Have you ever noticed how many tech sites nowadays are opting for the .io domain? It’s fascinating to see how crucial it is to find the perfect name and top-level domain (TLD) when setting up a website. The sheer number of TLDs available, with over 1,500 to choose from, including classics like .com and newer ones like .io, can make the decision-making process feel overwhelming.
Traditionally, when people think of a business website, their go-to TLD is usually .com. However, the landscape has evolved, and other options have emerged. Among the alternatives, the .io extension has been gaining remarkable popularity, particularly among tech-oriented websites.
Let me showcase a few examples of notable websites using the .io domain:
- Opensea.io: This platform stands as the largest marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), an ever-expanding trend in the digital world.
- Etherscan.io: – A specialized website tailored for efficiently searching Ethereum blockchain transactions, making it a valuable resource for blockchain enthusiasts.
- Greenhouse.io: – Here’s an interesting one, an applicant tracking system and recruiting software, demonstrating the versatility of the .io domain beyond technical ventures.
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What Does the .io Domain Extension Mean?
Every website domain extension has its specific purpose, and understanding how to select the right top-level domain (TLD) for your site holds great significance. When it comes to .com domains, they typically indicate a commercial intent behind the website. On the other hand, the meaning of the .io domain is somewhat less straightforward.
Initially, the .io domain extension was exclusively assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory, which is a British overseas territory. However, its use wasn’t confined solely to geographical identification. Over time, the .io domain has taken on multiple meanings.
Within the tech industry, the .io domain extension is commonly associated with a computer science abbreviation, “IO,” which stands for input/output—a widely recognized term in the field of computer science. In addition, within the Web3 gaming sphere, the .io TLD is embraced as a suitable match for web-based games featuring multiplayer components and minimalist graphics. This context has led to its popularity for gaming projects.
The Use of .io Domain for Startups and Tech Companies
For startups in the tech and SaaS realms, the adoption of .io domain names has become a popular trend. The allure lies in the connection to the input/output terminology, which resonates well with their target audience and fellow startup communities. By leveraging this extension, they can convey their tech-focused identity in a succinct and relevant manner. Furthermore, it proves to be an ideal alternative when .com domains are unavailable for their second-level domains, giving them the perfect solution in the form of .io.
The appeal of .io also extends to established tech companies, embracing the association with input/output reference as a way to distinguish themselves in the competitive tech landscape. This preference for .io is not limited to startups alone; it’s embraced by various entities, including open-source organizations and financial services players, such as cryptocurrency companies.
Interestingly, the domain extension .io even finds resonance in the world of video gaming. Here, it aligns with the gaming industry’s use of “io” to represent browser-based games featuring multiplayer components and minimalist graphics. As a result, numerous gaming projects opt for .io domains, finding an apt match that complements their offerings.
The Benefits of Using a .io Domain Extension for Your Tech Company
The majority of tech companies have been ditching the conventional .com domain extensions in favour of more specific and cost-effective alternatives, but the decision goes beyond just saving money.
Tech Industry Association
Tech companies have a strong affinity for the .io domain extension due to its additional meaning in the realm of computer science. The character “IO” is widely recognized as an abbreviation for “input/output,” which refers to how computers and information systems process data.
It’s no surprise that people in the tech industry quickly associate a .io website with the cryptocurrency sector. Similarly, in the web3 industry – an innovative concept within tech – cryptocurrency and gaming sites are embracing the .io extension to identify with their field.
Availability and Affordability
Compared to popular choices like .com and .net, .io domains are far more available. Most individuals looking to register a domain name tend to opt for .com, which has resulted in a scarcity of available .com domains.
A survey by Web Technology Surveys revealed that almost half of all registered domains are .com, whereas .io domains only account for a mere 1%. Consequently, new brands might struggle to find their desired business name with a .com extension, whereas they stand a better chance with the .io extension.
Furthermore, .com domains are not just popular but expensive as well. For instance, Voice.com was sold for a staggering $30 million in 2019. In contrast, the most expensive .io domain, mint.io, reportedly sold for $230,000 according to Namebio. Despite the rising popularity of .io domains, .com remains highly sought after and thus more costly.
Selecting a short and memorable website name is crucial for user and customer recall. The .io extension’s advantage lies in its brevity, with only two characters, making it a perfect fit for innovative website names.
For businesses whose names end with similar characters, the .io extension provides an excellent opportunity for creative domain names. For instance, a photographer seeking to showcase their portfolio could opt for a domain like “brightstud.io,” which blends seamlessly with their field.
Search Engine Visibility
Given that search engines act as the gateway to the internet, achieving organic traffic hinges on their recognition. Typically, country code domains are treated specially by search engines like Google. For instance, a user in the United States may not receive search results containing websites with the Norwegian country code domain, .no. However, despite its roots as a country code domain, Google acknowledges that the .io extension is commonly used beyond the British Indian Ocean territory. This makes it possible to drive traffic to .io domain websites with a solid understanding of search engine dynamics.
.io Domain Extension FAQs
Anyone worldwide can register a . io domain without requiring a local presence in the British Indian Ocean Territory. The only limitation on .io domain names is that they must be between 3 and 63 characters in length and may only contain alphanumeric characters and hyphens.
The cost of registering a .io domain can vary depending on the domain registrar and any additional services included. On average, the registration fee for a .io domain can range from $30.88 to $60 per year.
Yes, you can transfer your .io domain to another registrar. The process typically involves unlocking the domain, obtaining an authorization code, initiating the transfer with the new registrar, and confirming the transfer request.
Tech startups and SaaS companies gravitate towards .io domain names due to their association with “input/output,” aligning well with their tech-focused identity. When .com domains are unavailable, the .io extension serves as an ideal alternative for conveying their tech-oriented nature in a succinct manner.
.io domains are more readily available compared to popular choices like .com, where availability is limited due to high demand. The .com domains’ popularity also drives up their prices, making .io domains a more affordable option for businesses seeking a specific and cost-effective TLD.
Tech companies prefer the .io extension for its strong association with the tech industry and computer science terminology. Additionally, the brevity of .io domains allows for easy customization and memorable website names. Moreover, search engines recognize .io domains, making them suitable for driving organic traffic to tech websites.