What is a .IO Domain?

Written by Technology Writer

October 14, 2023
What is a .IO Domain?

While .com has long been the go-to domain extension for websites, some opt for different extensions that better suit the nature of their businesses. Or, they might opt for an alternative because .com or .net are unavailable.

Whatever the reason,.io, is an increasingly popular choice. Curious about what makes it special? Today, we're going to unpack the details of .io domains -- what they are, their history, and why you might consider using one.

Let's get to it.

The Anatomy of a Domain Name

Before we jump into the .io phenomenon, it's essential to grasp the fundamental components of a domain name. Consider a domain name as your brand's digital postal address. It consists of two primary elements: the website name and the domain extension. For instance, in google.com, "google" is the website name, while .com is the domain extension.

Website Name

This is your unique digital identifier. Typically, it's your brand or business name and is what people will enter into their browser to locate your site. The website name is vital for brand visibility and is often the most inventive aspect of the domain name.

Domain Extension

This is the part that follows the website name, acting as a suffix to your digital identity. Domain extensions can be either generic (gTLDs) like .com, .net, or .org, or they can be country-specific (ccTLDs) like .uk for the United Kingdom or .us for the United States. Your choice of domain extension can shape how visitors view your site.

What Does .IO Stand For?

dot io

Initially, .io was allocated as a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the British Indian Ocean Territory. However, its role has significantly expanded over time. While it continues to function as a ccTLD, it's not limited to that geographic region.

In the realm of technology, .io is commonly associated with Input/Output, a core concept in computer science that deals with the interaction between a computer system and the external world.

Why Are Tech Companies Obsessed with .IO?

The .io domain has become a sought-after asset, particularly among tech firms and startups. Let's explore the reasons behind this trend.

Affiliation with the Tech Industry

The .io extension carries a dual significance that makes it highly attractive to tech enterprises. In the realm of computer science, I/O signifies Input/Output, the foundational process of all computing activities. This connection lends .io a tech-centric appeal, making it a favored choice for businesses engaged in cutting-edge fields like cryptocurrency and web3.

Availability and Cost

Securing a .com domain that's both accessible and reasonably priced can be a monumental challenge. According to Web Technology Surveys, .com domains constitute nearly half of all registered domains, whereas .io domains make up a mere 1%.

This renders .io a less congested space, offering superior availability. In terms of pricing, .io domains are generally more budget-friendly compared to high-end .com domains. For example, Voice.com fetched a staggering $30 million, while the priciest .io domain, mint.io, sold for $230,000.

Search Engine Recognition

A prevalent myth is that owning a .io domain could adversely affect your site's SEO. However, this is not the case. Google treats .io domains on par with gTLDs like .com, which means your site won't be subject to geographic targeting rules specific to ccTLDs.

Domain Hacks

The .io extension offers a unique opportunity for creative domain naming, such as scenari.io or card.io. This form of branding is not only inventive but also memorable, making it an excellent choice for startups or personal projects.


The .io domain is not bound by geographic or industry limitations. This allows for its use across a wide range of website types, be it a blog, an online store, or a software firm. Regardless of your website's focus, .io domains offer flexibility and a chance to distinguish yourself.

Drawbacks of .IO Domains

Despite its versatility, the .io domain has some drawbacks that you should be aware of.


The main disadvantage of .io is the perception it conveys to clients and prospects. Non-technical users may find a .io extension confusing and perceive it as untrustworthy or incomplete. Thus, if your target audience consists mostly of non-techies

Limited Local SEO Benefits

If your business is focused on a specific geographic area, a .io domain won't provide the local SEO benefits that a country-specific domain extension would.

Are .IO Domains Safe?

Safety is a top priority, isn't it? Like any other domain, .IO comes with its own security protocols and guidelines. For example, content of a sexual or pornographic nature is strictly prohibited. Many registrars also offer added security features such as Domain Privacy Protection and DNSSEC to ensure your online home remains secure.

Plus, the .io extension is ICANN accredited. This means that not only does it follow international standards for domain registration but also provides enhanced credibility in the eyes of your visitors. With these safety precautions and protocols in place, you can rest assured knowing that your website is safe from hackers and cybercriminals.

Where to Register Your .IO Domain

register io

If you're sold on the .io domain, the next logical step is registration. While there are numerous options for domain registrars, if WordPress or cloud hosting is your focus, Verpex Hosting is an exceptional choice.

We provide a broad spectrum of hosting services, from reseller hosting to dedicated servers. What sets us apart is our commitment to speed, security, and round-the-clock expert support.

Plus, we offer a variety of extensions – .io being one of them. So, if you're ready to take the plunge and give your business an edge with a .io domain, Verpex Hosting is here to help.



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Will Your Site Launch on a .IO Domain?

Selecting a domain name is not merely a procedural step. It's a critical milestone in carving out your online persona.

While .com domains have been the traditional favorite, .io domains present a modern, tech-savvy alternative that's quickly gaining momentum. Whether you're a tech startup or a creative individual, .io offers a mix of industry relevance, superior availability, and SEO advantages.

And if you're in the market for reliable hosting services, Verpex Hosting offers a wide range of plans suited for all business types -- and you can secure the .IO domain while you're at it.

So, are you ready to launch your next .IO site?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the name of your website. A domain name is a word or a phrase that people enter in their browsers in order to be taken to a certain website on the Internet.

What is a top-level domain?

A top-level domain is the last part of the domain name, so it’s everything that goes after the final dot in the domain name.

What makes a certain domain valuable?

Valuable domains are usually memorable, easy to spell, pronounce, and short.

What is the difference between .com and .NET domains?

The decision to choose a .com or .NET domain will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you are a business or commercial entity, a .com domain may be a better option. If you are a network technology organization, .NET might be more appropriate. However, both TLDs are widely used and recognized, so each option is suitable for different purposes.

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