a new domain and have these questions in mind, we’ll help you answer them below.
.co vs. com: summary
Don’t have time to read our detailed comparison? You can make a quick decision based on the info we’ve gathered in this table:
|Introduced||Introduced in 1991 as a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Colombia.|
Launched globally in 2010 as a generic top-level domain (gTLD).
|Introduced in 1985 as a gTLD.|
|Popularity||Almost 0.1% of registered domains use .co .||47.8% of registered domains are .com .|
|Global usage||Used by individuals and businesses around the world.||Widely used worldwide for commercial and non-commercial websites.|
|Country focus||Initially associated with Colombia. However, it has now been widely adopted globally.||While many US-based websites use .com, it is used globally and not tied to any specific country.|
|Availability||Offers better availability than .com for finding short, relevant names.||Limited availability for short names. Many are already registered.|
|Affordability||Generally more expensive than .com domains, often around $30.||Standard pricing varies, but can often be more affordable than new, trendy domain extensions. Common prices are around $12.|
Want to know more? Keep reading for a deeper understanding of the .co vs .com debate.
Understanding domain extensions
Before we can officially start our .co vs .com debate, it’s essential that we take a step back and first talk about domain extensions in general.
In a nutshell, a domain extension is the last part of a domain name that follows the “dot” symbol (.). It is also known as a top-level domain (TLD).
Domain extensions serve different roles and can help indicate different categories or origins of websites.
Here are a few types of extensions and their common meanings:
- Generic top-level domains (gTLDs)
- Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)
- Sponsored top-level domains
Generic top-level domains (gTLDs):
- .com: Used for a variety of websites
- .org: Originally intended for non-profit organizations, but now used by various entities
- .net: Originally meant for network-related websites, but used by different types of sites
- .info: Generally used for informational websites
- .biz: Intended for business-related websites
Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs):
- .us: United States
- .uk: United Kingdom
- .ca: Canada
- .au: Australia
- .de: Germany
- .jp: Japan
Sponsored top-level domains:
- .edu: Educational institutions (primarily in the United States)
- .gov: government entities
- .mil: military entities in the United States
In recent years, new domain extensions have been introduced to offer more options and cater to specific industries or interests. Examples include .app, .blog, .guru, .tech, .design, and many more.
While the choice of a domain extension can impact the perception and purpose of a website, it’s important to note that the use of domain extensions has become more flexible over time, and many extensions are used for purposes beyond their original intentions. For example, we highlighted earlier that the .co extension was initially introduced as a ccTLD for Colombia, but it is now used worldwide.
Now that we’re clear on domain extensions, it’s time to return to our specific comparison on .co vs .com.
We’ll start this comparison off by looking at the pros and cons of each.
.co pros and cons
One of the biggest advantages of choosing a .co TLD is availability. Since it’s a relatively newer option than .com, you have a better chance of getting the domain name you want.
Earlier, we also mentioned that while the .co extension used to be associated with Colombia, it’s now global and not necessarily tied to any particular country. It can now be used for various websites, from blogs to ecommerce, personal sites, and more. This flexibility is a great advantage, regardless of the type of website you want to create.
In addition, when deciding between domain extensions, one of the most important factors to consider is trust – Do people trust this extension, or will they be skeptical? According to a study by Growthbadger, the .co TLD is the second most trusted TLD (after .com) .
The battle of .co vs .com domain extensions would be incomplete without discussing the discussing the disadvantages of each. First, what are the cons of choosing .co?
When you’re trying to build an online brand, the last thing you want is your audience to be confused about your website. Unfortunately, based on how popular .com is, people might accidentally type “.com” instead of “.co” when trying to reach your website. This can make it harder for them to find you or even send them to a different website.
Another challenge is with email. Sometimes, email addresses with .co can be mistakenly typed as .com, leading to email communication issues.
Lastly, we have to talk about price and how .co is generally more expensive than .com. For example, from Bluehost, the cost to register a new .co domain name ($27.99 per year) can be more than double the price to register a .com domain name ($12.99 per year).
The good news is that .co domain names still cost less than $50 in most places. However, this can be a serious disadvantage if you’re on a tight budget.
.com pros and cons
As we continue comparing .co vs .com domain extensions, we have to highlight that a significant advantage of choosing the .com extension is familiarity. Most people are used to websites ending with .com, so it’s easy for them to remember and find your site.
In addition, according to the Growthbadger study we referenced above, .com is the most trusted domain extension. It is recognized all around the world. People from different countries understand it and feel comfortable visiting .com websites.
Another great advantage is cost.
.com domains tend to cost much less than .co domains, making them ideal for those on a shoestring budget.
If you want to purchase a domain with a short, popular phrase, you most likely won’t get it as a .com. Because of how popular .com is, many short and high-quality names are already taken. This can make it challenging to find the exact domain name you want.
In addition, while purchasing a new domain might be cheaper, if you want to buy a used or older domain, this can be very costly. Some .com domains are purchased by individuals with the sole intention of flipping and selling them at higher prices, making them expensive to acquire.
.co vs .com: what to consider before choosing
As we continue the battle of .co vs. com, it’s clear that the choice carries significant weight.
But what exactly helps you decide whether a .co or a .com extension is best?
Here are a few factors to think about:
Above, we highlighted how popular the .com extension is.
Unfortunately, the .com popularity usually means that it can be challenging to find the exact domain name you want.
On the other hand, .co is a bit newer and less common. Sometimes, the name you want with .com might already be taken by someone else. In that case, choosing .co might be a good option.
For example, let’s say you want to make a website for your bakery called “delicioustreats”. But “delicioustreats.com” is already being used by another bakery. If “delicioustreats.co” is available, you could choose that instead of using a completely different name.
Brand identity 💼
When people see a .com address, they usually feel more familiar and comfortable with it. It’s a trusted and established choice. So, having a .com domain can make your brand seem more reliable and established.
On the other hand, .co is newer and less common. If you choose a .co domain, it can give your brand a sense of modernity and innovation.
The .co extension can also be used creatively to reinforce your brand’s message. For instance, if your brand is all about collaboration, .co could imply “company” or “collaboration.”
We can’t complete this .co vs .com battle without discussing the costs.
As we’ve mentioned, .co domains are typically more expensive than .com domains. However, some .com domain names may be more expensive because of:
- Premium domains. A premium domain is short, memorable, and is often from common dictionary words or phrases. These premium domains can come with significantly higher price tags.
- Domain reselling. People often buy “.com” domains in the hope of reselling them later at a higher price. This practice can contribute to some .com domains being pricier.
Remember that while the upfront cost of a domain is a consideration, it’s also essential to consider the long-term benefits and how the domain choice aligns with your branding and marketing strategy.
If budget allows, it might be wise to secure both the “.com” and “.co” versions of your domain to prevent others from using a similar name and potentially causing confusion for your audience.
Target audience 🧑🤝🧑
When choosing between a .co vs .com domain for your website, think about who will visit your site.
The kind of people who will like your website can influence which domain extension you should choose.
For example, if you’re making a website for something like a business, organization, or serious topic, a .com domain works well. This is because many people are used to .com and feel it’s trustworthy. So, if your target audience is older or prefers more established companies, they might like .com more. It’s like a safe and familiar choice.
On the other hand, if your website is about something modern, creative, or maybe a startup idea, a .co domain could be a good choice. Younger or more tech-savvy people might find .co interesting. It can give your website a fresh and innovative vibe. If your audience is into new and exciting things, .co might be a good fit.
Remember, the choice also depends on what feels suitable for your brand. Ask yourself – What makes sense for your brand? What are your future goals? Will this domain name still be relevant in five, ten, and even more years to come?
.co vs .com: which is the better choice?
Above, we gave you a detailed comparison of .co vs .com domain extensions.
When it comes to choosing between these TLDs, the decision often relies on what best aligns with your goals and audience.
Opting for a .com extension can be a fantastic choice. It’s the go-to option for many people because it’s widely known and trusted. If you want to create a sense of tradition, professionalism, and reliability, a .com domain can do just that. It’s like a familiar address on the internet’s street, making it easier for visitors to find and remember your site.
On the flip side, a .co extension offers an exciting alternative. It’s newer and can give your website a fresh, modern twist. This can be particularly appealing if your brand is all about innovation, creativity, or targeting a younger audience. .co can help you stand out in a crowd and showcase your uniqueness.
In the end, the best choice depends on your specific situation. If getting a well-known and established image is crucial, .com could be the winner. However, if you’re aiming for a dynamic and contemporary feel, .co might be the better fit.
Remember that there are many components to creating a solid online brand. After deciding on your domain, check out our post on website building to help you further.