.com vs .io – Comparison of Availability, Price, Trust, and Memorability

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When creating a website, you should pay close attention to the domain extension you choose. A recognizable domain extension will help to establish your website’s online presence. For ages, the .com domain extension has been the first choice for websites. However, its limited availability prompts new website owners to look at other alternatives.

In this scenario, a domain extension that is gaining wide user acceptance is the .io. So, how does it compare with the .com? Which one is better – .com or .io? The answer depends on several factors.

If you consider availability, it is easier to get your chosen website name with a .io extension than .com. However, .io domains are usually more expensive. Additionally, .io names are commonly associated with tech companies, while .com is regarded as a universal choice. Users trust the .com more than any other Top Level Domains (TLDs) and tend to default to it when in doubt. The .com is also more memorable. But .io helps to create a shorter URL.

So, it is a matter of personal choice. Read on for a closer look at each of these factors and learn whether the .com or .io is the better choice for your needs.

Comparison of .com and .io Domain Extensions

The .com and .io are both top-level domains. This means that both belong to the highest level of the internet domain hierarchy.

The domain extension is an important factor for a site’s SEO. Since both .com and .io are treated as generic TLDs, you will enjoy the same SEO benefits regardless of which one you choose. So, a .io website can rank higher than its .com counterpart if it uses better SEO strategies.

Next, let us look at the other factors to compare the two.

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Availability of .com vs .io

The .com is the oldest domain extension. So, it is regarded as a traditional choice and continues to be very popular. There are nearly 2 billion websites registered with a .com extension. So, the odds are that any name you like is already taken. That is why it can be a challenge to get the matching URL for your brand name.

Now, if you must go with a .com extension, you may have to settle for what is available. It may mean having to modify the original name, and you may even have to rethink your entire brand as a result.

However, .io is comparatively newer. If you are keen on matching your website name to that of your business or brand, your chances are better with .io since you have a better chance of getting the website name you want.

Related Further Reading: Should Domain Name Match Business Name? Not Really – Here’s Why…

Price of .com vs .io

With .com names soon getting exhausted, the .io emerges as a good alternative. Not only does it promise the benefits of a generic TLD, but it is also easily available. However, .io websites are generally more expensive than their counterparts with other TLDs.

One of the reasons why the .io extension tends to be significantly costlier is because of its relevance in IT. The term “io” can be interpreted as “Input/Output.” This single factor makes the .io extension highly coveted by tech and app companies. Despite the higher pricing, start-ups and tech businesses do not hesitate to acquire it.

Also, many website owners are ready to pay extra for a .io domain since it is a recognizable TLD, and they can get the domain name they want.

So, the .io extension improves the online prospects of new companies. Using it will particularly be helpful if you wish to establish your online identity as a tech company. However, the cost aspect can make the .com a lot more attractive.

Trust And User Acceptability of .com vs .io

Many internet users are reluctant to click on website names with TLDs like .info or .biz. It is because these domain extensions are often associated with spam websites and are regarded as low quality. However, both .com and .io domains do not have any such bad reputation.

Since these domain extensions are usually expensive, users tend to believe that the associated website is genuine. So, when your website shows up in search engine results, users are more likely to click through.

Nevertheless, .io is comparatively newer than the .com. So, at least some users may be wary of checking it out as they are unfamiliar with this extension.

Although .io can be used for any type of website, it is usually associated with tech and app websites. So, visitors may overlook your website in search results if you use it for a website that isn’t tech-related.

The .com isn’t prone to such issues. As one of the oldest TLDs, people know that this extension is used for all types of websites. So, a .com extension will add credibility to your website and imply that you are an established entity.

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Memorability of .com vs .io

Did you know that most users tend to default to the .com when they are unsure of the domain extension? It is because .com URLs are 33% more memorable than URLs with other TLDs.

A very important factor for a website to be accepted is how easy it is to remember. Users can remember some TLDs more than others, and there is a general bias against anything that is not .com. So, you increase your website’s risk of going unnoticed with a TLD other than the .com.

Nonetheless, this shouldn’t be a concern if you use the .io extension as a branding factor. For instance, the brand Postachio cleverly uses “postach.io” as its website name. This domain hack makes the name catchy and unforgettable.

Another aspect is that short URLs are easy to remember and share. It is user-friendly, SEO-friendly, and memorable. Since the domain extension is an important part of the URL, it will help to keep it short. So, the shorter your URL choice, the more optimized it will be.

Although .com and .io are both short URLs, .io is one letter shorter. So, if URL length is a priority, you should consider the .io instead of the .com.

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Final Verdict

From the time the .com was introduced in 1985, it has been the King of domain extensions. The .com lends credibility to a website. It makes visitors believe that your site or business is established and reliable. The familiarity aspect enhances its appeal.

Nevertheless, .com website names are difficult to find. Most names are already taken. Some users also consider the .com to be outdated. In such situations, the .io is an attractive alternative.

This newer domain extension is a generic TLD, just like .com. It has gained wide acceptance for its resemblance to “Input/Output” and it is sought out by tech companies. So, using this TLD is a short-cut to establish yourself online as a tech-related website.

Another appealing factor is that it is short and crisp. Also, it can be used in domain hacks for branding purposes. However, the .io extension is expensive, and you may end up paying more than you would for its .com counterpart.

For as long as domain extensions exist, the .com is bound to be the unbeatable choice. Nevertheless, the .io may be the wiser and more practical choice when you want a trendy, but reliable alternative.

So, we can conclude that there is no definite answer for whether the .com or .io extension is better. The final choice is up to you!

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