With the availability of .com domains now being lower than ever, there’s a high chance that you’ll be looking into .net vs .org as the next best domain extension option.
We’re here to help you understand the debate of .net vs .org: what they stand for, what the benefits and disadvantages of each one are, and how to choose the best option for your site.
But why should you consider these domain extensions (also known as top-level domains) in the first place? 🤔
Well, .com has already been taken up by about 52.8% of websites, whereas .org and .net lag far behind with a combined market share of 7.5% . Oddly enough, this huge difference is good news for you, as it means that the bulk of the .com domains today are still available in .net and .org extensions.
Choosing between .net vs .org, however, can be challenging, especially if you don’t know the meaning of either TLD.
This guide solves that dilemma by comparing the technical details between .net vs .org. You get to discover the best strategies to follow, as well as what each of these top-level domains would mean for your website.
What is the .net domain extension?
.net is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) truncated from the word “network”.
It was introduced in January 1985 as one of the original top-level domains. The other six were .com, .org, .gov, .edu, .mil, and .arpa.
Each of them was meant for a distinct category of users, with .net being allocated to organizations in the networking technology space. This includes IT service providers, telecommunication companies, software solutions, and tech platforms.
The trend, however, never stuck. .net is now a general-purpose domain name extension that’s open to all types of organizations.
.net is currently run by Verisign Inc, which became the official registry operator after acquiring Network Solutions, LLC.
The .net registry holds about 3.1% of all the registered domains globally, which makes .net the fourth most popular top-level domain . The other three are .com, .org, and .ru. Check out their numbers in our compilation of Domain Name Statistics.
What is the .org domain extension?
.org is a top-level domain that’s pulled from the word “organization”.
The original purpose of the domain extension was to use it in organizations that wouldn’t fit anywhere else. That’s how it eventually grew popular with non-profit entities such as charities, foundations, welfare bodies, educational institutions, NGOs, and open-source projects.
But, there are no restrictions on who can register their domain names under the extension. Public Interest Registry is the organization that maintains the .org registry, which is now open to everyone.
Even for-profit entities can go ahead and register their domain names under .org.
This has driven its market share to 4.4%, making .org the most popular top-level domain after the leader, .com .
.net vs .org – What is the difference?
On comparing .net vs .org, a couple of differences emerge right off the bat. They include:
1. Types of registered entities
Whereas .org and .net are both open to all types of domain names, their registries have largely been hosting dissimilar categories of users.
.net predominantly attracts IT companies, while .org has become a standard for non-profit entities.
Examples of well-renowned .net domains include:
Each of these websites specializes in some form of IT-related service. Some are software companies, others deal in programming, cloud-based tools, and so forth.
In contrast, .org tends to be the go-to option for charity organizations, NGOs, conservation groups, sponsored initiatives, foundations, and so forth.
2. Public perception
Due to .org’s long history with non-profits, the domain extension is associated with integrity, truthfulness, and authenticity.
As such, brands that use the .org TLD often come off as more credible and trustworthy than their .net counterparts.
This was even proven in a survey that documented the opinions of 1,500 respondents. The .org TLD came in at 3.3 on the trustworthiness scale, with .net coming in behind it at a rating of 3.2.
That same group of respondents further added that .org domains are easier to remember than their .net counterparts. They gave .org an average memorability score of 32%, while .net managed 25%.
The only top-level domains that were voted more memorable than .org were .co at 33%, and .com at 44%.
4. Domain availability
At 4.4% of the total domain market, .org commands a larger market share than .net, which ranks fourth with 3.1% . That 1.3% difference means that there are close to 42% more .org domains than .net.
So, in terms of domain availability, you can always expect to find more opportunities from .net.
Between .net vs .org, which is better?
On the question of which is better between .net vs .org, we’ll say that it’s not as simple as black and white. The performance of .org and .net, rather, depends on how and where you choose to implement them.
Some domain names, for instance, would go very well with .net, while others would seamlessly flow with a .org extension.
Two examples are:
- “mag.net” instead of “mag.org”
- “sky.net” instead of “sky.org”.
As for .org, it would probably be a great fit for something like a family business, team, forum, or conglomerate. For example:
- “Yankees.org” is more rational than “Yankees.net”.
- “A1crew.org” is more rational than “A1crew.net”.
However, if your business name sounds like a nonprofit and turns out to be a for-profit company with a .org domain, people might think your business is deliberately trying to deceive them.
“Greenlife.net”, for instance, would be more appropriate for a herbal business as opposed to “Greenlife.org”. The latter could create the impression of a brand that is trying to masquerade as an NGO.
Another thing you should keep in mind is, your domain extension option won’t have an impact on the website’s SEO. This was even confirmed recently by Google’s John Mueller, who explained that the search engines treat all top-level domains equally.
And with that settled, we’d advise you to choose the domain most suited to the type of business or website you’re running. You may also want to choose a domain that has both the .net and .org options available so you can register both. This can help you make sure that people looking for your site always reach it and prevent scammers from impersonating you.
Where to find .net and .org domain ideas
The one place you’ll find the best net and org domain ideas for your site is the DomainWheel Domain Name Generator.
It’s a free AI-driven tool that analyzes keyword ideas and then generates contextual suggestions of available domains across various TLDs. You’ll be able to compare multiple domain name ideas in not just net vs org, but also .com, .site, .co, .info, .us, .biz, .online, .tech, club, .blog, .store, and .space.
But, to make the best out of all this, you need to enter creative keywords into the search tool. 🔍
You can brainstorm random ideas based on the nature, location, size, activities, setup, selling point, products, or purpose of the business. Then for even more unique keywords, consider tinkering with linguistics or maybe add some humor.
🧐 For more detailed guidelines, check out this in-depth write-up on 👉How to Choose a Domain Name, as well as our roundup of the Best Domain Research Tools and Services.