When a startup can’t get the .COM, is .NET still even on their radar?

A friend of mine is buying a domain for his startup, it’s not their primary domain, it’s the name of a product. The .COM that matches the product domain is owned by a multi-billion dollar company so while it’s still possible to buy, getting it for less than six-figures would be unlikely.

So when it came to their second choice, .APP was what they were looking at, and after that .CO. I was surprised that .NET wasn’t in their top two so asked my friend a bit more about that. He said that he was a fan of .NET but that most of the team felt it was an old/less-relevant extension, they also talked to one of their advisors who said the domain broker they had been working with had always been down on .NET.

I’ve seen a handful of situations like this over the last few months, companies that look at extensions like .IO, .APP, .CO, .AI and others and often don’t even consider .NET. While I’m a fan of .IO and .CO, I’m not a big .APP guy, that one makes less sense to me, but I still have plenty of love for .NET.

Is .NET less hip than something like .IO or .CO? What do you think?

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Dk June 27, 2020, 11:02 am

    To me .net is very much second fidle to .com, and it has that image clearly. Where is .io / .co /.ai get to play on the cool image of, we don’t even want .com. They probably do, but it allows for narration of we are cool and cutting edge, and wanted to do things differently. Where is .net tells the story of “we couldn’t get .com, so here is .net”
    I am in blockchain space, and .io is normal maybe more so than .com, and often companies do own .com but they chose to go with .io as they primary. For example bubble.is have upgraded themselves to bubble.io . I know because i went to event last fall, and when guy gave me his card with bubble.is , he had to explain that they just upgraded to .io and its no longer .is.
    Flying back from Namescon, i sat next to CFO of Barclay center who uses bseglobal.net/ , and she told me how much she hated .net and how clients not liking it. It feels as second best. Anecdotal, but in agregate i think .net is getting weaker as .io/co/ai become an option. I personally don’t like .app as it is pigeon holing themselves, as thats one brand you will need to upgrade from.

  • Kelly June 27, 2020, 11:42 am

    you couldnt give me a .net its crap garbage. i would rather own the keyword . HORSE

  • Mark June 27, 2020, 12:13 pm

    Hi Morgan,
    .Net is a very good extension, as it has been since the beginning, and will always be. This is an internet address we are talking about, not a trend. It’s purpose is for 7.5 billion people to remember it, not to sway the cool factor perception of some techies.

  • BullS June 27, 2020, 12:59 pm

    Is there a tool where we can check how much traffic is going from dot whatever to the dot com?

  • Jose June 27, 2020, 1:43 pm

    I still have a single .NET from 13 years ago to buy the COM and the NET but later I found out that the Org was better for a website, I think you used .org on your first website
    The NET has been losing strength, for other extensions two letters.

  • Mark Thorpe June 27, 2020, 2:42 pm

    .Net 2nd overall all the way!
    .Net is the cousin of .Com

    • Mark Thorpe June 27, 2020, 2:50 pm

      .Com and .Net used to be 1A and 1B (sibling) respectively.
      But .Com is the clear #1 now and .Net is #2 (cousin).

      • BullS June 27, 2020, 4:05 pm

        So these cousins marrying one another and have ComNet babies.

        • Mark Thorpe June 27, 2020, 5:36 pm

          Maybe where you’re from. Lol

          • BullS June 27, 2020, 5:51 pm

            Yea..keep in the family.
            Games of thrones.

  • Scott June 27, 2020, 3:22 pm

    More like a redheaded stepchild

    • Matt June 29, 2020, 8:59 am

      Anyone else identify this as a racist comment? The world has changed these types of comments are offensive.

  • Ethan June 27, 2020, 6:14 pm

    To me .net is old-fashioned. I would use a ccTLD or a new gTLD instead without a second thought.

  • Voice Acting June 28, 2020, 7:56 am

    If you want a domain name that sounds authoritative, .NET is a great option when .com isn’t available.

    Normal people still have no idea what .IO and .APP are.

    Why do domain investors complain about how .NET isn’t used when they use ExpiredDomains.NET everyday?

  • Edward Hartley June 28, 2020, 1:31 pm

    I have thousands of domain for sale. Check out my website. Domain-Buy-Sell.com

  • Michael Benhuri June 28, 2020, 4:09 pm

    I like .net for active directory domains so I can use public cert authorities

  • Edward Hartley June 28, 2020, 5:17 pm

    No one really takes you seriously if your business uses a .NET. It is far better to use a dash (-) if possible. Or simple negotiate terms on your desired domain with a finance plan.

  • Mark June 28, 2020, 9:56 pm

    Supposedly the difference between 1st and 2nd on the google listing is worth a 30% premium. Our partnership has 100 plant based domains for sale.

  • Tom June 29, 2020, 12:54 am

    My professional advice is to ad “get”, “go”, or another short word in front of the product name and stick with a “.com”.


  • Antifmradio.com June 29, 2020, 2:55 am

    .COM 8s definitely top choice for businesses and startups. Ive had a .com domain for 6 years that i never had a chance to do what id like with it. I too was going to use it for a small business.
    However, other tasks take presidency.

    This unused .com domain has NOTHING in it and never has.
    It has no content, no traffic, and no users. Its not even tied to a database.
    Its just an address.

    A business owner approached me a few years ago asking to purchase it. We went back and forth raising the price for 3 years.
    Over the years its cost me $75 just to hold onto it.

    Im currently selling it to him for $800
    Only because he needs to .com to add to his main site so ppl can start purchasing from US reflected locations.

    Thats it. Its just about appearance.

    • Symon Andrade June 29, 2020, 5:33 am

      I really like your publications, they help me get inspiration.

      I own a .br domain registration company, which provides services to a large European registrar, but in the last 3 years, our website development segment has suffered a drop in sales.

      According to research by NIC.BR and a Brazilian government agency, 68% of Brazilians access the Internet via smartphones and tablets, and many are accessing it through applications.

      I started implementing the .app domain, but customers didn’t like it very much.

      I tried to acquire the domain app.com.br, but it belongs to an NGO.

      I did a search for the term APP and APPs, and both are registered or in very expensive Premium sales.

      So I ended up registering AP-PS.COM, it is not a visually beautiful or seductive domain, but since the weekend, my company’s app development sector has been offering subdomains for my clients.

      A large clothing store, which is our customer and does not want to use its main domain to create email accounts as a contact in the app stores and link to the app, like:


      This store did not like to register the equivalent domain under .app, claiming it is a weird extension, but our client predicted to have a subdomain in




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