Ask DN: How important do you think it is to own a .io domain for your startup?

4 years ago from , Designer at Sketch

Hey guys! I'm in the search of domains for a new startup I'm part of. I found the perfect .io domain but it costs like 5k. I have also good .im and .com domain names, but I wanted some advice regarding how much do you think a .io domain could impact on the startup's credibility.



  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, 4 years ago

    .io is a trend.

    .com will never die.

    suffix does not add credibility.

    50 points
  • Adam WAdam W, 4 years ago

    If the same domain name is available in both .com and .io, I would 100% pick the .com over .io.

    16 points
  • Jamie MartinJamie Martin, 4 years ago

    I'm not sure if this is a parody post or not

    14 points
  • Julian James, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    Depends what the startup is. If you're trying to impress other startups then the .io will help.

    Mostly, B2C markets aren't interested in TLDs unless they are the early adopter/tech crowd... or journalists. :)

    As with any branding, address the demographic.

    9 points
  • Duncan RussellDuncan Russell, 4 years ago

    A .io domain screams your company "won't be around in a couple of years" to me.

    8 points
  • Dan DiGangiDan DiGangi, 4 years ago

    99% you're going to waste 5k. Don't do it.

    If you are trucking into true startup land, be smart about where and when you burn cash. Take a sincerely objective approach to analyze the ROI if you bought that domain.

    8 points
  • Jason Lawton, 4 years ago

    I wouldn't be overly concerned about the TLD, especially for 5k. I think you could put that 5k into marketing or something else, and the TLD won't matter.

    6 points
  • Michael B., 4 years ago

    This is a superfluous detail. Use that $5k on something of value not a .io domain extension.

    3 points
  • Bryant ChouBryant Chou, 4 years ago

    PG puts it simply:


    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. Whereas (as Stripe shows) having x.com signals strength even if it has no relation to what you do.

    I suggest if you have a decent .com domain you should stick with it.

    2 points
  • Dan Charlesworth, 4 years ago

    Nathan Kontny, CEO of Highrise, wrote a pretty good reddit comment on picking a name/URL for your project:


    1 point
  • Ryan Boye, 4 years ago

    The IO might honestly be even less credible. That trend feels like it's a couple years dated at this point. It also makes you look like you couldn't afford the .com, so if you have a good .com lined up, I'd roll with that.

    1 point
  • Pedro PintoPedro Pinto, 4 years ago

    5k for a .io domain it's a bit expensive I think

    1 point
  • Todd SielingTodd Sieling, 4 years ago

    Not important at all. There are many ways around 'the perfect domain', and as a startup you owe it to everyone involved to spend that money on reaching customers with a good product.

    1 point
  • Mike Batista, 4 years ago

    Who cares as long as the domain is memorable.

    1 point
  • Belle Beth Cooper, 4 years ago

    Also worth keeping in mind the harmful effects of the .io trend: http://www.thedarksideof.io

    (My startup has a couple of .io domains, but we try not to use them when we can find an alternative.)

    1 point
  • Zethus SuenZethus Suen, 4 years ago

    Your product, its vision, identity, and name will all rapidly change post-launch. Ditto on what everyone says. Save it and pay developers/designers/etc.

    1 point
  • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, 4 years ago

    I spent $X,XXX on our domain and it was worth it. It's all about if the name is worth it in the long run. Your gut is probably right.

    1 point
  • David Steelcart, 4 years ago

    While choosing a name is important don't be too concerned about it. That being said a .com is way better then any other tld. A .com brings validity to whatever you're making, I'd suggest avoiding .io domains if you can.

    Here's Paul Graham's opinion on this matter. http://www.paulgraham.com/name.html

    1 point
  • Mark ProganoMark Progano, 4 years ago

    io is usually reference to input/output and therefore is commonly used for data related startups, thus not a matter of a startup but a vertical.

    0 points
  • Jacob TaylorJacob Taylor, 4 years ago

    Is this question satire?

    0 points
  • Andrew CiobanasiuAndrew Ciobanasiu, 4 years ago

    I consider myself a startup which is why my disruptive, paradigm shifting domain is an essential asset to my brand: andrewc.io

    On track to be profitable very soon in Q3 2020!

    0 points
  • Aito DaisukeAito Daisuke, 4 years ago

    What's so special about .io?

    0 points
  • Nat BuckleyNat Buckley, 4 years ago

    “The undersea cables and satellite dishes which carry today’s bits and bytes still trace the old ship routes of national empires. In similar fashion, the expropriation and occlusion of .io mirrors the murky colonial history of the British Indian Ocean Territory”

    — from Story of .io http://citizen-ex.com/stories/io

    0 points
  • Mahdi FarraMahdi Farra, 4 years ago

    In my personal opinion the domain name doesn't matter that much if you have a good content, like people would use your app/website no matter how difficult is your domain name.

    You better spend the 5K on developing your startup.

    0 points