What is .io domain extension & what does .io mean?

5 min read
Adem Asha

You might be familiar .com domains given their massive popularity, but What is .io domain extensions & what does .io mean! Considering the popularity of .com, you might run into a situation where your desired .com domain is no longer available.

In this article, we will explore the .io domain extension and learn what it stands for, what it is used for and who can register for a .io domain!

Keep reading ahead for our full guide to the .io TLD (Top-Level Domain).

What is a top-level domain (TLD) & how does it work?

Top-Level Domain refers to the last section of a domain name.

Using www.godaddy.com as a example, TLD here refers to the .com segment.

Top-Level Domains are sometimes called domain suffixes or extensions and are meant to communicate the purpose or location of a website.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) controls registries that make TLDs available. There are several types of TLDs that ICANN recognizes, including Generic top-level domain (gTLD), Sponsored top-level domain (sTLD), Unsponsored top-level domain (uTLD) and country-code top-level domain.

list of most expensive domain names

Related: Domain extension guide: What you need to know before you pick a domain name

How to incorporate a TLD within your branding?

Seize the chance to tell people who you are with your brand name and a creative domain! Choose the right domain extension to enhance your brand and be known for your domain name.

When you hear World Wide Web “WWW“, you immediately know what this is about. Now apply the same concept to your business.

Your TLD can tell your customers a lot about you and what you do. If your business domain’s TLD is .edu, you’re most likely running an educational institution. A domain extension of .org is popular amongst non-profit organizations, while .biz is for another alternative for businesses.

Developing an app? Definitely consider the .apps domain extension. For those of you who are running local businesses, a ccTLD is definitely a good option to consider. For example, .uk is perfect if you or your business is based in the United Kingdom.

What about .io websites? Let’s find out more in the next sections!

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What is .io domain extension?

.io is one of the highest level domains in the hierarchical domain name system after the root domain.

Nic.io (operated by Donuts) is the sponsor and Donuts is GoDaddy's backend provider for the country-code top-level domain name (ccTLD) .io extensions that represents British Indian Ocean Territory.

Fun fact: The fashion company Levi Strauss & Co. registered levi.io in 1998, the first web address under the ccTLD .io.

What Does .io in URL Stands For?

As an abbreviation for Input/Output in computer science, .io is a popular domain for tech startups, engineers, coders and geeks in general. While it's actually a country-code domain for the British Indian Ocean Territory, .io domain is also a sweet choice for anyone looking for a super short domain name.

The global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources is performed as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions.

IANA has the following Delegation Record for .IO:

(Country-code top-level domain)

ccTLD Manager

Internet Computer Bureau (icb) Limited
c/o Sure (Diego Garcia) Limited
Diego Garcia
British Indian Ocean Territories, PSC 466 Box 59
FPO-AP 96595-0059
British Indian Ocean Territory

Administrative Contact

Internet Administrator
Internet Computer Bureau Limited
c/o Sure (Diego Garcia) Limited
Diego Garcia
British Indian Ocean Territories, PSC 466 Box 59
FPO-AP 96595-0059
British Indian Ocean Territory
Voice:+246 9398
Fax:+246 9398

What Does .io Mean for Tech Companies?

If you are a tech company who wants a generic top-level domain name (gTLD), a .io TLD is probably the best choice for you. It tells the users that you are a tech company which helps you in your branding.

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Search engines would rank your website higher and this helps you from an SEO perspective.

Now that you have gotten your perfect domain name, it is time to get the right web hosting.

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Advantages & disadvantages of .io domain names.

.io TLDs have been gaining momentum and popularity in the recent years in the tech world. The relatively new domain extension is being used in funny and smart play on words where the projects have nothing to do with tech.

Advantages of an io domain name:

  • A lot of domain names are still available.
  • Great for domain hacks: like rad.io, portfol.io, or the most known example is Marco Rubio, the American politician who used rub.io for his political campaign in 2016.
  • Google treats it as a generic tlds.
  • Shot and easy to remember.

Disadvantages of an io domain name:

  • Although it can be registered by everyone, it is still dominated by tech companies.
  • May show a weaker brand name when compared to .com or .net.
  • Relatively expensive.

.io domain extension: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions:

What is .io domain good for?

.io is definitely a good domain name because it is treated as a Generic Top-Level Domain, so it is up there with the rest of the big names like .com domains and .net.

What is .io domain used for?

.io domains are predominantly in tech and video games but that does not mean it is limited to them, anyone can get an io domain name extension.

What companies use .io domain?

Given that io is an acronym of input/output in computer science. It is mostly used by tech startup in the tech world. But this is not the rule, anyone can register an io domain name.