The .io domain gained popularity several years ago and has remained a favored choice for startups and tech companies ever since. Why? What is the meaning of the .io domain? Is there any difference between the good old .com and the trendy .io?
We’ve been using the domain for both and our product and know firsthand that it has a couple of advantages.
Let’s look at them in detail.

To what country does the .io domain belong?

The .io extension appeared in 1997 and originally served as the ccTLD (country code top-level domain) for British Indian Ocean Territory. Nowadays, the .io domain is administered by the Internet Computer Bureau, a domain name registry company based in the UK. Everyone can use this domain no matter where their business is located geographically.

What is the specification of .io?

According to the Implementation and Specification of domain names, URLs must be between 3 and 63 characters long and may only contain alphanumeric characters and hyphens. Domain names can’t begin or end with a hyphen symbol, and may not contain two consecutive hyphens. The entire domain name may not contain more than 253 characters.

Why is the .io domain so expensive?

If we look at the domain price list, we’ll see a “slight” difference in prices between .com and .io: $9.99 per year versus $49.99 per year, respectively. Yet, let’s be positive here; higher registration and renewal costs can actually be good for a domain. It will turn away the unwanted scammers and swindlers who look for short-term cheap domain registration to exploit.

Why do companies use .io extension?

Reason №1. Getting a cool, catchy name

You can’t launch a brand today without having a domain. There are two choices for doing that: find someone who owns the domain you want and buy it from them or create a new one. The former option is usually more expensive because good domain names usually work, and no one will sell such names for little money. Most interesting and easy domains (.com/.org/.net, etc.) have already been taken. You can choose .co, .biz, .site, or .xyz, but none of these hold the same credibility as .com, .org or .co. The domain in question (.io) becomes a more and more recognizable player, especially in the tech world.

Reason №2. Popularity in the tech world

A lot of tech startups, SaaS tools, and companies use the .io domain extension. “io” in computer science language means input/output, a common term when discussing computing processes. The .io domain is now embraced by tech and startup communities, and using it can be a good way to identify your business as part of the tech scene.

Reason №3. No reference to the territory

While it is technically a country domain, most people don’t connect it with its host territory. Google treats .io as a gTLD (generic top-level domain name), so your website won’t be a victim to geo-targeting. 

Reason №4. It is more convenient

A two-character domain means a shorter URL. .io is easy to type into a browser or email address and memorize. 

Reason №5. Excellent for domain hacks

Guys, relax. It’s not about cyber hacks. A domain hack is a great way to be creative and playful with your URL. Hence, make a more eye-catching name. For example, instead of So, a domain hack is a domain that uses the extension as a part of the word it’s trying to spell. 

There are a lot of words ending in “io”: studio, radio, patio, portfolio, pistachio (I guess, Italians benefit from .io domain the most). So if you want to be creative, .io is your go-to option.

On a final note

We also use this domain and are enjoying all its benefits (probably, except the last one). If your business needs an effective .io website or web portal with a clear and catchy design, strong functionality, and unfailing security, just give us a call.