An Introduction to .io Domains (And Why They’re a Tech Business’ Dream)

  • Jul 18, 2019
  • 0
  • by Brad Litwin

When first setting up your website, you may not have given your Top-Level Domain (TLD) much thought. It’s easy to stick with common TLDs such as .com, .org, and .biz, but these days there are many other options. However, obtaining a short and memorable domain at a reasonable price can still be a challenge for any startup.

The .io TLD is not only recognized and embraced by the tech community, but also offers new companies increased availability when it comes to choosing a domain name. Many tech companies are turning to this TLD as a way to appeal to the web-savvy community. Plus, you can pick one up for a very small investment.

In this article, we’ll talk a little more about TLDs in general, introduce the .io domain, and then discuss how it can represent a visual authority marker for your tech business. Let’s get to it!

Why Choosing the Right TLD Is Important

There’s a lot more to consider when choosing your TLD than you might first assume. Many people pick .com simply because it’s the most popular option, and there is some logic to that decision. After all, when most people are looking for a website or trying to remember a domain name, .com is still what comes to mind.

However, that doesn’t mean this particular TLD is always the best choice. For one, its popularity means that many of the best domain names have already been taken. This limits your options when you’re starting a new website. What’s more, the .com TLD is also rather generic.

Choosing a more unusual TLD can make your site’s URL stand out. It can also tell your visitors something about its content, and helps to shape their expectations. For example, .org is strongly associated with nonprofit websites, while .biz indicates a business site. Both of these TLDs are widely available for anyone to purchase, but they are most often used by certain kinds of companies, and have come to be associated with those niches.

Another reason it’s important to choose the right TLD is to help your customers remember your website. Simple and unique URLs are more memorable. When people can remember your website’s URL, it makes it easier for them to find your site in the future, encouraging repeat visits.

An Introduction to .io Domains

The .io TLD actually originated as the country code for the British Indian Ocean Territory. Soon, however, tech enthusiasts soon began to joke that .io could stand for “input/output”. This led to the TLD’s association with tech companies:

A website using the .io domain.

The .io domain is considered a Generic Country Code Top Level Domain (GccTLD) by Google. This may sound confusing, but it simply means that even though the .io domain represents the British Indian Ocean Territory, it will not specifically target that geographic region in search results.

This makes it an ideal choice for international companies all across the world. Today, the .io domain is recognized by many in the tech community. It is used by app businesses, software developers, tech blogs, and more. If you’re in a similar niche, it may even be the right choice for your own website.

Why an .io Domain Can Be a Visual Authority Marker for Your Tech Business

As we’ve mentioned, many tech companies are turning to .io domains for their websites. In fact, there’s an emerging trend that says all new tech companies should have a .io domain. While that’s not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule, there are plenty of reasons to consider a .io domain for your tech business.

For instance, the .io domain is a shorter TLD than many of the other extensions that are available. That means it’s easier to type into web browsers. Having a short URL also makes your site’s address easier to remember. Combine this with the wider span of available names that .io offers, and you have a much greater chance to register a domain that’s short and unique.

What’s more, this particular extension provides the perfect opportunity for a ‘domain hack’. This is when you use your TLD to turn your domain into a word or phrase, and is a fun way to make your site memorable and interesting:

The Scenar.io website.

For example, National Public Radio (NPR) uses the TLD meant for Puerto Rico to shorten one version of its URL to n.pr. You can also do this with the .io domain, such as in the above example (scenar.io).

Finally, perhaps the most important reason to consider a .io domain for your tech business is because it’s a highly-recognizable TLD within the industry. Using it for your tech business 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 an .io domain can be a great way to appeal to those who are a part of the tech scene.

Fortunately, picking up an .io domain for your website isn’t hard. It’ll cost a little more than your standard .com domain, but is still surprisingly affordable (and a smart investment). Here at A2 Hosting, for example, you can grab an .io domain for $49.95.

Conclusion

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.

Three reasons an .io domain can represent a visual authority marker for your tech business are:

  1. A two-character domain means a shorter (and more memorable) URL.
  2. It’s a great opportunity for a domain hack.
  3. This TLD is highly recognizable in the tech industry.

Do you have any questions about .io domains, or why one may be a strong choice for your tech business? Don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below!

Image credit: geralt.

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