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Should You Secure .com AND .net for Your Domain?

“how important is it to buy both the .net and .com of the same domain name?”

Over on Twitter TragicDog asked me this question domains.

Different bloggers will have different approaches to this one but my personal preference these days is to secure the .com version first and then to seriously consider other versions of the domain if you are serious about developing it in the long term.

There are a couple of reasons I advocate grabbing the .net version (and potentially others) of your domain name in addition to the .com.

  • As Defensive Move – just yesterday I received an email from a distraught blogger who had worked for 4 years to build their blog up only to find that this week another blog had started using the .net version of their blog. While the 2nd blog was behind the eightball and wouldn’t rank as well in Google this blogger saw it as a threat to their business.
  • With a View to Expansion – having a second domain gives you the possibility of expanding your brand later with a different type of site. For example here at ProBlogger I initially set this blog up on ProBlogger.net (.com was parked and not for sale at the time) but now I’ve secured the .com version I now have a 2nd domain to set up another site. In fact with the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge I set up the forums on ProBlogger.com/31Days which gives you a hint at what I have planned for that domain.

Whether you use all of the versions of your domain that you secure or not they are generally handy to have. I usually set mine to redirect to my main blog until I develop them.

My last piece of advice is to secure whatever versions you ‘might’ buy one day now. If you don’t you run the risk of losing your opportunity when others snap them up and either hold them ransom, develop them themselves or park them for their own profit.

For Further reading on domain names check out:

What is your approach to domains? Do you get more than the .com version?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I once had both dot com and dot net for one of my sites but didn’t renew the dot net extension in the pre-GoDaddy days because I didn’t want to spend $36 with NetSol.

    When the dot net extension was bought by an aggregator, I received a check for the purchase.

    Looking back, I don’t regret giving up the dot net address, but today, if I buy a new domain and have a plan for long-term growth, I’ll buy both.

    I even bought my personal name’s dot com and dot net extensions.

  2. Asswass says:

    I didn’t secure the .net domain but I did secure a .com domain that is almost the same word as my domain but without one letter. I did this because people may be confused by the name and they could write the name wrong. So what I did is that I mirrored that domain to the original domain.

  3. Personally, I have bought just the .com for the handful of domains I have owned. I guess if you’re having decent success with your blog, it would make sense to spend the few bucks to pick up .net, .org, and maybe others.

    It might be worth noting that not everyone who grabs the .net variant of the successful .com is trying to leach off the success of the .com (or trying to sell the .net to the .com owner). Sometimes CoolDomain.net is just preferable to LongerVersionOfCoolDomain.com because it’s easier for people to remember.

  4. If you are using an extension other than .com (say .net), it is a must to acquire the .com whenever it is available. This is because most people go to a .com domain by habit – even if the .net or .org domain name is popular. The “Ctrl + Enter” type of shortcuts only encourage this!

    Acquiring other extensions for people running a .com is optional.

    However, I believe that any blogger experiencing even moderate success should secure the other available extensions apart from .com

    If nothing else, this should be done to preserve your brand.

    Also, you should try to get the country specific domain names if your blog is popular in specific countries. Apart from strengthening the brand, this would improve your search engine ranking for queries originating from that country!

    And the idea of using the other extensions for a different purpose (say, doe discussion boards, or for oddering your consultancy service) is excellent!

  5. Bill Masson says:

    It makes sense, as long as you are committed to the long term success of your domain. I suppose its like looking at a long term investment, you never know when some other individual or company might want to purchase the domain from you.

    It can also be useful if you want to extend you domain for membership or forums. But unless you have a high profile domain name then its probably not worth doing. Predicting and researching domain names for future gain can be useful.

  6. While it’s always something I considered, I guess I’d have to see a growth over time to get worried about it. I was lucky enough to get a really memorable domain name, I guess it’d be better off to get it all the way across the board. I’m just not sure that I could use that .net for what it may be worth, even though it might be cheaper, you still have to get hosting for that, no? URL Forwarding an option here?

  7. I think It makes sense to buy both .com and .net if you have long term plans for your site.

  8. I started out getting both .com and .net, but then I unearthed a fledgling domain name purchasing addiction! I’m controlling the addiction by restricting myself to .com only until I have one site that makes a healthy profit. After that I can relax and treat myself to both .com and .net :-)

  9. uncle wilco says:

    if that’s your market in the first instance..is the UK then get the co.uk as well….

    shame for other areas….

  10. Ryan Bickett says:

    I’ve been debating this very question in my head over the last few months. While I don’t want to spend money on domains that I will never use, I don’t want to get into a situation were I regret not picking one up.

    I have an idea for a network of blog sites. While I can’t develop them all right now, I decided it would be in my best interest to snatch up the domains now versus wait. I also decided to purchase the .net versions in addition to the .com versions.

    Your point about thinking about the possibilities of expansion is good advice. It’s always a good idea when starting out to focus on the big picture possibilities in addition to the project at hand.

  11. As an old school person, I remember when the *.com was for a company and the *.net was for a network. You can still do the same today. Use the *.com for your main or company site and the *.net for additional sites that you want to sit outside of the main one. Heck, you can grab the *.org for and volunteer causes that you have if you’re doing this for a company.

  12. This is a very good question that I deal with all the time, and I very much agree with your article.

    A .com continues to be the number one way people remembers a domain name, so that should be the priority. Once you know what domain you will be using and launch your blog or website, I also recommend buying the extra domains if available, at least for the first year, you can always not renew it later. Because once it’s gone it will be very unlikely you will get it back (or you will have to pay more than the annual registration would have cost you).

    You can buy a .com .net domain for $9/yr, so if someone is serious about their business or blog, that would be considered an small investment.

  13. Greg Ellison says:

    I would try to secure both if they are available. I couldn’t secure the .com of my domain because someone else already took it. The next best is the .net. Greg Ellison

  14. The best example of the .com and .net purchase is Casinos. Since the ban in the states casinos could not advertise so they used .net to promote the learning site. Which pushes users to the paid site.

  15. I’ve been running my site for 2 1/2 years – mainly as a personal portfolio site. I’m starting to streamline the site’s content, focusing on what works (my weekly cartoon caption contest is a big hit) and discarding the rest. I’m building a community around the caption contest and my cartoons, and I’d like to set up a forum and expand the main site’s offerings. After reading this post and some of the comments (thank you, BlogSEOExpert – SEO for Blogs), I’m going to snap up the .net for my domain today.

  16. Kayla says:

    I only have a .net name because I didn’t think my blog would grow as fast as it did. I’ve been contemplating lately on whether I should purchase the .com version now, although I should wait for some more funds to do so. Securing both is definitely a good idea.

  17. Donna Rosser says:

    I chose a business name and website that was available — and not trademarked. As soon as I could I trademarked my name — now no one can use it. In the past I have stopped other photographers from using the name or one very similar to it.

  18. bigsquare says:

    I don’t think my site earns enough to cover the cost of another domain name yet lol, (one day). I think i’ll only consider this with my main, top priority sites. I wish domains were free to register though :( i know they don’t cost much but it all ads up especially when your on a fairly tight budget.

  19. Yes, as long as you are in it “for the long haul” I think it makes sense to have both. I especially like the idea of using the dot net for consulting services and so forth and keeping the dot com as the main site.

  20. PraShawn says:

    That is quite sad for the person with the .com because he should of could afford the .net after few months of work. I think it does not matter if someone get the .net because if the blog is optimized for another keywords it will rank differently. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Salman says:

    Hi darren,
    Salman here
    I am still developing my blog with free domain service like co.cc once it comes to super level.I will register a .com or .net domain

    http://www.tips4blogging.co.cc for blogging tips

  22. Ryan Yockey says:

    Darren, Interesting points. I generally do not buy up all the TLD’s for my domains. Although lately I have started to secure the most important ones to me. Lots of projects I work on now a days are becoming more long term jobs and I’d rather secure my future now than worry about it later.

  23. AlainP says:

    I am about to start a tv like site and I totally agree with you! Unfortunately I was not able to secure the .com, it was parked by a crappy site so I had to go with the .tv extension. It is not that bad, its just that I wished I could also have the .com.

    Another dilemma is to go or not with the plural version of the name. In my case there was 4 variations, each at 30$ so I decided to not get them until I can figure out if this is going to be lucrative or not. But if it was a cheaper alternative, I would have picked them all.

  24. Katrina Kaif says:

    Now a days it has become very important to secure different TLD’s of your domain. I also do it for the sites which are important for me.
    but its not a very good idea/practice I think.

  25. Kang says:

    If you can afford to get all the different variations of your brand then go right ahead and buy them all – but then again, realistically, you wont need all the extensions – it just confuses readers and yourself, imho.

    choose a dot something then stick with it and if you become really big, I’m sure you’ll have the budget to snap up the rest of the extensions. Think about it, everybody knows problogger is .net and copyblogger is dot come and if you dont, you just google it anyway. At the end of the day, I think it doesnt really matter, but what matters is you pick one and stay with it.

  26. Getting both the domains is a great forward thinking! Can’t wait to see what you have install for problogger.com :D

  27. If I buy 2 domain, it’s mean that I have to buy 2 hosting too, right?

  28. I would definitely secure both of them if I were these people. It is too scary that someone will do exactly what happened to that guy has been blogging for four years.

  29. junthit says:

    I will not make a mistakes when decided using extension for my site anymore.
    Huh, I have a bad experience about it..

  30. David Eedle says:

    Darren

    I’ll just echo what several people have already said. Buy the lot. At least:

    .com
    .net
    Your country – eg com.au, co.uk
    Any other country you conceivably might have a presence in.
    .tv if you plan any video

    Whatever happens buy .com.

    I’d avoid like a plague the .info TLCs, never seen the worth of them.

    Cheers…David
    http://www.NicheContentMillionaire.com

  31. We recommend our customers at iWantMyName to either get the .com OR .net domain + their country code top-level domain (ccTLD). Also, if the .com is taken, a .net can be a good alternative.

    It also depends on your target audience. A blog can be successful under a .de (Germany) domain if it’s targeted at German readers. Same for other ccTLDs and special interest blogs. Get a .TV for a video related blog (the island isn’t sinking), .MU for music or a .ME for personal sites.

    The possibilities are endless and creativity is your only limit. And the extension doesn’t really matter as long as your content is unique.

  32. Jon says:

    hey guys, TragicDog here… I didn’t expect a full post on this, with lots of comments, but I am very excited to get some excellent feedback on my question. Incase you are wondering I bought both the .com and .net of my new venture. I will hopefully be going live with my site in about a week and a half as I want to get more content up before I tell wordpress to put it in the search engines.

    Thanks again for the assistance.

  33. BraddahGreg says:

    I never thought about it that way before. would make sense to purchase both domains (.net, .com). I’m just starting out with my blog and i guess it would be smart to do this….

    as always, you have such great topics for the newbie blogger :)

  34. If you have a .com, buy that first. Then buy .net if available. If you are buying a country domain, do that only when .com and .net are already taken.

  35. Buy everything.

  36. Rachel says:

    I thought I was just being paranoid when I bought 5 versions of each domain name. But if ProBlogger says it’s a good idea, then I know it’s a great one! :)

  37. myddnetwork says:

    I think that securing .mobi is a wise choice, knowing that mobile Internet is growing more and more

  38. Dean Saliba says:

    I have the .com for my 2 main blogs, I’ve not bothered getting any other domains variations..

  39. Giles Dawe says:

    But this a lesson warned as I see you’ve got a .net name only? Why not purchase a .org also?

  40. ITrush says:

    Very interesting, now I know the importance of having both the .net and .com.

  41. Having .com and .net is very important for your site, if you are in a specific country then getting the extension for the same is good, like for US it is .us, for Australia .au.

  42. Having thought about this overnight now, I have to agree with the “Buy everything” comment further up. I just visited a website that’s on the *.net but I typed the *.com and got a porn site and a very long lecture from a librarian. Remembering what happened to the whitehouse domain should be a lesson for everybody. :)

  43. if you secure .net and .com then there a host of others that people could use so you would end up buying all the domains such as .biz .eu .in

    only worth it if you have a big brand and can justify the expense

  44. Gary Sanet says:

    Thats a really great idea.

    Can you suggest some sites which we can use to track when the related top level domains expire?

  45. shannon says:

    I have a client whoes competitior bought a miss spelling of his website and directed to his web page to steal customers…..watch out for this.

    shannon

    http://www.eighthorses.com/

  46. I would secure both .net and .com, and if my blog is really successfull I would like to buy the one’s that match the blog name if spelled wrong. Just like Google … I will not be as successfull as them but this way its easier for my readers to reach me when required.

  47. Jensen says:

    Do if you can! Nowadays most good .com or .net domains are registered and a lot of them are parked. What a pity!

  48. Fyre Vortex says:

    Yeah. I was searching for domains for 3 months and then someone somehow was tracking my searches and snapped up the .com. I kept checking if the .net/.org were free and a month later, .net was also snapped.

    I then made the move and got .org.

    … I hate those people who track your searches.

  49. Husac says:

    Well…i would like to secure them both, but it really depends on what are you doing- if it’s a small blog i think it’s a waste of your money. Regards

  50. John says:

    Yep, if it’s a major project/blog/company I’d recommend to secure both (and why not others like biz, info, etc.?)

    If it’s a secondary stuff like another personal blog or whatever… a single myanotherpersonalblog dot com would be enough.

    I actually often search available domain names in all TLDs (com, net, biz, us, uk) with a small and fast desktop SoftFuse Whois http://www.softfuse.com/whois/ It saves me a lot of time. Then I decide is it a good enouth domain name to register it with .net extention as well…