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Why are startups turning to .IO?

.IO has become one of hottest domain name extensions for startups. This is a little peculiar, since .IO has existed since 1997 and was originally assigned as the ccTLD for British Indian Ocean Territory. So, why are startups turning to .IO?

With .IO, startups can get short and memorable names, because .IO has great availability. A .IO domain name can be a better option than coming up with a long and confusing domain name that uses a more established extension (or buying expensive premium domains). To put it simply, .IO’s are an easy way to get a great domain for a great price, and .IO has a handful of other defining benefits.

Why should you use .IO?

1. .IO is a unique extension compared to generic TLDs, which can help a startup stand out from a marketing perspective.

2. It’s shorter than three-letter gTLDs, while being different, which makes it easy to remember.

3. It’s just starting to become popular, which means it’s pretty likely you’ll get the name you want.

4. In the tech and software development world, I/O means input/output, so .IO is particularly relevant to that audience.

5. You can create cool domain hacks with .IO, like scenar.IO or pistach.IO.

Working with .IO also became easier as of 2013, which contributed to the spike in adoption rate. The .IO registry,, switched its back-end provider to allow faster domain transfers and modifications. now uses a standardized authorization code procedure that’s the same as .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Unlike some other ccTLDs, the .IO domain has also been re-designated as a gTLD, so anyone who wants .IO can register one.

Do you have an idea that you’re ready to get online? Consider registering a .IO—it’s perfect for startups.

Why the .IO domain is a powerful choice

It’s rare now to come across someone who has not at least heard of the .IO domain name—the extension that originally served as a ccTLD for the British Indian Ocean Territory took off several years ago among web innovators and remains a popular domain choice for startups and tech companies.

Originally, the tech community embraced .IO as a domain hack, using the TLD as an acronym for “input/output,” which is a common term in the computer science field. But as more companies, websites, and individuals embrace the domain, .IO has become synonymous to “innovation.”

If you’re considering registering a .IO domain name but still have some hesitations, check out this list of reasons on why you should choose a .IO domain for your website.

5 benefits of using a .IO domain name

1. .IO extensions have more availability than traditional domain endings: One of the biggest reasons that so many startups choose .IO over a traditional ending is that there is more space available. Even though .IO is one of the more commonly used domains out there, it does not have the prominence that some gTLDs have—thus your chances of registering your first choice of domain names is much higher.

2. They’re a great opportunity for a domain hack: Domain hacks, or using second and third level domains to cleverly create words and phrases, is a great way to make your website memorable and interesting. For example, National Public Radio (NPR) registered and uses the URL shortener, which utilizes the ccTLD of Puerto Rico to create a domain that mimics their brand name. The same can be done with .IO if your business or website name happens to have a “io” ending.

3. .IO domains are recognizable, and even embraced by the tech and startup communities: As we mentioned before, .IO domains are generally accepted by those who are web savvy. It appeals to the tech industry in particular as .IO has been associated with Input/Output. Using a .IO domain can be a good way to appeal to these industries and identify yourself or your business as part of the tech scene.

4. Google treats .IO as gccTLD, so you won’t fall prey to unwanted geo-targeting: Worried about the range of your search results if you use a ccTLD? While it could be a valid concern for some country-code domain names, Google has categorized .IO among its group of gccTLDs, or Generic Country Code Top Level Domains. Because Google recognizes that individuals and businesses outside of the British Indian Ocean Territory use this domain ending, they will not specifically target that geographic region when your business comes up in search results.

5. A two-character domain means a shorter URL: .IO is a two-character domain, making it a shorter option than many of the other extensions out there. The easier it is for web visitors to type your URL into a browser, the better. Combined with the wider span of available domain space .IO offers, you have a great opportunity to register a short domain name that is memorable and unique.