What is the difference between a .com and .org website?

In reality there is no difference between a .com and .org website. As originally conceived, a .com (commerical) website such as Ancestry.com was intended to denote a business enterprise; whereas a .org (organizational) website such as FamilySearch.org was intended to denote a charity or not-for-profit enterprise. However, there were no hard and fast rules, so those registering a domain name could choose whichever extension they prefer, and this continues today -- although many enterprises do strive to maintain a distinction.

In the computer world these three-letter website extensions are known as Top Level Domains (TLD), in the Internet's Domain Naming System. This means, whatever TLD you choose will appear immediately after your domain name, and every domain name must be unique -- no two persons can have the same domain name . . . at the same time. Other TLDs include .net, .biz, and .info, to name a few. And because .com is by far the most common extension, people are sometimes led to the wrong website because they did not enter the correct extension, i.e., .org, .net, etc. In order to avoid this confusion, some enterprises register their domain name with mulitiple extensions.

Related Reading

Building Your Genealogy Website ($)
Internet: Curse or Charm? ($)
Instead of Searching the Internet, Have the Internet Search for You: Starting a Genea-Blog ($)
Genealogy and Internet Security ($)
German Resources on the Internet ($)
Internet Helps for International Research ($)

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