Why IO Domains So Expensive17 min read

Why IO Domains  Expensive

Today’s companies, organizations, and people have expansive choices when selecting a website identify for his or her web site. Internet area extensions or top-level domains (TLDs) will be virtually something, from the globally acknowledged .com and .web to the geographically particular codes, generally known as nation code top-level domains (ccTLDs), resembling .us and .uk.

The extension .io is a ccTLD assigned to British Indian Ocean Territory. This area is well-loved by the tech business and infrequently prices greater than 3 times greater than different domains. So why are .io domains so costly? .io domains are costly as a result of they rapidly grew to become stylish with tech startups resulting from their similarity with information processing, in tech circles, “I/O” stands for input/output. Another purpose is that tens of millions of .com domains are already taken, however corresponding .io domains are nonetheless accessible.

I did some analysis to seek out out if it was actually that easy. Would individuals pay further for a website as a result of it has cachet of their business? Here’s what I discovered…


Why IO Domains So ExpensiveSource


A fantastic identify must be short, simple, memorable and unique. Unfortunately, in case your identify ticks all of these standards, you’ll be able to virtually assure that the .com for it’s long gone. At this juncture, you are confronted with a few selections:

  1. Buy the .com from the proprietor.
  2. Change your identify.
  3. Keep your identify and select a special Top-Level Domain (TLD).

The shorter and extra memorable your identify, the costlier the .com will be; costs can range from the tons of of {dollars} into the tens of 1000’s. If we assume {that a} fledgling startup can discover a higher use for $10,000 than shopping for a URL, possibility #1 is not normally viable. Though rising in reputation, .io domains are nowhere close to the market satuaration of .com’s. There’s a strong likelihood your identify will probably be accessible and, with most .io domains costing little greater than $100, reasonably priced.


For a ton of individuals, the startup scene is a counter-culture motion, created in opposition to faceless companies and company forms. Ditching the massive buck world of .com domains and choosing a novel identifier is interesting to a ton of founders. With I/O being shorthand for Input/Output, what higher than a website that speaks the identical language as builders?


Most importantly of all, .io domains allow you to do some enjoyable issues:

  • Rub.io is a shortened URL for Marco Rubio’s 2016 Presidential Campaign.
  • Postach.io is an Evernote-to-blog app.
  • Card.io is the house of PayPal’s card scanning expertise.

Hilarious! And that is purpose sufficient to ditch the .com, proper? Right?



Most tech startups purchase .io domains as a result of they cannot afford the .com; they do not have the size or resources to buy it. But what about different startups that handle to safe their .com? How do they evaluate to your corporation? It would not matter whether or not they’ve acquired their .com due to higher resources, selecting a much less sought-after identify, or sheer luck: they will look greater and extra profitable than you.

“The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness. Unless you’re so big that your reputation precedes you, a marginal domain suggests you’re a marginal company.” – Paul Graham

Even if you cannot afford your .com from Day One, that you must have a plan in place to accumulate it as quickly as viable. If it seems to be like an inconceivable feat, you want a brand new identify


Another standards from the SMART startup naming guidelines? ‘Timeless’. .io domains are rising in reputation, however how will we view them 5 or ten years from now? A couple of years in the past, startups had been ditching vowels from their identify like there was no tomorrow. Now, Flickr and Tumblr exist as testomony to a development that appears totally outdated. More just lately, the huge reputation of .co TLDs has taken a pointy downturn, thanks largely to the improved performance of predictive search. Why? Search engines are beginning to ship valuable visitors away from .co addresses, and in direction of their .com counterparts. WHY_.IO_IS_A_LOUSY_DOMAIN_FOR_YOUR_TECH_STARTUP_1.png


.io domains have an actual enchantment to the tech-orientated; notably the builders and founders that work in startups. And that is precisely why you should not select them. It would not matter in case your identify or web handle appeals to you. It must enchantment to your audience. If your SaaS resolution is designed with builders and SaaS founders in thoughts, (ignoring the earlier two issues) .io domains could foster a way of understanding and empathy. But what should you’re attempting to enchantment to entrepreneurs? Sales individuals? HR groups, or accountants? To them, a .io area means nothing; even worse, it is unfamiliar and complicated. Still not satisfied? I’ll go away you with a closing statement from Paul Graham: “100% of the top 20 YC [Y Combinator] companies by valuation have the .com of their name. 94% of the top 50 do.”

Top 3 Reasons Why .io Domains Are So Expensive

Securing a website identify is likely one of the first steps in planning a enterprise. You can’t do enterprise on-line without a website. And should you’re a tech or computer-based enterprise, you may need to use the .io area as a result of it has cachet in your business. After all, if there’s a place a tech-related enterprise may need to look good, it’s on-line.

While the .io extension isn’t exponentially costlier than the extra pedestrian .com or .web, it could actually have an annual value of no less than triple that of different domains. I made a rapid comparability by searching for domains on a preferred area registration web site… Price comparability of an accessible area identify with totally different TLDs:

curiouswriter.web site$0.99

So why do .io domains value a lot? A dot io area is nearly 4x as costly as a dot com web page on Namecheap

1) Registry “Internet Computer Bureau” setting high charges

A registry that has the proper to promote domains of a selected TLD determines the usual charge for its transactions. The “Internet Computer Bureau” holds the rights to promote dot io domains and it’s seemingly that they charge high charges. We cannot know the precise charges they take. But each area market like Namecheap, Godaddy and so on have increased costs for dot io domains than dot com. This can both be resulting from increased demand or the upper charges are the rationale.

Often the upper demand is given as the rationale for these costs, however there are causes that counsel that the charges charged by the “Internet Computer Bureau” are the primary driver of the price.

First, as a result of the “Internet Computer Bureau” not only holds the proper to promote the dot io TLD. They additionally maintain the rights to the dot sh and dot ac TLDs. However, these two TLDs are usually not practically as widespread as dot io however nonetheless value $29.57, main me to conclude that they’ve set comparatively high transaction charges.

Second, if demand had been the primary driver behind the high costs, then dot com should be costlier. As of September 2020, there have been 3.4 million dot com domains registered. That represents about 68% of all registrations that month (4.9 million). While dot io did not even make it into the top 10 TLDs of newly registered domains. This leads us to imagine that “Verisign” has decrease charges than the “Internet Computer Bureau”.

The other TLDs sold by the "Internet Computer Bureau" are similarly expensive on Namecheap

The different TLDs bought by the “Internet Computer Bureau” are equally costly on Namecheap

But the demand argument isn’t fully absurd. While it is not true that demand for dot io is increased than for dot com, there’s something to be stated for patrons being keen to pay extra for dot io. GoDaddy has made the choice to cost dot io 20% increased than the opposite “Internet Computer Bureau” TLDs they promote. This suggests {that a} increased value will probably be accepted by most prospects searching for a dot io area. They have even eliminated the promise of getting the “same price next year”. And by that, conserving all choices open to generate much more revenue if the development continues to develop.

Godaddy prices dot io significantly higher than the other TLDs sold by the "Internet Computer Bureau"

Godaddy costs dot io considerably increased than the opposite TLDs bought by the “Internet Computer Bureau”

2) I/O stands for Input/Ouput which made it widespread within the tech scene

Since I/O stands for input/output, this TLD has grow to be one other nice possibility for tech corporations. In explicit, founders who’re bootstrapping a startup or just engaged on a side venture use different TLDs extra usually than they do not. The clear favourite right here is dot io.

Dot com simply would not appear as trendy and up to date to artistic geeks. As a results of so many entrepreneurial minds working with these different TLDs, dot ios’ rating within the top 10,000 domains elevated by virtually 2,000% in 4 years.

Why IO Domains So Expensive

3) Great com domains are extremely costly

While there are cheaper dot com domains the good ones are 10-100x costlier. Many founders need to build their web site on a brief area. But all 2-letter dot com domains are already taken. The similar goes for 3-letter and even 4-letter domains. Adding to that, all 5-letter domains for English phrases are additionally registered. The only 5-letter domains nonetheless accessible are made-up phrases & rubbish, which makes it extremely arduous to seek out good domains. Even we at Indiebrands barely maintain 5 letter dot com domains.

Why IO Domains So Expensive

Statistics from DNAcademy Research

Not only dot io is rising with nice margins, but additionally dot co is changing into increasingly widespread. The belief in different TLDs is rising quickly, particularly amongst younger and tech-savvy individuals. This isn’t just a perception now we have, however now we have executed in-depth analysis on this subject. In doing so, we realized that dot co has grown by 79% from 212,000 registered domains in 2018 to 379,000 in 2020. Read extra about it right here: 10 Reasons why .io & .co Domains are growing in popularity and trust.

Reason 1: Tech Industry Loves .io Domains!

As I discussed above, .io is engaging to techies as a result of I/O stands for “Input/Output.” And, as merely put by techterms.com, “Computers are based on the fundamental idea that every input results in an output.” The computer’s parts relate to input-output, resembling keyboard-monitor. Computer processing is input-output: knowledge in-results out. Or, a person enters a command (the input), and the computer performs a process (the output).

So, as you’ll be able to see, the “I” and the “O” actually imply one thing on a elementary stage to those that work intently with expertise. If I had been beginning a brand new tech-related company, I’d select to spring for the additional value to have a website that displays my business. At as soon as, it reveals the world “I am too savvy to settle for .com,” whereas connecting the company to others within the startup neighborhood utilizing the area. It’s a model identifier and establishes a company as a part of a scene. And corporations can pay for that.  

Reason 2: Hundreds of Millions of .com Domains Are Already Taken!

According to Government Computer News (GCN.com), the primary area identify ever bought was Symbolics.com in 1985. Seven years later, there have been lower than 15,000 .com domains bought. By the start of 2011, there have been 205.3 million. Today, in accordance with Internet Live Stats, there are over 1.7 billion registered web sites in whole. 43% of them, or 731 million of them, finish in .com.

Special Note: If you might be questioning how one can register a website identify, then right here’s an entire step-by-step tutorial on registering a domain name. Also, right here’s one other attention-grabbing article, Are Domain Names Case Sensitive? Answer Is Yes And No – Here’s Why. It’s easy to see how troublesome it is perhaps for a company at this time to get its first choice area identify. When a person or enterprise finds itself on this frequent predicament, Google counsels them “…to simply change the ending.

The most used domain ending or TLD (“top-level domain”) is .com, however there at the moment are quite a lot of TLDs, starting from .academy to .espresso to .zone.” The area .io is perhaps an interesting choice to a company for its sheer accessibility. And if the company additionally occurs to be in a tech-, IT-, or computer-related discipline, it’s win-win. This is why a website registry can charge extra for having the stock that extra generic, top-level domains don’t have.

Reason 3: It Looks Clean and Sounds Cool…and Can Be Memorable Too!

Aesthetics won’t matter to each enterprise. But should you’re in a digital or web design discipline, or have a cutting-edge software program company, then the way in which you look onscreen is a giant deal. I can’t deny that “.io” seems to be “new” and “edgy” in comparison with the traditional “.com.” That means the whole lot to a techie. Besides, it will not be price the additional spend to everybody, however it’s much more enjoyable to say: “aye, oh” than “dotcom.” But, maybe most significantly, getting that identify you need, with a brief, snappy extension is price paying for. But…

Are There Cons To Buying A .io Domain?

As with something new and stylish, what could serve you within the quick run will not be appropriate for the larger image. As a enterprise proprietor, you have to determine if .io will provide the longevity that you must match your corporation.

Con 1: All that Glitters is Not Gold!

While trendiness is actually a trademark of the tech startup discipline, there isn’t any denying that an historical fixture like .com has some favorable cachet as well. Forbes.com advises: “.com should always be your first choice whenever possible, particularly if you’re planning to go big, nationwide, or international with your new brand.” Why? Because it’s price being attentive to something that’s been across the internet for as long because the internet itself. While you could not be capable to get your first choice area identify, it’d nonetheless be price brainstorming to discover a .com.  

Con 2: Confusing To Customers?

Let’s face it: prospects know .com. It’s virtually a proprietary eponym or a model that begins to switch the generic identify of an item in a market. When somebody says, “I need a .com,” we instantly know what they’re speaking about. Likewise, if somebody’s enterprise identify is The Curious Writer, for example, we’ll assume the web site for that enterprise will probably be discovered at thecuriouswriter.com.

New domains and ccTLDs are a stretch for the common client or internet person. While .io may affiliate your corporation with “all things tech” and different techies, it might be aliening to anybody who isn’t within the know. Also, you could find yourself spending extra advertising {dollars} upfront to get the message throughout. A message that’s principally saying “we’re not a .com.” Lastly, some normal on-line kinds may use dropdown menus with the big-player top-level domains, resembling .com and the most important alternate options, resembling .org, .web, .edu, .gov, and so on.

If I Really Want A .com That is Taken, Are There Ways to Get It?

I did some extra analysis to learn the way a company may get that .com they’ve all the time dreamed of. Unless the area you need belongs to a multinational company, the proper value may simply make that URL yours. Here are some methods to attempt to purchase a .com area that you really want…

1. Try To Buy It From The Current Owner

Almost each area registrar has directions for how one can go after a website identify that’s already taken. GoDaddy’s article “4 Steps to Your Dream Domain” has some nice ideas, and I’ll share a few of these steps right here.

  • Find out who owns the area. This isn’t too troublesome, it seems. Websites like whois.net may also help discover the proprietor of the area you need.
  • Often, the web site registrar search will even embody a “Make an Offer” button that begins the method of attempting to make a deal.
  • If you don’t have the time – or the boldness – to make the decision, you’ll be able to work with the area registrar of your choice to safe your area.

Depending on who owns the area, whether or not they’re nonetheless in enterprise and every other factors, buying a website identify on the secondary market can value you a large number.

2. Check Online For Resale Domains List

Many area registrars have a list of just lately and not-so-recently inactive domains which are accessible for buy by means of their web sites. If you continue to don’t discover what you need, the websites generally advocate comparable domains, and one may simply enchantment to you.

3. Find A Registrar That Places Backorders

This is simply what it feels like! Some area registrars will preserve an open alert for you in the event that they know what you might be searching for. You can enter particular names or key phrases, and also you’ll obtain an electronic mail letting if one thing comes up that matches your search. However…

.io Is Still A Great Option for Many!

With the generic top-level domains being practically exhausted for names and phrases many companies are searching for, selecting an alternate TLD could be a strong technique. While the yearly value could also be just a little greater than settling for a .com, a .io area may also help kickstart your branding. You could should put extra efforts and resources into preliminary advertising to get your area identify on the market. But many corporations have already discovered it worthwhile to take this daring, new step right into a non-traditional territory.

Understanding .AI vs .IO Domain Extensions

While .ai and .io domain names are each associated to the tech world, they do differ. Let’s delve extra into .ai vs .io TLD now. Tech corporations generally use .io domains because of the frequent utilization of the time period ‘I/O’ or ‘IO’ when speaking about input/output, whereas .ai is commonly utilized by synthetic intelligence organizations, which is a extra focussed type of expertise. If you’re not within the tech enterprise, then the advantage of the domains is that each are only two-letters long, making them quick and memorable, and helpful for area hacks like portfol.io for photographers, or kor.ai for curry fans.

Are .AI Domains Safe?

Whenever an individual or enterprise desires to register a website, there are guidelines and restrictions in place to make sure that the registrant is genuine and reliable. This helps preserve guests to TLDs just like the .ai area protected and sound. The registry requirement for .ai domains is that the registration and renewal interval have to be for no less than 2 years — however can be secured for 4, 6, 8, or 10 years.

When it involves taking care of your personal security, it’s vital to know the place your knowledge will be seen. On registering a brand new area, contact information resembling your identify, handle, and telephone quantity is required, and publically displayed on the Whois database, which signifies that anybody can discover your information. If you register your area with Namecheap, we provide free area privateness domain privacy safety for all times. Our service retains your knowledge hidden and can defend it from any potential fraudsters. We additionally provide using premium DNS servers that offer you 100% uptime and additional safety in your knowledge for lower than $5 a yr.

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