The general rule of thumb is that commercial businesses are best suited for a .com, whereas organizations, such as nonprofits and groups, are best suited for a .org extension. Choosing which domain extension should be the easy part of getting a new domain name. However, if you’re still on the fence between .com vs .org, we’ll help you determine which is right for your business website.
Did you know that you will most likely be eligible to get a domain for free? Services, like those offered by Bluehost, include a domain in the cost of hosting. Therefore, check to see if the service you are already using includes this option before making a purchase.
Difference Between .Com vs .Org
The .com and .org domains are both top-level domains that anyone can register. However, they do have different use cases. For example, .com is far more popular as it suits any business type, from legal and medical practices to software as a service (SaaS) and online stores. The .org extension, on the other hand, is designed for organizations such as nonprofits, groups, and clubs.
While both domain extensions give your website a professional appearance, you may find that your preferred domain name is unavailable or that neither .com nor .org is ideal for your website. Luckily, there are dozens of alternative options, so it’s worth exploring the top domain name extensions.
.Org vs .Com at a Glance Comparison
Nonprofits and community groups
Businesses and commercial entities
~$8 to $14 per year
~$12 per year
Domain Name Availability
When to Use a .Com Domain Extension
The .com stands for “commercial,” and it is the most common extension due to its versatility. It’s recommended for professional use as it appears credible and trustworthy, and it’s more memorable than other domain extensions. Since it’s the most popular extension, it is the most recognizable and appears the most professional.
The .com domain extension is best for:
- Professional blogs
- Personal websites (e.g., a resume website, such as yourname.com)
The most widely recognized domain extension
Can be difficult to find an available .com
Ideal for businesses
Not suitable for nonprofit organizations
Struggling to find an available domain? Get more information to help you choose a domain name.
When to Use a .Org Domain Extension
The .org stands for “organization,” and though it’s not as popular as the .com, it is a commonly used and recognizable domain. Many believe the .org is reserved for nonprofit organizations, but anyone can register for a .org domain. Given how synonymous the .org extension is with nonprofits, to avoid confusion, it’s better to reserve the use of the .org for nonprofits and organizations, such as a local sports team or cause group.
The .org domain extension is best for:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Social causes and groups
Ideal for nonprofit organizations and groups
Not for business use
More domain name availability as it’s not as widely used as a .com
Pro tip: If the .org extension is a good fit for your business, it’s still worth purchasing the .com version of the domain to retain ownership of your domain. This way, if someone uses .com by accident, you still own the domain and can redirect it to your .org site.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is better for SEO: .com vs .org?
For the most part, domain extensions do not overly impact search rankings. The only instances of domain extensions impacting search rankings are with location-based domains, such as .us for U.S.-based businesses and sites when users are searching within that country. What matters more is the domain name itself (e.g., the joesnycpizza of joesnycpizza.com), as using keywords and location identifiers in the domain can improve search engine optimization (SEO).
What is a top-level domain extension?
A top-level domain (or TLD), is what it sounds like—the highest-level domain in the hierarchical domain name system (DNS). The most common top-level domains include .gov (government only), .edu (education only), .com, .org, and .net. Of these, .com and .org are the most popular for businesses.
How much does a domain cost?
Domain names typically cost around $10 to $15 per year. The price may vary depending on factors such as the domain extension (e.g., .com or .io), and there are also times when domains are owned, but listed for sale at a price well above the average. When looking for an affordable domain name, look out for the renewal cost, because some providers offer a low introductory rate that jumps up after the first year.
Can anyone register a .org domain?
Yes, there are no official limitations on who can register a .org domain. It is worth noting that the .org domain extension is synonymous with nonprofits, and while you don’t need to be a nonprofit to have a .org, consider whether or not your business website may seem deceptive if it uses a .org. For example, it wouldn’t be confusing for a local tennis club to use a .org (even if for-profit), whereas a local, second-hand, for-profit thrift store may be questionable.
Is .com or .net better?
The .com domain extension is far more popular than the .net because it represents commercial businesses, while .net is generally used by digital networking companies, such as internet service providers. Both are top-level domains, so one is not necessarily better than the other, though which is better for you will depend on your industry and business type. Get the full comparison on .com vs .net.
It’s important to take the time to choose the right domain name and domain name extension, as it represents your business online. Once you’ve decided on which domain name extension suits your website, the next step is to get it. If you plan to build a website with WordPress, your best bet will be to get a free domain through your web hosting provider. For example, Bluehost offers feature-rich plans that include a free domain for as little as $2.95 per month.