.net domains / social media handle dilemma

hey MPU,

I am starting up a non-profit and need some social media/domain advice. The name of the non-profit is a unique word, but ironically the .com has been taken (but not being used). The .org is a premium for $1,500 and I currently own the .net

Are .net domains dead or bad to use? I own other versions of the domain, let’s use a simple word like ‘nonprofit’

nonprofit.com taken but not being used (as is there’s nothing on the site)
nonprofit.org premium $1,500
nonprofit.net - I own

Continuing to use the same concept, I purchased things like

  1. Is .net dead and useless? How important is it to use .com/org in today’s world?
  2. The other predicament are all the social media handles, so ‘Nonprofit’ is taken everywhere, but I would need to do something like ‘mynonprofit’ or ‘nonprofitHQ’ or ‘nonprofitHub’ and unfortunately Twitter has a max of 15 character limit, so adding ‘ministry’ or ‘ministries’ to my nonprofit handle puts it at the 16-17 mark.

The non-profit is a landing page (for now) to collect donation, showcase upcoming projects, etc. There is an app already in the works that we hope to be released by end of year.


I’ve owned a .net for more than 20 years and use it mainly for email. I\ve seldom had a problem.

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Why should it be “dead”? 4 most used TLD.

What about “.church” or “.charity” or “.ngo”?

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Let me rephrase when I meant ‘dead’ sorry.

In terms of the demographic, community, cultural, etc.

Are people more likely to go to .com, than a .net, or .church, .charity, or .ngo

I recall in the 90s/2000s if you didn’t own the .com, there was an issue with being valid? Also because the go-to after typing in on the computer, just hitting enter adds the .com?

I think most people just expect .com at the end of a url and might type that by default if they’re typing from memory. I train most of my non tech savvy friends and family to use Google instead of typing in URLs since one wrong character can take you to a totally different place.

You should offer to buy the .com from the person who isn’t using it. As long as the price is reasonable, it is worth it.


People are more likely to go for what searches show first. I am with an organization that has “.org”. But due to better SEO, the one with the same name (but other fiel) ending with “.net” consistently shows first, 4/5 of the time I click on it and land on the wrong one. Then I hate myself and change it to “.org”. :smiley:

The “,com” rule applied to companies. “Commercial”. I don’t think it’s really an issue any more. As long as it’s clear what the domain is for.

Most people will go to your site (assuming you look for donors) through your marketing activities (mails, social, OOH with QR, etc.).

If in doubt: try to find a UNIQUE one. Like my example above: it confuses people. And who says SEO will not change the order in the search results. I’d rather go for a unique domain, difficult to confuse. In your list I’d use NPOMinistry.com. No confusion between TLDs. It’s obvious it’s a Ministry.

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I keep forgetting about SEO! What do you suggest about social media handles? NPOMinistry wouldn’t work on Twitter (it would work on Facebook, Instagram) Also, how important that all social media handles match?

www.whatever.com (or.net or .org)

Having different names on accounts would be more confusing than the TLD.

You can use tools like Name Checker - Social Media Username Checker to check names.

I tested it on “TheMPUMinistry” (Wordpress seems to be buggy):

I would pay $1500 for the .org and consider the .com depending on the budget. .org is still top-of-mind for many people over .com when assuming a non-profit’s website. So I would either get the .org, or both the .org and the .com, but I would not get the .com and ignore the .org.

But–if buying those is not viable for some reason, the .net should be fine. Congratulations on launching it and I hope the app development and release goes well.


In my opinion, these days it’s .com versus “the rest”. I’ve had a .net.nz email address for years and all I can tell you is it’s actually really easy to pronounce and to be heard clearly.

The BIG drama I had was the short time I tried a .email domain for my email. The number of sites that said “No, we need a valid email address please” was waaaay more than I had expected. Though this was a few years ago. One site - my own employer’s - disallowed it on the main login page, but redirected to a secondary one after that failure, which did accept it. :roll_eyes:

Mind you, just a couple of weeks ago I entered my .net.nz email address in a software vendor’s purchase form and was asked did I mean .net.au!! :angry:

Why would it be? I think the extension (.net) is less important than having a unique domain name. Most of your visitors will probably google your domain name or the organisation name and will get to your site from there.

One thing to keep in mind is to keep the branding on social media as similar as possible, exactly the same if you can.


niceuniquedomain.net - website
@niceuniquedomain - twitter
and so on

I think your appeal is in the “niceuniquedomain”, not the extension

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I second that opinion. It’s worth it.

Unfortunately, I think the .org looks more legitimate. I think it would inspire more trust, and offset the $1500 with more donations.

I have the .org for my open source project, but recently paid the ransom for the .com that someone else registered and used to sell a knockoff of my open source project.

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