Product Development July 21, 2020

.CO or .IO?

Stephen Shaw @sxsio

Sometimes both .CO & .IO are available. Which one do you choose for your side project? 🤔

.CO or .IO?
  1. 10

    I always go for .com if available. Otherwise I look for another name.

    Bit it also depends what's your sideproject.

    If you sell cookies online you could go with.

    • Cookiesfor.all

    We should use our imagination for a domain, there's plenty of workarounds.

    Example. I bought once.

    But i had a typo......

    1. 3

      Great points! And the dreaded typo purchase 😭, so easy to do!

      1. 1

        I am clumsy as hell....but that's because I have a lot in my mind.

    2. 1

      I used to do this as well. But then I realised that it's enough for me to have a uniform name across the domain name and website. For BassDrum I got the domain, and used @BassDrumApp as the social media handle. The goal is to be recognisable.

      It's worth remembering that the domain is only a small part of the equation. There is an increasing trend in people opting for .ly, .co, .io, or .app domains, but if you are particular about .com, you could always use a variation of your word (add inc, or app or co at the end).

      I typically spend less than an hour or two to come up with a name.

    3. 1

      If you sell cookies online

      Hey that's me!

      We started with and eventually bought .com a year later. It depends on who the audience is. Most people buying cookies wouldn't be accustomed to .io.

      1. 1

        They wouldn't ,definitely not.

      2. 1

        Mmmm cookies, my daughter calls me cookie monster.
        Yummy yummy..yummy yummy...

        Your cookies looked great on the screen.

        1. 2

          Who knew you could post about domains and end up with cookies!!! 🍪 😋

  2. 6

    I like .io over .co - have never bought a .co domain. I've always thought it was too close to .com & could be confusing to customers if they share your company via word of mouth as you may miss out on a ton of traffic to the .com equivalent.

    1. 2

      Agreed! .IO is very likable and I’ve worried the same on .CO, but many have had success ( May also matter what’s going on with the associated .COM too, competitor, for sale, etc?

      1. 1

        Very good point, it definitely matters what the .COM is being used for in case a competitor could siphon off your hard work building up your brand on a .CO. I think it's easy for .IO to become part of your branding & company name too.

  3. 4

    I chose IO because my product is for developers.

    1. 1

      Smart! That’s where the decision seems to be the clearest. That input/output association is the difference when your product is for developers.

  4. 3

    Get both and redirect to .com

    1. 1

      Smart! Definitely the safest approach if you can pull it off

  5. 2

    I was always under the impression .com ranked better on search engines. Plus, there is an inherit risk with the .io domain. In the past there has been talk of closing the domain, and the authority has had DNS outages before (although both of these points appear to be unsubstantiated).

    1. 1

      Good points, believe Google now treats .IO as generic rather than country specific so ranking shouldn’t be an issue. There is a good HN post covering stability, worth noting, but doesn’t seem like too much of a concern

      1. 1

        There's both controversy and instability issues with .IO , I'm in the process of migrating from .IO to .CO for my main biz. Ideally I can get the .COM down the road when I can match the seller's price LOL.

        1. 1

          Thanks for sharing, can you elaborate on what drove you away from .IO? Am sure it would help anyone trying to choose. Also, best of luck in securing the .COM!

          1. 1

            @m1aw has posted the same article below where I got my info, it gives many details about the issue.
            As well, most of my potential clients aren't in tech, so the .IO doesn't have any cutesie meaning for them haha.
            Thanks, and best of luck with your projects!

            1. 1

              Thanks Blake!

  6. 2

    Either is OK as long as you also have the .com ( and redirect if needed). If you're serious about the product then it makes sense to own the .com so someone else doesn't buy it and copycat your business. If the .com is already taken by another site them starting out with the .io or .co can add difficulty to SEO and branding.

    1. 1

      I agree with this to an extent. What I would add is that if you’re naming your business after something that already has an established .com then you’re an idiot.

      The more common problem is the .com will be taken by a scumbag domain hoarder and is just sitting doing nothing. That’s less of a problem in my opinion.

    2. 1

      So true!

  7. 2

    I was looking to get .io for my website but went with because it was almoost 90% cheaper at the time on Namecheap

    1. 1

      Makes sense with such a big price difference, many have had success with .CO. for example, he owns the .COM now too, but don’t think he had it at the beginning.

      1. 1

        Interesting... thanks for telling :)

  8. 2

    I much prefer io. When I see co, I always wonder if it’s a typo.

    1. 1

      haha 😂

  9. 2

    I'd go with .co or even better one of the new gTLD's in case the .com is expensive/not available.
    Main reason is the existence of the .io is being questioned, let alone the all controversy about human rights [1].


  10. 2

    Depend on what your product does. I prefer .com personally. Also, I don't think there is a big difference between io and co

  11. 2

    io just because co is easily confused with com

  12. 2

    Personally don't like .co so I would go with an .io

  13. 2

    Still on -net or .ch - Switzerland is non US and non EU so I think it´s a safe place

  14. 2

    Personally, I associate .io domains to projects that somehow are related to developers so if your side project is offering something that developers can benefit from, I would suggest to use the .io domain. I have chosen .io over .co (registered .co but not going to use it) for the same reason.

    1. 1

      Agreed, for developers seems like .IO is a good choice. If you also own the .CO probably smart to redirect to your .IO.

  15. 1

    I really object to the misuse of .co, .tv and .io under the banner "domain hack". How many of the projects/organisations which use the name have a connection to Columbia, Tuvalu or The British Indian Ocean Teritory (

    The only reason this is permitted is because of relaxed criteria for registration. I think all country associated TLDs should have stricter criteria for registration like Ireland or Australia. Otherwise the TLDs become meaningless.

  16. 1

    .com (only option if you are B to C)




    1. 1

      Valid point. However, if your market is tech then I think the B2C risk is much lower.

  17. 1

    Choose any domain always take a .com domain and redirect to your own website because .com is well known domain and most time when people search for your website they enter .com domain over any domain.

    1. 1

      Do you have data to back up that statement? I’d be really interested to see it (genuinely).

      1. 1

        What you want to say i don't get it...

        1. 1

          I’m saying that I have a genuine interest in this because I currently have my own domain problem for a business I’m involved with. So if what you’re saying is accurate and people actually search for [business name dot com] then that is valuable info to me.

          It was my belief that people would search simply for [business name]

          So what I’m asking is, is what you simply your opinion stated as fact, or is there data available that shows this.

          1. 1

            Because when i am searching on Google about it on many blogs i get this answer and also if you chose a domain name like .io and if someone in future take same name with .com then there is a chance of your visitors can go on that website because .com is widely used domain and people mostly enter url with .com extension.
            If you personally love .io as i also love that domain you can go with that but also investing 5$ in .com extension can make little impact.
   for more you can visit here...

  18. 1

    .io is more international than .co-lombia...

    1. 1

      Think .IO is technically British Indian Ocean Territory, but doubles as I/O - Input/Output which is cool for developers. But for better or worse, .CO feels closer to .COM

      1. 1

        Oh, I did not know that... So neither is what it claims to be then...

        1. 1

          Neither, claims to be anything. It is simply the meaning the we have attributed ourselves.

          Take, .tv for example. Great if your involved in TV; great if you're Tuvalu.

          Heres a list of the country code TLDS, for your enjoyment:

        2. 1

          yeah, not what you’d expect but works!

          1. 1

            It does indeed... Since Google bought, xyz might also become popular at some point...

  19. 4

    This comment was deleted 3 days ago.

    1. 2

      Yeah, price Is definitely a factor and doesn’t seem .IO goes on sale much at all!

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted 3 days ago.

    2. 1

      porkbun is giving it for $1 from last week.

      I am always nervous of going with .co I am worried users get confused with .com