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As explained in our article, Domain Extensions Explained, there were seven domain extensions that you could use back in the 1980s. The article also explained the .com extension and who should use it. This article explains the rest of the seven domain extensions and who should use each of them.
Originally introduced in 1984, the .org domain extension is an abbreviation of the word "organization". It is considered the ideal domain extension for non-profit organizations and bodies and is today the third most commonly used domain extension after .com and .net. The Public Interest Registry (PIR) was established in January 2003. ICANN recognizes PIR as the official registry for all websites registered with the .org extension.
When it was first created, it was a restricted domain extension reserved for non-commercial community including government bodies, network service providers and educational establishments, universities, etc. Today, the .org domain extension is one of the unrestricted TLDs and was established as a global extension in 1995. In other words, the .org extension is today available to any individual or organization anywhere in the world. However, when people see a .org domain name, they commonly understand it to be a website of a non-profit organization or body. If yours is a commercial enterprise that uses an .org extension, you may be inadvertently suggesting to your target audience that yours is a non-profit establishment.
If you register "YourSite" with the .org extension, then your most like domain name will be "YourSite.org". You can also use the .org extension within your country code. When used in this format, the domain name will appear as YourSite.org.xx, where xx stands for your country code (read more about country codes in our article Country Specific Domain Names).
Short for "network", the .net domain names were originally created in 1985 for networks and groups such as internet service providers, telecommunications and related services. Because .net was one of the original domain extensions and because of its history, it is an extension that is commonly trusted. The .net domain extension is the second most popular extension today, next only to .com. It is today an unrestricted domain extension and any individual or organization can choose .net as the extension of their domain name.
"Business is Networking and Networking is Business". If you agree, you may want to consider a .net extension for your domain name. If your business is all about networking and growth through networks, then .net may be the ideal extension for you. The same is true if you are creating a networking website. By choosing a .net extension, you would be automatically announcing that your website stands for networking.
If you register "YourSite" with the .net extension, then your domain name is likely to be "YourSite.net". However, you can also use the .net extension within your country code. In this format, the domain name will appear as YourSite.net.xx or YourSite.xx.net, where xx stands for your country code (more about country specific domain extensions in our article Country Specific Domain Names).
The rest of the original seven domain extensions besides .com, .org and .net, .edu, .gov, .int and .mil were the original top level domains, TLDs or domain extensions.
The .edu domain extension is reserved for schools, colleges and universities. Short for "Education", the .edu is a restricted domain extension and is not available only to organizations that qualify as an "educational institution".
As the name suggests, the .gov extension stands for "government" and is also a reserved domain extension used exclusively by the US. While it is also available to some other nations to use it for their government's website, but in such cases it is mandatory that the country code follows the .gov extension. Similarly, the .mil domain extension is used exclusively by the US military. It is a restricted domain extension that is not available to individuals or organizations other than the US military.
END OF PART 2: Read more about domain extensions in the following articles: