Can You Use .org For A Business (Pros/Cons, Real Examples)?
You are starting a new company and you want to build a website. You are thinking that a .org domain might be a choice but you don’t run a non-profit.
So, can you use a .org domain as a business? You can use a .org domain even if you are a business since there is no limitation. Despite that fact, most people will assume that a .org site belongs to a non-profit.
Κeep reading to find out what are the advantages and advantages of using a .org domain as a business. I will also present a list of companies that are currently using a .org domain instead of a .com.
|People trust the .org extension
|People think you are a non-profit
|Cheaper premium domains than .com
|Possible traffic loss to the .com version
|Extensions are less significant compared with the past, people visit websites via search engines
|Confusion with .com version, if there is a developed website
Can Anyone Have a .org Domain?
.org was introduced back in 1985 along with .com and other top-level domains. The original intent was for usage from non-profit entities but over the years even commercial-related entities started to use it.
This is what we read on the registry’s site – thenew.org (the entity that handles .org) :
Can I register a .org domain name if I am not a 501(c)? Yes, .org is an open and unrestricted domain. Anyone is allowed to register and use .org domain names.org is the home for millions of nonprofit websites, including charitable, artistic, scientific, personal, educational, social, cultural and religious sites. .org sites are run by clubs, incorporated and unincorporated not-for-profit organizations, industry associations, families, individuals, schools, foundations, and more. Even for-profit companies have .org sites devoted to their charitable or volunteer programs.https://thenew.org/faqs/can-i-register-a-org-domain-name-if-i-am-not-a-501c/
Should I Use A .org or .com Domain as A Business
Now you know that you can use a .org domain but you should ask yourself if it is wise to do it. Let’s see together all the facts before you decide.
Arguments In Favor Of .org
Prices for good .com domains (premium domains) are very expensive and you can usually find equal keywords in .org for 10-20% of the .com price. This is a good argument for starting checking .org domains. The renewal prices are very similar for both domains (8$ – 20$).
In the early days of the internet, people used to type their favorite websites on their browsers. That happens even today but to a lesser degree. The majority of people visit websites via search engines and not by typing the site directly.
User experience and content are the kings for a successful website nowadays. So, in the long term, the website that has better content and better user experience will win better rankings on search engines and more website traffic. From that perspective, the choice of the top-level domain is not crucial.
When many new top-level domains (tlds) made their appearance around 2015, Google webmaster central blog answered clearly if google prioritizes a TLD over another:
Q: How will new gTLDs affect search? Is Google changing the search algorithm to favor these TLDs? How important are they really in search?
A: Overall, our systems treat new gTLDs like other gTLDs (like .com & .org). Keywords in a TLD do not give any advantage or disadvantage in search.https://webmasters.googleblog.com
Another advantage of the .org domain is that is a trustworthy one. When people see that extension assume that the site is legit and the content accurate.
Arguments Against .org
People will always assume that a .org domain belongs to a non-profit. They might get surprised if they end up on a commercial-intent website.
The biggest problem with a .org domain is when there is a developed website on the .com version. Internet users probably will assume that the .com site is the correct version and they will click on that. Take a look before you register a .org if there is a .com with the same keyword within the same industry.
Some loss of traffic to the equilavent .com is expected because some internet users still type a website on their browser. They will probably add .com on the end instead of .org.
My Opinion For Using .Org Domain As a Business
I believe that companies should use .com instead of .org whenever is possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed with .org but a .com is the king of top-level domains. I know that is hard to find an available .com or one with a decent price but still, you can find a creative name after a good search and brainstorming.
Especially if you can allocate some more money on buying a domain, an investment on .com would be better.
There are some possible exceptions. For example, if you are an environmental-related startup, a health-related entity, or an educational/e-learning company. You will notice that some companies in these sectors have selected a .org domain. I have a lot of examples in the next paragraph.
Companies That Use a .org Domain
Coursera.org offers online courses that in some cases you need to pay. They decided to use a .org domain for their main site even if they own the .com version too. Try to type coursera.com on your browser and you will be redirected to coursera.org. Coursera Inc runs the site which means that is a proper business.
Blackdoctor.org is a large online health resource that is focused mostly on African Americans. I see that the site has ads so there is a stream of revenue. I also see at the bottom that the owner is a company: “BlackDoctor, Inc”.
Change.org offers everyone the chance to start a petition for a special purpose. The site has revenue from advertising and memberships. The company that runs the site is a Certified B Corporation: “certification of “social and environmental performance” is a private certification of for-profit companies” source: wikipedia.org.
Adremover.org is a successful chrome browser extension that blocks ads on websites. You can use the product for 7 days and then you need to upgrade on the premium version. The interesting thing is that they own .com version too but it redirects to adremover.org. I assume that they bought the .com version when they had enough money to make the investment. BrowseTech LLC runs the adremover.org site and product.
Brilliant.org is an e-learning platform that makes tough subjects easy to study. Brilliant Worldwide, Inc. runs the website and it is a usual for-profit entity. You need to have a subscription to enroll in the courses. Brilliant.com is used by a different company in a very different industry. Brilliant.org is a good brand as it contains a popular single word.
Wpmudev.org is all about useful WordPress related services such as hosting and plugins. Of course, all these services are premium and you need to pay for them. Incsub LLC runs the website so once again we see a normal company to use a .org domain. I also noticed that they own .com version but they choose to redirect it to the .org version.
Ethermine.org helps people to “mine” the popular cryptocurrency that we call Ethereum. They get a fee from all miners for their services. The Austrian company Bitfly gmbh runs the website.
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