Wayback Machine: Time Capsule for Websites

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? As far as we know, it's not possible, but it is possible to see what a website looked like in the past. The Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive records snapshots (captures) of websites over time. Think of them like time capsules which you can view. You can see what a website looked like months or years ago.

How to Use the WayBack Machine

  1. Open the Wayback Machine.
  2. Enter the URL you'd like to view. This could be a homepage (e.g., https://optimwise.com), or another page (e.g., https://optimwise.com/services/). Hit Enter.
  3. If the Wayback Machine has archived the page, you'll see a calendar. In the timeline of years, click the year you'd like to view.
  4. In the calendar below the timeline of years, hover over the date you'd like to view (colored circles mark the available dates), then in the box that appears, click the capture you'd like to view.
  5. The webpage will open, with the Wayback Machine navigation at the top of the page (which you can use to jump to other captures). You can use the website as you normally would, and the Wayback Machine will show those pages on the date you originally chose.

You can learn more about using the Wayback Machine in the official help.

Reasons to Use the Wayback Machine

While you could use the Wayback Machine for purely entertainment purposes, there are productive uses for it as well. There have been times that clients have told us they liked the way something used to be on their website or a competitor's website, and we've been able to find a capture with that item.

Please note that the Wayback Machine isn't a substitute for taking regular website backups. Once a business came to us after their web server died and they had no backup. We were able to find much of the website in the Wayback Machine and Google's cache, so that the website could be rebuilt. However, this was incomplete and far more time-consuming than restoring an actual website backup.

Is Your Website Backed Up and Maintained? 

Don't put yourself in a situation where you need to rely on the Wayback Machine to rebuild your website after a disaster. Contact us to get true, restorable website backups as part of our WordPress Maintenance Service.

Filed Under: 

Want tips to rocket-boost your website?

Simply sign up.
Ready to Blast Off?

Let's talk.

Contact OptimWise