You may have seen websites that use a .IO domain before, but how much do you really know about the extension? We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about .IO to help you determine if it’s a good choice for your website.
What does .IO stand for?
.IO originated as a ccTLD for the British Indian Ocean territory, which falls half way between Africa and Indonesia, just south of India. But unlike many other ccTLDs, .IO is not a domain that’s use is restricted only to its residents, so anyone can register a .IO domain.
Then why do startups/tech companies use it so much?
So how did a ccTLD for a tiny archipelago become the domain ending of choice for startup and tech companies? It started with computer enthusiasts cleverly using .IO to stand for “input/output” when they set up their websites. The joke caught on and soon it became trendy for not only tech companies, but startups of all kinds to use the extension.
If it’s a ccTLD, won’t it negatively impact search?
Although search engines tend to target a local audience when showing country-code domains in search results, the wide-spread adoption of certain ccTLDs have given way to a different subgroup of domains: gccTLDs. These generic country code domains are treated like normal extensions so people outside of their traditional geographic location can use them. As .IO is among the domains considered a gccTLD, anyone can use it for their website without having to worry about limited targeting in search results.
How can I register a .IO domain?
Registering a .IO domain is simple as there are no restrictions on who can get one for their website. All you have to do is search for your .IO domain and purchase it just like you would any other online product if the URL you want is available. It renews at a regular price each year and is yours for as long as it is registered under your name.