Once upon a time, .io domains were reserved for websites from British Indian Ocean Territory. Never been there? It’s a quiet place, with six groups of mostly uninhabited islands. They don’t really need to build a lot of websites.

Flash forward a couple decades, and .io domains are being snapped up by trendy start-ups and tech companies. But why, you ask?

They’re Not All Gone

WALL-E sighing, alone

Between failed 90s entrepreneurs, domain squatters, and all the other people who have the same name as you and got organized first, most of the desirable .com domains are long gone. So are all the less desirable second choices you thought you might be able to live with, but might have given you domain name regret.

But there’s hope. .io domains only really started picking up in 2003, meaning that people haven’t had a chance to buy them all up yet. So, instead of making up a bizarre/unreadable/confusing new company name, you can get the name you actually want—with a cool new extension. #Winning

They Make Your URL More Efficient

Millennium Falcon travelling super fast

Dot com is kind of a mouthful. For a hip modern startup, that just won’t do. It’s not conducive to smooth, streamlined workflows and minimalist design. Enter .io. Not only is the ending itself one character shorter, it’s also easier and more fun to say out loud.

Plus, it can be incorporated as part of your business name, so that can be shorter too. Just saved you a few valuable characters in your tweet, and made your business card look cleaner and classier. You’re welcome.

They Make Fun Puns

Captain Jean-Luc Picard giggling

Since the ending starts with a vowel, it can be pronounced as part of your company name.

Scenar.io. Get it? Cheer.io. Pistach.io. Portfol.io. Card.io. Eie.io.

This is probably enough of a reason to buy one on its own.

In case you don’t have a sense of humor, consider that having a pun in your name makes it more memorable. So you’ll get more traffic. Which means more money. Money = good.

They Show You Get It

Jennifer Aniston looking confident

The startup space is crowded—new companies are popping up every day. To succeed, entrepreneurs need to fit in and stand out at the same time. A .io domain shows you know what’s up, and that you belong in the tech space. But since there are still lots of them available, it also allows you to pick a memorable domain that reflects the things that make your business special.

Fun fact: I/O stands for input/output—so in addition to sounding good, an .io domain is actually relevant to the things that tech companies do.

When you’re starting a new business, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart and show what makes you amazing. And a big part of your identity and branding is getting a great domain. If you’re joining the tech and startup space, an .io domain can be a great place to start. That’s not to say there aren’t arguments against them, too—but it’s still worth jumping in and getting one while you can. If the trend passes, you can always get another domain and set up a redirect. Easy peasy.

Ready to snag your .io domain while it’s still available? Zip on over to Rebel.com and get registering.

Photos: Damian Zaleski, madmoizelle, Giphy, Listoftheday, Storiesentrefilles

Brittany Bawn

Brittany is Rebel’s graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. She’s a brand design mason, nature enthusiast, wife-to-be, fitness warrior and fishing aficionado. She acts at the intersection of aesthetics and purpose to give life to your brand. When she’s not designing, you’ll usually find her taste testing craft beers and building nachos by the bayou.

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