Is .IO Right for You? When to Use It? Pros and Cons, and More

31 Aug, 2023

Finding the perfect name and top-level domain for your website may seem daunting, with over 1,900 options. But don’t worry; with so many TLDs out there (.com and .io, just to name a few), we’re sure you can find a perfect domain name for your digital presence.

We all know that each domain extension out there serves a specific purpose. But what exactly is the .io domain extension for, and why has it become so popular among tech companies? This article will give you a brief history of the .io domain name and its pros and cons to help you decide whether or not it’s right for your website.

The .io domain is perfect for tech businesses who want to project a modern image. This domain extension has a lot of positive intents associated with it, such as being innovative and cutting-edge.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has delegated the .io TLD to the Internet Computer Bureau (ICB). Now, .io is operated by Afilias. They are an American registry that also manages .mobi and .info domains.

What Is the .IO Domain Extension

.io is the country-code top-level domain name for the Chagos Archipelago, assigned to British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Despite this, it’s become a generic domain and is famous in computer science circles since IO or I/O means input/output.

When You Should Use the .IO TLD

.io is becoming more popular among high-traffic tech sites, even though it’s not as widely used as other top-level domains. Our site is using the .IO extension to get an edge on the competition.

Although the .io extension is popular in the tech industry, this extension is also available for any business – even though it’ll be more generic than country-specific. Google treating .io as one of the generic ccTLDs shows that it’s not just tech companies that can use this domain!

Just a heads up that .io is different from the .ly domain extension. The .ly domain extension is still used in Libya, but many businesses outside the country use the .io extension.

If you’re a global company looking for a memorable brand name, .io is a great option. You don’t have to be located in the BIOT to register .io domains or worry about search rankings since it’s not country-targeted.

What .IO Means for Startups and Tech Companies

There are a few reasons why tech and SaaS startups tend to use .io domain names. The reference to input/output terminology is relevant to their audience and startup communities. Additionally, .com domains may not be available for their second-level domains, making .io a perfect alternative.

.io is a famous domain extension with tech startups because it represents input/output. Other companies in the tech scene, like open-source organizations and cryptocurrency companies in the financial services sector, are using .io to associate themselves with this reference.

.io is the perfect domain for video gaming projects because it already has a lot of meaning in the industry. IO games are known for being browser-based with multiplayer components and simple graphics. Having .io as your project’s domain communicates that you’re familiar with what players want and expect.

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.IO Domain Pros and Cons

.io domain names are popular among startups, tech companies, and developers for a reason – they’re short, snappy, and easily remembered. But there are some drawbacks to using .io domains that you should be aware of before you begin using them.

Pros of Using .IO Domains

There are many excellent reasons why people choose the .io domain. Here are some of our favorites:

Affiliated With Tech: .io is a powerful domain in the tech space and startup communities. This makes the domain highly effective for external communications, helping people quickly recognize the industry.

Better Availability: The .io address is an excellent option for your existing brand because it only accounts for 0.6% of all domains worldwide compared to other options like .com and .net. You’re more likely to find the perfect domain name with this top-level domain!

Search Engines Recognize the Domain: Google doesn’t specifically target British Indian Ocean Territory when showing .io sites in its search results. So, no need to worry about the SEO result.

Get More Creative: If you want to shorten your URLs and create more memorable domains, use .io. It’s a great way to make your online presence more creative.

Cons of Using .IO Domains

The .io domain extension offers several advantages, but it also has drawbacks. Some of the disadvantages include:

It’s More Expensive: The cost of a domain name depends on its extension, availability, and popularity. .io domains are super popular right now because they’re trendy and in demand in the tech industry and among startups. They cost more than .online or .com domains, but it’s worth it!

.IO Has Lower Trust and Memory Scores: If you’re looking for a domain name with more credibility and reputation, then .com or .org might be better options. Domain extensions like .io are relatively new on the scene, so they may not have as much trust rating or memorability yet. With a score of only 3.0 for trust and 28% for memorability, it’s important to consider all your options before making your final decision!

It Has a Controversial History: Have you heard about the Chagos Archipelago dispute? It’s a pretty big deal. The UK, Mauritius, and the US are all involved. It could have some severe consequences for businesses that use .io domains.


The .io domain is no longer just for Indian Ocean sites. Google now recognizes it as a generic top-level domain! This means that it can serve a much broader audience.

Why settle for a .com when you can have a .io? Many people see the .io domain name extension as the right fit for their tech businesses, referring to input/output in the computing process. Meanwhile, other people buy it to make a more creative and relevant domain name using a different top-level domain.

.io domains are more expensive, have a lower trust rating, and are associated with a complex history – but they’re also more available and have shorter names. People automatically associate .io sites with tech startups or companies, even without seeing any content on the website. Plus, using a domain extension associated with technology can give your website an edge over the competition.

We hope this article is for you if you think about giving your website a .io extension. It would be best to buy your .io domain from a reputable domain provider such as Rovity to get free WHOIS privacy protection and expert support. Registering with a reputable registrar or hosting provider is essential to ensure that your domain remains available. Plus, grab a hosting plan while you’re at it!

Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest-growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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