Just over two years ago, it became easy for anyone to register and own a domain name ending in .co. This meant you could have www.yourbusiness.co as your website address.
The .co mascot appears to be a flying pig (see image), which seemed suitable - because at the time, we were we were sceptical. Who'd want a .co domain name? It just looks like you've missed the .uk off the end of it.
A couple of years later, I'm starting to wonder if we called it wrong. Seeing a .co domain name on a business card or sign still looks weird to me, but the fact I've been noticing them 'in the wild' at all suggests they are gaining in popularity.
Is .co more recognisable?
Of course, the more companies that use them, the more recognisable .co domain names will become. That means even more businesses will starting using them, which means ... well, it means that if you have your eyes on a good .co domain name, you might want to grab it sooner rather than later.
Aside from Joan Rivers - whose website, joan.co, is proudly cited by the official .co registry - I've noticed a few small businesses using .co domains in the last few weeks:
- The Gardener's Cottage, a small restaurant in Edinburgh at www.thegardenerscottage.co
- Food for Thought, a London catering firm that has snaffled www.foodforthought.co
- Decoded, a firm offering a one-day computing coding workshop via www.decoded.co
- XOXO, a too-cool-for-school London bar you'll find at www.xoxolondon.co
Sure - it's still early days for .co domains, and they're a long way off from becoming mainstream. But I just wonder: if these pioneering companies do mark the start of the trend, now would be the right time to grab a decent .co domain name for your new business, or for that business idea you'd like to get off the ground one day.
How to register a .co domain
Most domain name registration companies offer .co domain names, although prices can vary quite a lot. Here are some of the best options out there at the moment:
- 123-reg has .co domain names at £14.99 for the first year, rising to £29.99 for subsequent years.
- GoDaddy has .co domains at £18.89 a year, with £10 off for the first year.
- Easily has .co domains for £24.99 a year.
- 1and1 has .co domains for £29.99 a year.
As with most other domain names, you must buy your domain for a minimum of a year. You can then choose to renew if you want to. If you buy a domain with any of the companies listed above then it should be relatively straightforward to use it however you wish in future: to set up a website, for email addresses, and so on.
What do you think of .co domains? Are they a worthwhile investment, or a waste of money?