This article is definitely for you if you have an existing product or service online and you are an online business owner, who is transitioning to a digital environment and you are looking for an effective way to not only survive but thrive in this new environment with a rockstar force to scale your business.
The road to choosing a successful domain name is littered with skeletons mostly because there is so much misinformation out there with deep domain expertise who are building niche software solutions, online courses, or service businesses. If you are just starting fresh, you basically have two choices – you either choose a brand name to obtain a domain name easily or find someone who owns the domain you desire and buy it from them.
This article is intended to focus on the .io domain extension and answer questions like “What does .io mean?” and “Should I use the .io domain for my startup?”
The truth is that .io domains are more likely for anyone who is still swimming around trying to create something useful and efficient of qualified opportunities. These domains sustain as a profitable solution for a business model that needs to have a matching domain.
If you want to know more about the .io TLD and its perks, let’s dive in!
What does .io mean
The .io domain has existed since 1997 but it has never been more popular than it is today. “IO” domains only really started picking up in 2003. The .io is the country code domain extension for the British Indian Ocean Territories.
One of the first .io domains to be registered for a purpose other than geographical identity was Levi Strauss in 1998. Levi’s has always pushed the boundaries in terms of their marketing, and it’s a fact that they have been hugely successful. Levi’s are definitely attractive, and so if a .io domain can make you half as cool as them, then you should snatch yours today!
Why are startups turning to .io?
Today, the .io domain name is becoming very popular among internet start-ups as well as web developers, web designers, and IT freelancers. In recent years, .io has become synonymous with technology, gaming, and start-up companies. The main reason for this is that in computer science, “IO” is commonly used as an abbreviation for Input/Output. Choosing a .io domain helps instantly signify to anyone seeing your URL that you’re in tech.
There are no restrictions for this extension which means registration is open to anyone, similar to .com. From a practical standpoint, we recommend keeping things simple. Don’t use hyphens and numbers within domains, unless the latter are part of the brand. Ideally, register a domain that’s your own name, or that of your organization or brand. If that isn’t available, consider if you can add a single relevant word without negatively impacting the brand, or if a slogan or memorable phrase might work instead.
What makes .io domains so popular?
- “.io” extension has more availability than traditional domain endings;
- They’re a great opportunity for a domain hack (any word, ending with the letters “io”, can be easily made up with this domain extension);
- A two-character domain extension means a shorter URL.
Perhaps the most important reason to consider a .io domain for your tech business is that it’s a highly recognizable TLD within the industry. Using it for your tech startup shows that you are a part of the web-savvy community, and demonstrates that you aren’t afraid to take risks. In other words, having a website with a .io domain can be a great way to appeal to those who are a part of the tech scene.
Several ccTLDs (country code top-level domains or domains originally designated by geography) are treated as territory-specific by Google and other search engines, impeding SEO efforts.
Google treats “.io” as a gTLD (generic top-level domain), and thus despite it actually being a ccTLD, you won’t be victim to geo-targeting. Unlike other ccTLDs, Google acknowledges that .io is used by a much broader audience than just those in British Indian Ocean Territory, and that’s why they treat it as a generic domain.
A strong .io domain is a great bet for your tech startup. Don’t wait to register yours. Thousands of founders secure .io domain names every day, meaning your perfect domain could be gone tomorrow.
“.io” domain cost
“.io” domain costs are approximately 60 USD/year. Domains with this extension are expensive because they quickly became trendy with tech startups due to their similarity with information processing. Another reason is that millions of .com domains are already taken, but corresponding .io domains are still available.
The good news is that the massive increase in TLDs available in recent years has allowed businesses to find new ways to take advantage of shorter, more memorable domains that leverage brand awareness. The .io domain is an interesting option for tech companies to consider when setting up a website. It may be perfect for your tech company if you are looking for a shorter and more creative URL, and if you want to increase your odds for recognition within the web-savvy community.