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Easy Tools For Discovering Old Versions Of Websites

If you seek to see older versions of some websites or you are searching for important data that is no longer available then you are in a right place. In this article, we shall recommend some easy tools for discovering old versions of websites.


Why Is It Essential To Find an Old Version of the Website

As technology grows faster and websites are being updated sometimes the old designs and site information become unavailable. So with some tools, you are able to see the sites’ older versions that will help you even to make a valuable review about the insights and site functionality.

So, you would possibly have these reasons to see the site’s old versions:

  • To view the old design
  • Access the important data that no longer exists
  • Pages that were removed or got updated
  • Access unavailable media files

To sum up, these Internet archives are like libraries for your old records on your archived websites.


1. Wayback Machine

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So, we are going to discuss and explain the topic with the example of several platforms. And the first one is Wayback Machine. It is an internet archive that includes 588 billion live web pages and over 52 million other programs and files such as books, texts, videos, audio records, images, etc.

It was created in 1996 and enables everyone to upload media files to the Internet archive. As it is mostly a Digital Library archive, the Wayback Machine pays big attention to the libraries. So, it is a member of:

  • Califa
  • Internation Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
  • Music Library Association
  • Boston Library Consortium
  • Digital Preservation Coalition
  • American Library Association
  • Digital Library Federation
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library
  • ReShare
  • Internation Internet Preservation Consortium, etc.

Proceeding With WayBack Machine

And now it is time to show the tools of the Wayback Machine.

  • In order to see the older version of your website, you need to type the URL in the search box.
  • After you enter the URL of the website, you will see the results in 6 separate sections:
    • Calendar
    • Collections
    • Changes
    • Summary
    • Site Map
    • URLs

So, let us start from the “Calendar“. Here you can see the site snapshots captured by this archive since the year of WordPress beginning. There are two types of calendars. One shows the yearly timeline, and the other shows the exact days when the snapshots were taken.

wayback-machine.internet-archjive.jpg

Here you might be confused seeing black, blue, green, and no color marks. Let us check what these colors represent:

  • Black– identifies the yearly timeline in which the snapshots were taken.
  • Blue– shows that the site was saved on the exact date.
  • Green– indicates the redirects.
wayback-machine0archive-calendar.jpg

So to see the updates and shots you will need to keep the mouse cursor on the exact date.

wayback-machine-archive-calendar-snapshots.jpg

wayback-machine-archive-calendar-snapshots.jpg

As you may see, it is quite simple to view the site’s old version using this Web Archive.

wayback-machine-archive-result.jpg

But as time changes, you may forget this or that URL. Yet, through this method, you are even able to search for the site you have forgotten the URL. You can look for it through keywords in the “Advanced Search” field. Also, this web archive enables you to save this or that URL in order not to lose it.

Along with all the mentioned points, Wayback Machine offers you a browser extension, as well as an application to use frequently.


2. OldWeb.Today

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Here is the second recommended service. OldWeb is a unique platform where you can find not only the old versions of the sites but also compare the browsers with one another.

On this platform, you may discover even the old versions of Internet Explorer. The whole data includes Internet Archive and different libraries.

Though it gives you wide opportunities to have a deep dive into the old website it has a slow load time. It can take even several minutes to get the results.

So, in order to see the results, you must:

  • Copy and paste the website URL which old version you want to see.
  • Choose a browser from the browser list:
    • NCSA Mosaic 2
    • NCSA Mosaic 3
    • MacLynx 2
    • Navigator 3 (Shockwave 3, Java 1.0)
    • Navigator 4 (Shockwave 3)
    • IE 4
    • Navigator 4 (Flash 8, Java 1.1.5)
    • IE 5
    • IE 6
    • Firefox 10
    • Opera 12
    • Ruffle (Flash)
oldweb-today-browsers.jpg
  • Write the time period below and apply to see the result:
oldweb-today-archive-result.jpg

3. Archive.today

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It is the third archive from our list. The snapshots taken by it remain online even if the website goes offline. Archive.today has a simple interface. Yet it contains an enormous website library collected over the years.

In order to use it, you should copy the URL of the website and paste it into the search bar.

The results will appear immediately displaying the website snapshots in chronological order. This tool enables you to download a web page zip file. You can also share the page.

archive-today-results.jpg

One of the most appreciated features of this tool is that you can send a request to capture this or that website in order not to lose it. Also, you may find Archive.today as a Chrome extension.


4. Library of Congress

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This tool differs from the other ones. It is the US Congress’ archive. It contains a huge amount of books, images, web pages, newspapers, etc.

The Library of Congress is an important source to provide the users with reliable information about the old web pages and other materials included in this archive.

After you copy and paste the URL into the searching bar you will get a Calendar to review the archive. There are two types of calendars. Their interface and functionality are a bit like the previous or other Wayback machines options. The black color shows the period of time during which these snapshots were taken. And the blue one shows the exact snapshots.

library-of-congress-archive-calendar.jpg

Besides, searching with a URL or different keywords this tool gives you a vast searching opportunity. So you can browse directly on the platform by using many categories suggested by the Library of Congress tool.


5. UK Web Archive

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If the Library of Congress offered the archive created by the US Congress then this tool suggests you get access to UK websites. Through this platform, all the UK websites are saved at least one time during the year.

uk-web-archive-result.jpg

You are able to search via the keywords, various related phrases, URLs. Some of the materials are available only within the library. Yet still, you can access the huge data you will possibly need.

Here you will find separated categories and interests. These options will ease your searching process. In addition to the mentioned option, you can request to capture the needed UK site. And if you intend to visit especially the UK Governmental pages, then this is your right choice.


6. Memento Time Travel

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The next tool is Memento. It is one of the web archives with dozens of web pages saved at the time. To visit the old versions of certain websites you just need to type the URL and enter the time period you need to view.

So, after doing these simple steps, you will see the results immediately.

One more important thing about Memento is that it offers a Google Chrome extension, as well. Also, you are able to embed the web pages as HTML.


7. Web Cach Viewer

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Here is the last tool. But unlike the other tools, it is a Google Chrome extension. To explore the old websites through this extension you need to add it to your browser first. After that go to the page you want to see the old version and click to connect the extension right away.

With this extension, you will get the archive notes of Wayback Machine and Google Cache. Because it does not provide its own archive. Yet, both Wayback Machine and Google Cache present all the necessary details about your archives.


Summary

In conclusion, we would like you to notice the importance of discovering the site’s old version. Considering that you can forget the info that you get every day and want to repeat it or utilize it now but it no longer exists. So having the old version of websites can be very useful for those who seek to find very necessary and essential data that is no longer available. Or they might want to compare the old/new interfaces to make the website as attractive for Search Engines as possible.

Anyways, the opportunity of seeing the website’s old version is highly effective. And in order to gain the info or the website that is currently offline after being live for a long time you can use the tools offered below. Each one of the mentioned platforms is unique. Some of them are created and utilized for a certain aim such as the UK Web Archive or Library of Congress. And some others may include the most enormous amount of archive materials as Wayback Machine does. But they are uniquely essential on your way to discover the websites and their data that you have not managed to save. Also, they may serve as big storage to save your needed web pages in order not to lose them in the future.

So, to have a good result, we recommend you to use one of these super tools.

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Lily

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