All website owners need a domain name for their website. While .com is the unbeatable choice, .com domain names are becoming scarce by the minute. This forces new website owners to look for other domain options. In recent years, the .io domain has emerged as a popular alternative to the .com. So, let’s find out what a .io domain is.
The .io is a generic top-level domain (gTLD), like .com, .net, etc, and has existed since 1997. It is used by many companies worldwide and is very popular with startups and technology-related companies. The abbreviation resonates with Input / Output, and so it is highly coveted by tech companies.
Let’s take a detailed look at .io domains now.
What Should You Know Before Buying Any Domain Extension?
Before we explore the .io domain in-depth, let’s look at the different factors to consider when choosing a domain extension.
Your domain name is important because it is your virtual address and represents your business in the online world. However, the domain extension is also equally important when it comes to establishing your online presence.
Online users tend to form their initial impressions of a website by its domain extension. For instance, .biz is usually associated with business websites and .info with information websites. So, your choice of domain extension can be an important factor for your business in converting leads to customers.
Since the TLD you choose represents the purpose of your website, it is ideal to find one that is relevant to your business.
Another factor is search engine relevance. Although there are over 400 different domain extensions, they are not treated equally by Google. Generic top-level domains are usually ranked higher than other domain extensions. So, you can improve your chances of ranking high in search engine results by choosing such domain extensions.
Nonetheless, the extension is only a part of your website URL. It should work with the domain name. Short domain extensions will allow you to keep your domain name small and memorable. Domain extensions with two or three letters are best for this purpose.
Why Is .io A Good Domain Extension Choice?
It didn’t take techies too long to realize that the .io domain could stand for Input/Output. And once they did, the demand for .io names grew drastically. Since online users often judge a website based on its domain extension, the .io extension is relevant for a tech company.
Interestingly, .io doesn’t represent input/output. Instead, .io is a country code TLD which represents the British Indian ocean territory. However, this domain isn’t confined to that specific geographical location. The .io domains are administered by the International Computer Bureau to any website that satisfies their criteria.
Google recognizes .io like all other generic top-level domains like .com, .org, and .net. So, a .io extension improves your chances of being ranked high when your website has relevant and high-quality content.
The .io domain is popular not just because of its association with technology. Another reason why .io is used by all types of companies is that it is brief and short. It helps to keep the website URL short and compelling. This, in turn, ensures that the URL is more memorable.
Availability is another promising factor. It is easier to find a preferred name with a .io extension than with a .com extension. So, business owners and individuals can often go with their first choice for a website name with a .io extension.
The .io domain extension is also easily recognizable. Unlike the .biz and .info that have a bad reputation of being associated with many spam websites, .io is treated with credibility. So, if you register your site with a .io extension, visitors will assume that the .io represents your company’s link to Information Technology (IT) field. They will not think twice about clicking on the link.
Related Further Reading:
- Why Are .io Domains So Expensive? (Top 3 Reasons + 2 Cons)
- .com vs .io – Comparison of Availability, Price, Trust, and Memorability
Is .io A Good Domain?
The .io domain is often highlighted as a tech business’ dream because of the association of the word I/O with technology. Since this extension rings a bell, it almost instantly creates an identity for the business. Opt for a .io, and you immediately become part of the tech community.
So, if you are unable to secure a .com extension, the .io could be one of the next best options. Although it is not a traditional domain, it is recognizable. It is considered a reliable and stable extension and is not associated with spam websites.
One of the reasons for this is that .io domains are not very cheap. Registration and renewal of .io domains is an expensive affair. The higher charge discourages people from simply buying and parking .io websites for later use. It also turns away spammers and hackers. This makes the .io domain a good option for serious website owners.
Nevertheless, one potential concern with .io domain extensions is its vulnerability to hacking. A few years back, there was an incident where the security of .io nameservers was compromised. Although there was no long-term damage, this occurrence highlighted a major safety concern with .io nameservers. Fortunately, the security breach was reported during the migration of the domain to its current owner, Afilias. So, we can now assume that Afilias has strengthened the security aspects to prevent any such breach in the future.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Are .io Domains Safe? (Truth About Its Safety And Reliability)
- How To Register A Domain Name (and Why You Shouldn’t Get It For Free)
How Does .io Compare With Other TLDs?
There are hundreds of TLDs or top-level domain extensions. They can be divided into different categories like infrastructure, generic, restricted, sponsored, country code, and test domains.
These domain extensions are also divided into different quality tiers. The highest tier has domains like .com, .gov, and .net that are easily recognizable and have SEO value. Middle-tier and bottom tier TLDs are not as popular as those in the top-tier. Most country code domains come under the middle tier.
The .io is technically a country code domain. However, it is not treated like other country code domain extensions. It doesn’t have local SEO weight like other country code generic domains. In fact, from the time it was introduced in 1997, .io has primarily been used as a generic domain.
Google recognizes selected country code domains as generic, and .io belongs to it. It doesn’t assume that a .io company is limited to a region. So, if your website targets a global market, the .io extension will come in handy for SEO purposes.
If you can’t find a .com of your liking, you can consider other generic TLDs, and a .io domain name can turn out to be valuable for your business.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Is .info A Good Domain? (Here’s Everything You Should Know)
- Are .biz Domains Any Good? Should You Use Them? (SEO Impact?)
- Is .co A Good Domain? (Yes and No – Here’s Why)
So, In A Nutshell…
At the end of the day, what you want is a .com as your website extension. However, when it is impossible to obtain it, you will have to look at other options. The .io domain extension is an interesting and exciting choice, especially if your business is technology related.
Although the .io is not a traditional domain, it has a solid reputation and good SEO value. It is treated as a generic country code TLD, which means it is better than other country code and bottom tier extensions for a global audience.
The .io is short, memorable, and interesting. Although pricier than other extensions, you may have to consider this option if you want a credible and recognizable domain extension for your website.