What’s the example.com domain?

Have you ever asked what the example.com domain represents? We will give you some details here.

Example.com (example.org, example.net) are domains that can be used as examples in documents/papers/websites etc. They were specifically created by IANA to be used as example domains.

IANA is an acronym for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. For more information check their website.

So, if you navigate in your browser to http://www.example.com  you will see a webpage with a simple message:

Example Domain

This domain is established to be used for illustrative examples in documents. You may use this domain in examples without prior coordination or asking for permission.

example.com domain
example.com screenshot

Clicking on the More information link you are redirected to IANA’s webpage at https://www.iana.org/domains/reserved. Here we find the purpose of the example domains:

As described in RFC 2606 and RFC 6761, a number of domains such as example.com and example.org are maintained for documentation purposes. These domains may be used as illustrative examples in documents without prior coordination with us. They are not available for registration or transfer.

In RFC 6761 at clause 6.5 we find considerations for the example reserved domains:

6.5. Domain Name Reservation Considerations for Example Domains

The domains “example.”, “example.com.”, “example.net.”,
“example.org.”, and any names falling within those domains, are
special in the following ways:

1. Users SHOULD understand that example names are reserved for use
in documentation.

2. Application software SHOULD NOT recognize example names as
special and SHOULD use example names as they would other domain

3. Name resolution APIs and libraries SHOULD NOT recognize example
names as special and SHOULD NOT treat them differently. Name
resolution APIs SHOULD send queries for example names to their
configured caching DNS server(s).

4. Caching DNS servers SHOULD NOT recognize example names as special
and SHOULD resolve them normally.

5. Authoritative DNS servers SHOULD NOT recognize example names as

6. DNS server operators SHOULD be aware that example names are
reserved for use in documentation.

7. DNS Registries/Registrars MUST NOT grant requests to register
example names in the normal way to any person or entity. All
example names are registered in perpetuity to IANA:

Domain Name: EXAMPLE.COM
Whois Server: whois.iana.org
Referral URL: http://res-dom.iana.org
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 26-mar-2004
Creation Date: 14-aug-1995
Expiration Date: 13-aug-2011

IANA currently maintains a web server providing a web page explaining
the purpose of example domains.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Andrew Valentine


  2. tanya

    what do they mean copy and paste to of your web address?

  3. thorredsky@gmail.com


    1. Dewane


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