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The Wayback Machine - Internet time travel?

I recently had a client tell me that he lost his old website because the guy he had tasked with looking after it, who had complete control of every aspect of his site, domain, email boxes etc had upped sticks and disappeared leaving him with a mature, blog post laden website that was, at some point going to cease to be.

My client had no recourse, he had no idea how to get to his domain, to his mail box nor to his website to ensure that the payments, previously paid for by his web designer and billed to him, were kept up to date.

The lesson here is to always have copies of the login details for your website and domain. At Wixworks we either have our client add us as a contributor or, if we are building the Wix website design from scratch we always add our client as a contributor. We always insist that our clients buy their own domain too.

Since that dark day when his website disappeared from the internet he has had to start from scratch, with a new domain (the old one had yet to expire and hadn’t entered circulation again.) this time building his website himself and everything in his control.

Anyway, he mentioned this to me, his agony of his many blog posts and website content, honed over a decade, that had vanished into the ether. During our conversation I had an epiphany. There may be a way of retrieving his site and contents using the Wayback machine!

So what is the Wayback machine?

The Wayback Machine has catalogued more than 400 billion web pages from as far back as 1996, so there's a good chance but not a guarantee, that a website will be found at some stage in its life. You simply type in the URL and the Wayback machine will show you a timeline of when a snapshot of any given website was catalogued. Using this tool you would be able to see how a website looked up to 14 years ago.

Back to my client.

I mentioned the Wayback machine to him whilst at the same time entering his now long departed domain URL into the search bar. Success! His site had been catalogued over 30 times over a ten-year period, the last time just weeks before his web designer upped sticks. The whole site could be accessed, and every word was retrieved from his web content and blogs.

Needless to say I have a deliriously happy client.

Give the Wayback machine a try, simply Google it and follow the link. You’ll never worry about losing your content again!


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