Our company offers a CMS software package much like WordPress. We allow users to register a subdomain (yourdomain.example.com) for free. This is not entirely non-profit, as we offer the choice to upgrade site for faster load speeds, features, etc, at a monthly price. We currently own both example.com and example.org.

I need your opinions on which one is better to use, for our main site. example.org or example.com? When allowing users to create a subdomain I understand that the .COM is a better choice, but regarding our main site (where we will sell this service), which TLD should we use?

Why we may use .COM:

  1. People are used to seeing .COMs in domains
  2. May mean COMmunity?
  3. .COM is easier to remember
  4. Gives a psychological feel of familiarity and trust
  5. As a commercial product, it may give a sense of premium, therefore trust, rather than a .ORG which may sound cheap.

Why we may use .ORG:

  1. example.org sounds more catchy than example.com
  2. Clearly distinguishes us from competitors, that we are a community driven company
  3. We won't lose much traffic from type ins, as we own the .COM version and we'll just redirect it to the .ORG version (if we go for .ORG!)
  4. As a .ORG people may feel it's more trustworthy (or is it the other way around?)
  5. Google gives a slight boost organically over .COMs (although this is just a theory).

So guys, which should we go for? We will likely allow users to register their free subdomain at (yourdomain.example.com), but the question remains as to what we should use for the main site.

  • Org seems to be used primarily by non-profit organisations. IIRC once you couldn't even get an .org domain if you couldn't prove that you were a non-profit. In some country top level domains this may still be the case. – Marjan Venema Jun 9 '13 at 10:18
  • Yes but SEOmoz.org used org before any they're by far not non-profit. – afang Jun 10 '13 at 18:31

I recommend to use a .com in your case for a bunch of reasons:

  1. You aren't an organisation. Using a .org as a corporation always comes with the smack of not being honest with your audience. If you (want to) make money, which is okay, don't use a .org.
  2. A .com is more memorable. Even when you're redirecting users fromt he .com, you'll unsettle your users which makes it harder for them to remember your URL. This can have negative effects on mouth-to-mouth recommendations.
  3. A .com feels more familiar. As a .org is quite an exotic top level domain (especially outside of the U.S.), you'll earn more trust using the better known .com-Domain.

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