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Why Do Websites End in .com

You have noticed that most websites end in .com but why does that happen? We will explain what does .com means at the end of a website.

So, why do websites end in .com? Websites end in .com because it is one of the oldest and for sure the most recognizable domain extension in the whole world. .com stands for “commercial” and it was the first choice for those that started a business website in the early days of the internet. When you buy a domain name to start a website you choose a certain string of characters + a tld (top-level domain or domain extension) like .com, .net, .org (if the combination is available of course).

Let’s dive into more details for .com and other similar domain names extensions.

What Does .com Mean

.com stands for commercial and it was first introduced together with other top-level domain names such as .net,.edu,.gov,.mil,.org,.int. Back then it was more like an experiment since the internet was used mainly by educational, scientific organizations and government entities. .com was related mostly to companies that had some contract with the US government. Gradually it became the number 1 option for all kinds of businesses. The release of those top-level domains was back in 1985.

Nowadays there is no restriction on what kind of entity can use this domain extension. Even if you start a non-profit organization you can use .com tld (top-level domain).

Why Do US Websites End in .com

The United States played maybe the most important role in internet evolution and the domain name system. Until the late 90s the United States Department of Defense was regulating and overseeing the .com domain. The involvement of many people in that field drew the attention of US companies/individuals for starting a website. A US computer Manufacturer registered the first .com domain ( in 1985.

There is actually a country code top-level domain for the United States and it is the .us extension. This domain extension didn’t have so much success with companies because in the early stages was tightly connected to government entities.

Are .com Websites Credible

Unfortunately, the domain extension is not connected with the credibility of one site. Since everyone can register a .com domain you can’t be sure that a site is credible only by the domain extension. What you need to consider when checking a website for credibility are things like who is the owner,if there are contact details available online and if there are articles or other sources about this website.

Who Owns the .com Domain

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is responsible for regulating the .com domain. It is an organization that started as a government one but now has independence. ICANN has transferred most of the technical operations to a registry (you can think something like a wholesaler for domains) with the name Verisign.

Anyone can buy a .com domain but not from Verisign or ICANN but from companies that we call registrars (retailers) like Godaddy or Namecheap.

What Do Domain Endings Mean

A domain name has two parts: From left to right first comes the second-level domain (sld). It can be a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. The second-level domain in my case is “buycompanyname”. After that string, you can see the domain ending ( .com).

Domain names Endings are called top-level domains (tld) and their categories are 1.)Generic Top-Level Domains such as .com , 2.) Country-Code Top-Level domains such as .de (for Germany) 3.) Infrastructure Top Level Domains such as .arpa 4.)  Sponsored Top-Level domains such as .gov (for government-related agencies in USA) 5.)Restricted Top-Level Domains such as .nyc (you need a valid New York City address) 6.) Test Top-level Domains such as .test .

Some of them are used to indicate locality like the country ones (.de,.fr, .uk etc). Others are used to indicate the type of entity they represent (such as .gov). Lastly, there are the general ones where everyone can use (like .com).

What Does .org Mean

The domain .org stands for organization and in the beginning, only non-profit organizations could use this extension. It is one of the first generic top-level domains and it was introduced back in 1985 along with .com, ,.net, .edu, .gov, .int ,.mil and .arpa . Nowadays anyone can register a .org domain and there is no restriction.

Despite that fact, the majority of entities that use .org are still non-profit, education establishments and many health-related organizations.

What Does .net Mean

.net stands for network and originally was planned for tech-savvy companies, especially the ones within the IT industry or the ones related to the internet infrastructure. It was introduced back in 1985 like we already mentioned, anyone can register it now and it is the fifth domain extension based on registrations.

Nordic Infrastructure for Research & Education registered the first .net, in 1985.

What Does .co Mean

Co. typically is a country code top-level domain for Columbia and it was launched back in 2010. Godaddy the biggest domain name registrar promoted this extension a lot and got traction among many startups. Even back then the price of a good .com domain was too high and .co was a visible alternative. Over the years even google treated .com as a more generic global domain extension and not limited to Columbia.

What Does .me Mean

.me is another country code top-level domain for Montenegro. It was launched back in 2006 but the Government there decide to open it globally. One reason is that .me can produce many good and playful combinations that stick to your mind. That’s why many startups followed that route of choosing .me domain.

Which Domain Extension is Best (.com or net or org or something else)

It really depends on your goals and which is your audience but in short, .com is considered the best option in most cases. For most people, it is the logical domain ending for a website and they trust it more. It is also their assumption of how your domain ends when they only remember the first part of it.

One common exception is when you target mainly your country’s audience. For example, if your site uses your German language is better to use a country code top-level domain like .de.

Of course, you can have great success with other domain extensions and keep in mind that the TLD you use is not the number one reason for your site’s growth.

How Many Domain Name extensions are There

There are more than 1500 domain extensions right now. There was a lack of good keywords domain names because most of them were taken with the previous extensions that’s why there are so many now. In general, only a few of them have some relative success since people and companies trust the old ones (.com , .net etc). Not every registrar offers all of them but usually a number between 500 and 1000+. You can see the full list here:

You can also read the explanations for some other domain extensions in that table:

.infoFor informational sites mainly
.bizStands for business
.ioFor British Indian Ocean Territory but it is used like .co or me too for a more global audience
.caFor Canadian people or companies
.ruFor Russia
.cnFor China
.eduFor educational institutions
.mobi For sites available only on mobile

Final Words

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