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I have decided to create an academic personal website, but I am unsure whether I should choose a .com or a .org domain.

I have read that .com is mainly used by commercial organizations, whereas .org is intended for nonprofit use. Hence from this viewpoint I should go for .org, as my website will be nonprofit. On the other hand, many suggest to opt for .com anyway (see e.g. here),

To complicate things further, I have verified that the domain namesurname.org is available, whereas namesurname.com is not.

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Apparently, .com conveys a sense of credibility so that it would be the best option, regardless of whether you pursue things commercially or not.

It seems to me that .org doesn't suit a private homepage.

But for a private homepage, you can generally be creative and look for any other options that suit your biography (e.g. citizenship) or name (e.g. if your surname is Li, why not choose .li?) or interest (e.g. if you do research on marine life, then you could use .fish).

And for research-related purposes, there are also top-level domains such as:

  • .science
  • .engineering
  • .academy
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    Or .me, since the website is about you. – henning May 16 at 10:26
  • With ccTLDs like .li and .me, one should also take into consideration who controls it and how restrictions on who can own domain names under that TLD may change. (e.g. losing .eu domain names due to Brexit: gov.uk/guidance/…) – GoodDeeds May 16 at 15:28

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