Of the dozens of domain extensions available, .org and .com are the two most used. The biggest difference between .com and .org is that .com (commercial) is usually used by businesses, while .org (organization) is intended for charity and nonprofit organizations. In this article, we’ll explore whether the .org vs .com domain extension is the best choice for your business website.
Quick Comparison of .Org vs .Com Domain Extensions
Both .com and .org are top-level domains (TLDs), also known as domain extensions that appear after the final dot in a URL (e.g., the .com in “fitsmallbusiness.com”). Other common TLDs are .net and .edu, and .co is now a variant for .com. Any TLD can give your URL a professional appearance, but choosing the best option depends on your business’s industry.
Learn more about the difference between .com and .org domain extensions here:
Organizations, charities, and nonprofits
Commercial entities and businesses
Cost Per year
Domain Name Availability
Limited, but less competition than .com
Difficult, due to its popularity
Note that these aren’t hard and fast rules. For example, there aren’t any limitations to your domain name extension, and any business can use a .org, including for-profit businesses. However, this may affect how people view your business, so keep that in mind. Once you zero in on a website name for your business, you can head to a domain registrar like Domain.com to register your chosen domain.
Keep in mind that top level domains like .com and .org are also extremely popular, and you may not get the exact URL you want to register for. For this reason, you might need to generate alternative ideas to be sure you have an option that is available. Learn more in our article explaining how to choose a domain name for a business.
Costs are also not so black and white. For example, .com and .org domain names can cost as low as $1.99 per year to up to thousands of dollars, depending on the domain extension you want and the registrar you buy it on.
Also, you’ll have to pay the registration fee (usually annually) to keep it registered. Typically, .org and .com domain extensions cost around $10 to $15 per year to maintain. For example, .com domains start as low as $9.99 through Domain.com.
When to Use a .Com Domain Extension
.com stands for “commercial,” as it was initially intended for commercial businesses. Anyone can register for a .com domain, which is the most popular (and one of the most professional) top-level domain to use. Because of its popularity, registering for a .com domain name can get competitive, so make sure you come with multiple options for your business domain name.
When To Use a .Org Domain Extension
The domain extension .org stands for “organization.” It isn’t as popular as .com, but it’s still a commonly used, reliable domain extension. In fact, nothing is stopping you from registering a .org extension, even if your business is for-profit.
However, organizations and other non-profits usually rely on .org websites, and it’s often associated with charities and foundations. As a small business, it’s probably best to find a suitable .com name to register.
Where Do I Purchase a Domain Name?
Once you’ve decided on your business’ domain name, the next thing to do is to head to a registrar to purchase it. A domain registrar allows you to purchase and register a domain name, but all domain names from all registrars are stored in the domain name registry. This means that choosing a registrar isn’t the biggest deal in the world—after all, everything ends up in a centralized registry.
Here are a few of the best places to get a domain name:
- Purchased separately from domain name registrars (e.g., Domain.com or Google Domains)
- Included in web hosting plans (e.g., Bluehost or GoDaddy)
- Included in paid plans with all-in-one website builders (e.g., Squarespace or Wix)
Registrars do differ in some things. Namely, the extensions they offer, the services they add on (like more privacy), the prices they charge for the domain name, and the duration your name is registered.
The most important thing is to ensure that the registrar you choose is ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) accredited. This is the organization that handles all domain names. It’s also important to compare your options and choose a registrar with favorable terms and conditions.
Statistics to Remember When Choosing Between .Org vs .Com
You may have already decided between .com vs .org based on your industry alone. But before purchasing your domain name, here are some statistics that might influence your decision:
- People are 3.8x more likely to assume that your domain name ends in .com when trying to remember the name of your website.
- However, expect to have a difficult time finding a .com domain name that isn’t already taken: 52.3% of all registered TLDs worldwide are .com.
- Your .org domain name may be easier to snag as only 5.2% of domains use .org.
- Still, getting a .com name might be worth your while, as people correctly remember a .com domain name 44% of the time.
Despite .com having a clear advantage, both .com and .org are extremely popular and memorable. Both .com and .org domains are reliable, and either will give your website credibility. Choosing between .com vs .org will ultimately depend on how appropriate the extension is for your industry and business type.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which domain extension is best?
Domain extensions aren’t as important as the domain name itself, but it’s still good to keep in mind the purpose of your website when choosing a domain extension. Commercial businesses should almost always go with .com, while nonprofit entities would benefit more from .org. Other popular and trusted extensions are .net, .edu, and various location-based extensions like .us and .uk. Learn more in our article on choosing a domain name.
How much does a domain cost?
The average domain name costs around $12 to $15 per year through Google Domains or Domain.com. However, premium domain names may cost more, from $40 to $50 a year to thousands of dollars. Also, extensions like .club and .site are much cheaper than popular extensions like .org and .com. But keep in mind that people trust and remember popular extensions more, so a cheap extension might not be your best bet.
How do I buy a domain name permanently?
Domain names are registered, rather than being purchased outright. Secure your domain name indefinitely by purchasing through the best domain registrars and paying the registration fee annually, usually by opting for automatic renewal. You can purchase a domain name for up to 10 years with certain domain name registrars, but most only offer one to three year prepayment options.
The start of building your brand’s online presence is getting a domain that suits it perfectly. When choosing between .org vs .com, choose the extension that best matches your industry. There are millions of websites with a .com or .org domain name—so it may be hard to get the exact one that you want. But with enough creativity and a little luck, you can get a perfect URL for your small business website.
Now that you know the difference between .com and .org, register your domain easily through Google Domains.