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What is a .co domain extension?

what is a .co domain extension

.co is a top-level domain (TLD) and part of the Domain Name System (DNS). While originally designated in the early 1990s, for websites and businesses associated with Colombia, .co is now widely used by businesses and individuals around the world.

Recognizing the global interest in .co, from companies and corporations, the Colombian government decided to change how the TLD was managed. In 2009, it handed over the management of .co to a private entity, CO Internet S.A.S., which was responsible for the domain's administration and marketing.

CO Internet S.A.S. then launched a global marketing campaign to promote .co as a versatile domain extension for businesses, organizations and individuals. This campaign significantly broadened the appeal and use of .co

Today, the .co domain is recognized as a global domain extension and is widely used by businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals seeking a memorable and relevant online identity. It has become a valuable alternative to the traditional .com domain.

Learn more: What is a domain?

Who uses .co domains and why?

.co is a versatile domain extension used by a variety of entities and individuals for different purposes. It's particularly popular among startups, tech companies and entrepreneurs looking for short, memorable domain names. The global recognition of .co makes it an excellent choice for those who want to create an online presence with a domain that is snappy and easy to remember. Additionally, companies and organizations that may not have been able to secure their desired .com domain often opt for .co as an alternative.

what is a .co domain, who uses

In 2023 several .co domains were amongst the highest value domains sold. With selling for $48,600 making it 14th on the list and selling for $47,350 and coming 15th on the top 100 domain sales chart for the year.

Well-known, large brands using .co domain extensions include:

.co vs .com domains and which to use

A .co domain often signals a forward-thinking, innovative approach. It's particularly popular among startups, tech companies and social enterprises that wish to differentiate themselves from more traditional entities.

On the other hand, the .com domain remains the most recognized and established domain extension worldwide. It conveys a sense of reliability, credibility and longevity. Businesses that choose a .com domain are often perceived as being more established and traditional. This domain is ubiquitous across industries and is often the default go-to for customers typing a web address directly into a browser.

what is a .co domain and which to use, businesses

The choice between a .co and a .com domain can affect public perception and brand positioning. Businesses must consider their target audience, industry norms and overall branding strategy when deciding between these domain extensions.

Website examples using .co domains

Layla Luna 

This online store sells glasses, jewelry and other fashion pieces and accessories. They also donate some of their proceeds to support animal shelters. The .co domain extension is a versatile one, suitable for all kinds of online stores and sites.


This real estate website and business uses a .co domain to portray its professionalism and experience in the property industry.


This French clothing brand uses .co for its website and online store and while it's French brand identity is important (it makes all its shoes and products in France), it's use of .co emphasizes its potential for a global market.


This tech company offers tools and enhancements for virtual meetings, primarily aimed at companies. It's use of the .co domain extension helps establish its global focus and establish trust amongst potential clients.

Generation She 

This female founded and led podcast aims to help Gen Z female business owners unlock investment potential and grow their businesses.

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Are .co domains legitimate and safe?

The .co domain is a legitimate and widely recognized domain extension. Many businesses and organizations worldwide use .co domains for their websites. .co domains are registered through accredited domain registrars, similar to other top-level domains which makes them legitimate and safe.

 .co domains are also subject to standard domain registration and renewal practices. Ensure that you renew your .co domain on time to maintain ownership and keep your registration information up to date.

Many well-known brands and organizations use .co domains for their online presence. This further establishes the legitimacy and acceptance of .co as a valid domain extension.

Making sure that your domain is safe means also ensuring your website security offers robust and advanced security capabilities. From 24/7 monitoring, to bug bounty programs, to HTTPS and SSL/TLS.

.co and third-level domain extensions

Third-level domain extensions are the parts of the domain name that come after the second-level domain. For example, in "," the third-level domain extension is "co." It's important to note that the term "extension" is often used interchangeably with "top-level domain" (TLD). In the example, ".co" is both the TLD and the third-level domain extension.

While .co as a TLD is used to represent global brands and websites, as a third-level domain extension it's more commonly used by local entities and organizations.

Key benefits of a .co domain

  • Accessibility: Given that numerous .com domain names are already in use, .co domains present a viable, sometimes cost-effective, alternative option while still maintaining a level of authority.

  • Universal recognition: With its worldwide appeal, the .co domain is an excellent choice for businesses spanning borders. Its widespread popularity increases the chances of customers easily remembering your website's name with the .co extension.

  • Brand authority: Many renowned brands have embraced the .co domain in their online branding strategy, elevating its authority similar to the .com domain. Associating your domain with this community enhances your brand's credibility in the digital realm.

How do I register and buy a .co domain?

Registering a .co domain is a straightforward process and can typically be done through domain registrars, domain hosting companies or accredited registrars authorized to sell .co domains.

Make a website with Wix with a premium plan and you can register your domain and extension at the same time.

how to buy a .co domain

01. Choose a domain registrar

Select a reputable domain registrar that offers .co domain registration services. Or opt for a website builder that allows you to choose your domain, or extension and then register it.

what is a .co domain extension, domain name search

02. Check domain name availability

Use the registrar's search tool to check the availability of your desired .co domain. If the domain is available, you can proceed to the next step. If not you'll need to rethink your domain name or domain extension. Check your domain name availability with Wix.

what to consider with a .co domain extension

03. Provide all necessary contact and payment information

Then follow the registrar's instructions for completing the registration process. This typically involves providing your contact information, payment details and agreeing to the terms and conditions.

04. Configure DNS settings (if relevant)

After registration, you may need to configure the domain's DNS (Domain Name System) settings. You can either use the registrar's default DNS or set custom DNS records for your hosting or website. With Wix, this step is automatically done for you.

It's important to note that .co domains are typically available for registration by anyone globally and they’re not restricted to Colombian-based entities. However, it's advisable to check with your chosen registrar for specific registration requirements or any restrictions that may apply.

Learn more: .org vs. com vs .net domain extensions

.co and ICANN

ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a non-profit organization which manages and oversees the global Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) and IP address allocation. When it comes to domain extensions like .co, ICANN plays a crucial role in overseeing the management and distribution of these top-level domains (TLDs) to ensure consistency across the whole World Wide Web/Internet.

ICANN ensures that .co follows the guidelines and standards set for all TLDs. It manages the registration process, ensuring that domain names are unique and that the associated WHOIS information is accurate. WHOIS is a protocol used to query databases and obtain information about registered domain names, including details about the domain owner, registrar, and registration dates.

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address used to access resources on the World Wide Web. It consists of the protocol (like HTTP or HTTPS), the domain name (which includes the TLD like ".company"), and the specific path to the resource on the web server. ICANN ensures that URLs are properly structured and that the associated domain extensions adhere to established standards.

.co domain extension FAQ

Who can register a .co domain?

.co domains are open for registration to entities and individuals worldwide. They’re not restricted to Colombian entities.

Are there any restrictions on registering a .co domain extension?

What's the cost of a .co domain extension?

How long is the registration period for a .co domain?

Can I transfer my .co domain extension to a different registrar?

Can I renew my .co domain after it expires?

Are .co domain extensions more expensive than others?

Please note that specific policies and procedures may vary between registrars, so it's essential to check with your chosen registrar for precise details regarding .co domain registration and management.

Other domain extensions you may be interested in:

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