The Rise of the .io Domain Name

24th May, 2017 by

Country code top level domains (or ccTLDs) are normally used to indicate a presence in a particular nation or territory. However, occasionally they’re adopted for different roles. Such is the case with the .io domain, whose combination of letters has seen it evolve way beyond the British Indian Ocean Territory it was originally intended for…

1997 The .io domain is introduced.

1998 Levi Strauss register the domain name – one of the first times a ccTLD is used for a purpose other than geographic identity.

1999 The burgeoning tech sector realises .io is a handy suffix for IT domains, since IO is an abbreviation of input/output.

2007 is launched as an online file sharing service, giving many people their first experience of visiting a .io website.

2008 Github is established. The service goes on to become hugely popular among programmers and IT firms.

2011 Websites ending in .io experience rapid growth in popularity. Ready availability is combined with affordability, plus brevity compared to three-letter TLDs.

2012 The registry for .io websites adopts a new backend process to enable faster domain transfers, along the lines of .com and .org websites.

2013 Alexa lists 427 .io domain names among the top one million websites. Platforms including and appear in the top 5,000 list.

2013 Google declares .io to be a gccTLD. As a generic country code TLD, it’s no longer penalised in foreign search engine results like other ccTLDs.

2014 The percentage of .io domains doubles in a year from 0.042% to 0.088%, according to

2015 The website is launched, hosting a quirky browser-based online game that achieves global success.

2017 – Websites with .io TLDs are widely acknowledged as being among the most stylish, well-coded sites online. Could your brand benefit by adopting the market’s coolest TLD?



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