When it comes to registering a domain name at a domain name registrar, you’ll notice you have a lot of choices for the domain name extension. Everything from .org to .net to less popular extensions like .io and the similar-sounding “.co.” So .co vs. .com, which one is best for your website?
Your domain name and subsequent domain extension are essential; they define the brand you are building. With literally thousands of choices for your domain extension, which one is best? Is registering a .co going to hurt your SEO compared to a .com? Is .com the best and the only extension you should even consider for search engine optimization?
In this comprehensive guide, I will answer all these questions and compare and contrast .com vs. .co and their pros and cons. In addition, I’ve included a popular video on the topic as well:
What is the .co extension?
The .co extension used to be the country code for the nation of Columbia. It was changed from a country code into a generic top-level domain extension (GTDL) by GoDaddy to create a viable alternative to the .com domain extension. Its price point is higher than a .com to prevent bulk purchases.
As the .com is the legacy extension of the internet, it is still the go-to domain extension people want for commercial purposes. As such, it’s challenging to get the domain name you want with a.com, which is why the.com was started, as it has a similar sound and spelling.
The .co extension is meant to be for a “company” (hence the .co), but this extension is acceptable for any blog or website. It won’t hurt your SEO, but if you can get the .com, get the .com. Most who registered the.com could not get the.com they wanted because a domainer took it.
What are domain name extensions, and why are they important?
TLD is short for “top-level domain,” They comprise many parts, one part being the domain extension. The role of the extension is to help identify the website’s purpose. A website with a .edu extension is an accredited educational institute, .gov is for the American government, and .com is for commercial oriented websites, blogs, and online stores.
Websites can have the same domain name if they have different extensions. As such, the domain extension helps form a hierarchy for the end user. Concerning this, domain extensions can be original, generic, or country codes.
Original top-level domains
These are the extensions most average internet users are familiar with and were created during the early development of ICANN back in 1998. The most popular domain extensions which are .com, .net, .org, .gov, and .mil are all original top-level domain extensions.
Generic top-level domain names
Next, we have our generic top-level domain name names. These generic domain extensions exist for a specific purpose and use and typically have some restrictions. For example, the .gay domain extension is only for organizations that promote and support LGBTQ rights.
Something like .art is only for artistic-related websites and organizations like museums, and .amazon is reserved for Amazon.com.
Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)
Countries can have their domain name .co for Columbia. Country codes are an excellent choice for any country-specific website or in the country’s native language.
What are the advantages of a .CO domain extension?
The main reason someone would get a .co over a .com is availability. As the .com is the legacy extension of the internet, it is the most popular option. With a finite amount of word combinations with a .com extension, getting the desired domain name you want becomes more challenging.
Also, the scared nature of quality .com domain names creates a very lucrative after-market for buying and reselling domain names. For example, the domain blue.com was sold for half a million dollars in 2006.
Most .com domain names cost $10-20 annually, depending on the domain registrar. Domain registrars like Namecheap, Dynadot, or Google Domains typically offer the best prices. Hosts and website builders charge more for domain names.
However, some .com domain names are marked as “premium,” which causes the price of these domains to be relatively high and unaffordable to someone looking to start a website which is what appeals getting .co more attractive.
Is a .co any good for SEO?
Yes, a .co is a solid, reliable domain extension for SEO. It is considered a “top-level domain extension” with .net and .org and will be treated the same as a .com by Google and other search engines. While not ideal as a.com, you can build a quality website that gets search traffic using a .co domain name because of its top-level domain status.
More important to consider is the purpose of your website and target audience. If you’re building a company-focused website for your agency or service, then .co is a great fit. If you’re making a blog, a.co is adequate, but I suggest getting a .com. If you’re creating an online store, I would register a .com only.
Last, consider that a .com has that branding that no other extension can beat when looking for a domain name because when people think of visiting your website, they assume it’s a .com.
Why are .co domain names expensive to register?
The price point of a .co is high to deter bulk buying. With domain name registrars like Dynadot, buyers can get a discount if they bulk buy domain names. It’s also more expensive to prevent individuals from registering a domain name they have no intention of using but think they can sell for a higher price point.
Again, the main reason the .co extension exists is to be a new, modern alternative to a .com. It has to have a slightly higher price point to achieve that goal so you can get the domain name that you want instead of having all word combinations registered by a domainer.
How to register a .co or .com domain name
To register a .co or .com domain extension through any ICANN-certified domain name registrar. While GoDaddy launched the.com extension, I don’t suggest registering through them as their price point is high for both a.com and a.com.
Instead, I recommend Namecheap for all domain name purchases, including .co extensions, for a few reasons.
They have low registration prices for extensions and low renewal rates, offer deals each month on a .com domain name, provide phone and chat support, have an easy-to-use interface, and offer additional services like web hosting and email hosting in addition to domain name registration.
Popular .co website examples
The .co domain extension is quite popular, and numerous commercial websites perform well. We know that bloggers and content creators worry is getting a .co is not as good as having a .com, but here are some popular .co websites that demonstrate a .co is a good choice:
- Angel.co – Find jobs at start-ups.
- Mockup World – The best free website mockups.
- Electrek – A blog all about Tesla, green energy, and more.
- Animal Channel – A blog all about animal news stories.
- Cube Brush – Curated digital assets.
- T.co – URL used by Twitter
- Grade Up – India’s largest exam prep website.
- Convertio – A file converter service.
The .co extension is similar to a .com for blogs, businesses, and web services.
.co vs com conclusion
So, .com vs. .co, which one is the best domain extension? The .com is the best choice for your website as it is the most popular, in-demand extension for any website, blog, or online store.
A .co is an excellent alternative to a .com for any company-focused website. It’s a more fun and modern extension when compared to getting a .net or a .org. While it does not have the familiarity of a .com, you can still build a trustworthy brand on a .co
Last, remember your end visitor will not care much if your personal finance blog uses a .co or .com, and neither does Google. What matters is building out a helpful, authoritative website.
My domain name registrar of choice. Low prices for top level domain names, low renewal rates, good support and free WHOIS protection.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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