Is an *.org Domain Right For a Person or a Business?


You’d usually get a dot-com domain. Is there any point to any other? Yes.

You might be doing work that people think of as being nonprofit or personal. Many businesses do some not-for-profit endeavors, perhaps giving money, products, or services to the deserving. That work might be the first thing that some people discover about you. And, since some people are familiar with *.org domains that nonprofits get, they might type your name into a browser and add .org to the end.

Many people type a company’s name and .com into a browser, because they’re sure they’ll find the company that way. They don’t even Google it. The company’s either there or it’s nowhere, as far as they’re concerned.

Likewise, people who don’t understand the Internet well but who know of *.org may just type your name followed by .org. You likely want them to see your website, too.

And you wouldn’t care for the dark side, which is that someone else buys the .org version of your name in hopes that they’ll make a killing selling the domain to you when you realize that you’re missing out on some of the traffic. They usually won’t link from their domain over to yours, even though that might seem to be the courteous thing to do. If the .com name you got is new, like you’re just getting it now, maybe the *.org version is also available at the regular low price. I generally pay well under $12 for one .org domain name for a year and you probably can find a lower price.

Get Both

Get both the *.com and the *.org versions of your name. (These are generic top-level domains (gTLDs). There are more gTLDs, but these are enough for our purposes.) Here’s an example of a firm that did not get both and it doesn’t look good for their business: A firm that became famous, or infamous, in early , and doubtless wants to get through rocky times by growing its business is Cambridge Analytica. Since it’s a business, you’d expect to find it at cambridgeanalytica.com. But, no, it’s at cambridgeanalytica.org while the *.com address just carries mixed advertising with, as far as I saw, no link to the firm. Another example is the difference between edge.com and edge.org. One is a business and the other is a collection of articles, but someone who heard about the articles and might become a first-time visitor might well type .com and get the business instead. That’s a lost contact.

You can set the *.org name to be an alias of your *.com website, or vice versa. The procedures vary between hosting services, and some hosts might limit how many aliases you can have pointing to one site without paying more, but, technically, it’s usually possible.

Then you don’t have to maintain two websites. One site is enough.

Later, you can spin out a separate website, if you want to talk about separate things. An example is google.org. If you build two websites, you can cross-link between them, so a visitor can find both sides of your split personality.