Let’s talk a bit about
.net. No, not Microsoft’s .NET, but
.net - one of the original top-level
internet domains. Given how popular
has become, I find it really strange that
.net failed to
reach such prominence. Even
.org is more popular than
That’s quite disappointing, as I think that historically
.net was the best
domain for personal sites, for various reasons:
.comused to stand for “commerce”, so it’s a bit weird to be using such a domain for a personal site
.orgused to stand for a (non-profit) organization, so it’s extra weird to use such a domain for a personal site
.netstands for “network”, which for personal sites I always interpreted as “my place on the (Inter)net”
- a lot of good names are still available for
.comat least), as the domain is not super popular
Of course, today we have a lot more top-level domain options to choose from:
.info, the first additional domain, that never took off
- a ton of country domains that can result is some cool looking domain names (e.g.
- all the recent additions like
Still, I like the appeal of the original domains as they are all:
- cheap (usually around $10/year, while some “modern” domains go as high as $35/year)
- short (I prefer typing
- widely known and recognized. I don’t know about you, but I’m still a bit surprised when I see sites using the newer “more exotic” domain names.
And of the originals,
.net has the most appeal for me, at least when it comes to personal sites/blogs/etc.
Obviously, this wasn’t always the case - after all this site uses the domain
batsov.com, and I own domains like
emacsredux.com. Let’s just say that back then I didn’t really think about the semantics of domain names that much.
By the way, I do own
batsov.net as well, and I actually use it for my personal email address.1 I would have changed the domain for this site
as well, if it was easier to setup redirects on GitHub Pages. Anyways, that’s not a big deal for me.
I guess the original domains have long lost their original semantics. I guess
search engines tilted the scales in favor of
.org to some extent).
Still, there’s always some meaning behind a name and the best names tend to have
a strong bond to that meaning. Naming is hard, but it’s also extremely rewarding
once you get it right. I hope I’ve managed to spark your interest in
that over time you’ll grow to love and cherish it as I do.
Now the shorthand for my email address is BBN, rather than BBC. That’s a big win! ↩