Internet, Networking, & Security Web Development 40 40 people found this article helpful Is .Com Really Better Than .Net or .Us? Which top-level domain name extension to choose? By Jennifer Kyrnin Freelance Contributor Jennifer Kyrnin is a professional web developer who assists others in learning web design, HTML, CSS, and XML. our editorial process LinkedIn Jennifer Kyrnin Updated March 12, 2020 Adam Gault / Getty Images Web Development Web Design CSS & HTML SQL Tweet Share Email When you look at website addresses, also known as Uniform Resource Locators, you will notice that they all end with a designation like .COM or .NET or .BIZ, etc. These extensions are known as Top Level Domains and you will need to decide which one you will want to use for your website. In many cases, you may choose a domain name you'd like to secure (usually based on your company name), but when you go to register it, you find that the .com version is already taken. This is because .com remains the most popular TLD. Chances are, your domain registrar has already suggested you switch to .org, .net, .biz, or some other top-level domain, or TLD, but should you do this or should you instead try for a variation of the name you wanted so you can still secure that coveted .com TLD? .Com or Nothing Many people believe that the .com domain is the only domain worth purchasing because it's the one that most people assume when typing in URLs. While it's true that .com domains are popular, and people assume websites will use, lots of businesses use other top-level domains without a problem. Think about how your customers are going to access your site. If they are going to type your company name into the URL bar, add the .com, and press Enter, then getting the .com domain is a necessity. However, if they will be clicking a link or if you can brand your site with the .net or .us and get people used to using that, it won't matter. One clever solution uses the TLD as part of the entire corporate name. The well-known social bookmarking site Delicious does this quite well with its .US domain: http://del.icio.us/. Granted, not all companies can do this, but this at least shows that you can be creative with your domain choices! .Org and .Net Domains After .com, the .net and .org TLDs are easily the most popular. There used to be a distinction that .org domains were for nonprofits and .net domains were for internet companies, but without regulation, that distinction quickly went out the window. These days, anyone can get a .org or .net domain name. Still, it does look odd for a for-profit company to be using a .org, so you may want to avoid that TLD. If you can't get your perfect domain name as a .com, look for alternative TLDs. The only real drawback to these TLDs is that some registrars charge extra for them. The Perfect Domain Supersedes the TLD One school of thought says that if you have the perfect domain name, one that is memorable, easy to spell, and catchy, it won't matter what TLD it has. This is true if you have a company name that is already well established and you don't want to change it to accommodate a website domain. Then, becoming "mycompanyname.biz" is preferable to some other domain name even though it's on a less popular TLD. Country Designation TLDs Country designations are TLDs that are supposed to indicate products or services available in that country. These are TLDs like: .us for the United States.co.uk for the United Kingdom.de for Germany Some country domains can only be registered by businesses that operate in those countries, while others are available freely to anyone willing to pay the domain fee. For example, .tv is a country TLD, but many television stations bought domains using it because a .tv website address made sense from a marketing perspective. By the way, this domain name is technically for the country of Tuvalu. Even if you can use a country TLD while not operating there, it isn't always a good idea. Some people might get the idea that your business is only available in that country, when in fact it's global or located elsewhere. The Other TLDs There have been other TLDs suggested and implemented for various reasons and new ones are added regularly. The .biz domain is for businesses while .info should be to provide information about something. However, there is no regulation on how they are used. These domains can be tempting as they are often available when the more popular .com, .net or .org choices are already taken. Some people are wary of new domains, suspecting them to be homes to hackers. Although .biz and .info are reliable TLDs that have been around for a long time, avoid lesser-known TLDs until they have established a track record.