Purchasing a domain name for your business, organization or personal website comes with several options. After you decide on a registrar and the name itself, there is also the issue of the top level domain, or extension. Although ".com" has become the de facto extension since at least the mid-2000s, consider a ".net" or ".org" domain name, both of which are popular extensions that have become unrestricted (so that anyone can register them) and are known to the general public.
The ".net" top level domain originated for networks, especially Internet companies. However, the usage has been unrestricted since the 1990s. Consumers like yourself often consider ".net" when the ".com" version of a domain name is unavailable or to further increase branding for their main website. You may opt for a ".net" if your website is Internet- or technologically related, as some people still associates these domains with .net websites.
The ".org" extension began as a tool for non-profit, public organizations and Internet users generally view the extension this way. If you run an organization, are planning a fundraiser or are otherwise using your website to aid your community or reach a common goal, this may be the ideal extension for you. While you can acquire a domain name with this extension even if you don't have an organization, you may opt for a ".net" domain extension if you have a business, rather than ".org."
Search engines rank both .org and .net domain names rank below ".com" domain names. Nevertheless, strong website content can overwrite the top level domain of a website in search engine rankings.
If you're debating between purchasing a ".net" or ".org" domain, consider the price difference between the extensions. Domain registrars such as Go Daddy or Network Solutions will show you available domains with different extensions to add to your order. You may find that one extension is cheaper. For example, as of May 2011, Go Daddy provides the first year's registration of a ".org" for $10 while ".net" domains cost $13. However, prices and sales vary frequently and you may be able to find a coupon or discount code that can reduce the price of either extension.
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