A highly requested domain compare: .io vs .co

Domain traders and flippers often look for alternative domains for amazing domains, and we received a number of requests to compare .io vs .co since these domains do share a common customer base as well as a few traits.

Here you will be able to read what exactly makes these two domains different or similar, as well as find our own insight into the best use case and how to capitalize on investing with these domains.

What makes the .IO domain that interesting?

The number of .IO domain registrations is rising daily,  and it is undeniable that the .IO domain is popular, not just with the tech industry, but even a broader customer base, although it is a ccTLD for a very small region – assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory.

First of all, .IO domain extension is short with only two-letter which makes it memorable and attractive. Honestly, who does not like a short and sweet domain?

However, the real reason why tech crowds love it is because it is the abbreviation of “input/output” and it makes it an instant hit with any communication, data exchange, or other similar projects online presence.

A strong number of more than 907 thousand domain registrations makes .IO stand-out among ccTLDs that turned to general-purpose use, but still we would note that the domain namespace provides ample opportunities for excellent new domain registrations.

On the other hand we have .CO domain

The .CO domain extension is the ccTLD for Colombia and as such receives considerable use  in the corresponding region.

However, looking at the number of registered domains standing at roughly 3,37 million, we can confirm that the domain has received attention from a global audience, and for good reason. Compared to most popular domain extensions, the number is still low-enough to provide a good namespace availability.

Namely, if you look at the .CO domain extension, you will most likely see that it actually is a .COM just without the letter “M” on the end – does that give you some ideas?

Well a global customer base has the same idea – to a degree – the .CO can be considered as the little brother of the most successful commercial domain extension, and as such is used for commercial websites.

Source: Wikipedia

Indeed, when typing and missing one letter M you may find yourself at the .CO website of the same name, hence many companies have bought domain names or registered domains with this extension to secure and protect their online presence or branding.

Similarities and differences between .IO vs .CO

If you read our article from the beginning, then you probably already know the main similarity between .io vs .co as both domains are basically country code domains turned general-purpose.

Here you will find our comparison table:

TLD.IO.CO
Domain registration pricePromo: $28 – $33
Regular/renewal: $33-59
Promo: $3 – $7
Regular/renewal: $23-$37
Registration requirementsAnyone can registerAnyone can register
Domain registration speed6 to 24 hours6 to 24 hours
DNSSECYesYes
PopularityIT and tech startupsCommercial sector
Number of indexed domains907 thousands3,37 million
Language supportEnglish – US, UKSpanish, English – US, UK
IDNDA, DE, IS, LV, LT, PL, SV, ES, HU, FR, PT, ITDA, FI, FR, DE, HU, IS, LV, LT, NO, PL, PT, ES, SV
Is it used for malicious sites?NoYes

Now on to some deeper insight into both of them.

Both domains are short, two-letter domains that are easy to remember and communicate without making any errors in both pronunciation and written form.

Again both domain extensions provide ample namespace availability (compared to the most popular domains) even with one-letter domain registrations, and you are very likely to register a perfect-matching domain for your specific needs.

The fact that both domains support DNSSEC is a boon, as the protocol provides cryptographic authentication of data, authenticated denial of existence, and data integrity.

Talking about the differences between .io vs .co, we can say that their customer base does overlap to some small extent, though again one is aimed at tech companies, while the other is attracting attention from the commercial sector.

Another important .IO vs .CO difference is that while .IO domain is not popularly used for fraudulent sites, or should we say as much as any other domain extension, on the other hand .CO domain may be used to some extent.

This is in most part because of its similarity to .COM and the human error of typing leading to an impersonating .CO website though in most cases these are all short-lived and not that prevalent.

As said previously most reputable companies already bought important .CO versions of their bigger .COM sites and will redirect or disable them, hence it does not impose any notoriousness to the domain itself.

Conclusion – are .IO vs .CO domains comparable?

Indeed, these are two very different but also similar domains that should not be compared as adversaries as they do not target one specific customer base, but both receive attention globally.

If you ever come into situation where you would have to choose between one or the other for a specific project, service or online presence, we would recommend that you get both .IO and .CO use the latter as a redirect – especially because the typing error for letter “M” can actually drive traffic to the website passively.

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