.io TLD for a personal/family website?
December 13, 2013 10:49 PM   Subscribe

How do people generally feel toward the .io TLD for personal or family websites? I'm aware that a lot of techy startups use .io, but I'm not a startup. I know that .com is preferred overall, especially for commercial use. But what if the domain name is perfect, except for the TLD?

A little back story: the domain for my personal website is currently first initial, middle initial, last name dot com. Thinking ahead, I thought it would be nice to get a good domain name involving my last name so I can keep it and give not only myself webspace and e-mail, but any family members down the road, too (firstname@lastname.io as e-mail and firstname.lastname.io as a URL). I'm also hosting apps like calendar, RSS reader, and other things on there as a shared service. My plan is that this domain would carry on through the family.

I have two variants in my possession: I have "my last name dot io" and also "my last name without the E dot com". I like the .io domain because, obviously, it's my last name un-modified. I worry about the TLD. For the dot-com, the TLD is solid but the flickr-style modifier makes it look kind of hokey. And both domain names might confuse people when giving it verbally, whether it's the spelling or TLD.

With the .io TLD, I'm also a little concerned about the registrar stability. The .io nameservers were down for a little while back in June, which gives me pause. I know at least with the .com TLD that it's backed by Verisign and is pretty solid.

I've spent a few months thinking about this with no real conclusion. All of the articles I've found about use of the .io TLD is that startups are using it. I haven't found much opinion about its longevity, stability, or usability as a personal/family website. I did stumble upon someone else that uses lastname.io as a personal website. When I asked him of his opinion about the TLD's stability or usability, he said he didn't really think about it and he can move it to another URL if he needed to. I'd rather not have to move it if there's an issue with the TLD later on down the road. What's your opinion?
posted by Kevin Sanders to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My impression is that .io is fine for for cutesy start-up names designed to evaporate as soon as the company is acquired. The .io itself sort of looks like I/O as in input-output, so there's also that natural tech connection. I certainly understand what people are saying when they relate the address to me verbally, but I wouldn't use .io for such a long term project.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:10 PM on December 13, 2013

You might try .me or .name if you want some alternate plausible suffixes for a personal website.
posted by value of information at 11:10 PM on December 13, 2013

Thanks for the answers so far!

I considered other extensions, including .me (taken) and .name (I registered firstname.lastname.name in the landrush period, so sanders.name is no longer available). There are a lot of funky ccTLDs open, which would not be my preference.

Are TLDs even that important anymore? Especially with the nTLDs starting to roll out (which, for the record, I am not entirely in favor of), people might have to get used to non-dot-coms.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 6:27 AM on December 14, 2013

FWIW, it wouldn't phase me at all if somebody was using .io for a personal website. Has any TLD ever been discontinued from lack of use? It seems to me the marginal cost of maintaining an additional TLD is pretty minimal, so they don't need many sites to financially justify the TLD. It's not like the routers and switches care if its .io or .me or whatever. Also, it is an official country TLD as it stands for Indian Ocean Territories. I would think that is a point in favor of its longevity.
posted by COD at 6:33 AM on December 14, 2013

It would annoy me as a techie if you pick a good short ".io" that could have wider benefit to the Internet. So unless you last name is "Logging" or "Caching" or "Backup", fine by me!
posted by gregglind at 8:06 AM on December 14, 2013

Thanks for the responses so far. I'm not sure if anyone is still viewing this thread, but if so... if you had to pick would you pick the lastname.io or the modified lastnme.com?
posted by Kevin Sanders at 11:47 AM on December 15, 2013

I would do lastname.io rather than lastnme.com, but maybe I'm a little more flexible with this. I've owned lastname.net for 10 years - someone is parked on lastname.com and I refuse to pay what he's asking :)
posted by getawaysticks at 7:53 AM on December 16, 2013

I don't think it really matters. Lastname.com/net/org was not available for me even back in 1998 when I got my domain. I went with lastnameweb.com. Of course, .us., .io and all the variations didn't even exist back then.

I'd do the dot com is the variation makes some sort of sense. For example, if you are Kevin Smith and can get ksmith.com I'd personally prefer that. However, that might just be me being old and having a bias towards the original three TLDs.
posted by COD at 8:05 AM on December 16, 2013

All valid points... I do own [first initial, middle initial, last name].com, and it works well for myself, but I want to be able to offer my family members e-mail and server space along with a few other goodies, especially as good domain names become more scarce.

I actually got firstnamelastname.us during the .us landrush, but I wasn't smart enough to think to nab my surname as a .us domain name. Some paid e-mail provider has that domain now (though it looks like they have a lot of .us domain names, so I may not have stood a chance in the landrush).

It will be interesting to see how the average internet user will adapt to the new gTLDs.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 7:07 PM on December 16, 2013

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