In this tutorial, I’m going to show you three different tools that you can use to find old versions of websites.
Why you might want to do that?
Now let’s get started.
- WAY BACK MACHINE: The first of three tools we’re gonna check out is the way back machine it’s the one I use the most often. All you do is go to archive.org/web and click on browse history.
This will show how many times this particular website’s been saved in microsoft.com’s case 174 444 times between October 1996 and May 10 2021 and we can see the timeline up here, all the years of saved data any year you click on, it’s going to show a calendar down below where you click on individual days and see the snapshots on those days.
Some days have more than others for example larger circles mean more snapshots February 23rd of this year has 1793 snapshots of microsoft.com January 1st of this year has 97. If we go back to let’s say 1999 let’s look at January 17th there are six snapshots. Click on one of the times this is the time of day when the snapshot was taken.
We can see the Microsoft website as it looked way back then and I’m really happy the web has become more visual if you look at Microsoft today it looks much more engaging and much more appealing than back then but this is how websites were back then.
The last thing to note about the Wayback machine is the bigger and more important the website the more snapshots it’s going to have if we go back to the home page we see there are more than 544 billion web pages saved over time and of that Microsoft was 170000 of them. Small and very low traffic or brand new there might not be any snapshots available in the Wayback machine or any of the other tools for that matter.
2. The second tool to find old websites is www.oldweb.today this one allows you to choose old browsers to emulate those websites as well you want to add your url here first and then you can choose a browser as soon as you select a browser it’s going to start navigating to whatever url is in here in my opinion to put the browser selection after the url a little confusing having it backwards like that i’m going to choose netscape navigator 4 that is super old school super old school mac operating system it takes a little while to load because it’s got to load the actual browser on this old old machine and then has to go to the website as there’s any old versions and here’s an old version from 1996 was the date that was pre-selected for microsoft still loading this image here is broken this one’s broken this is something you quite often see when you look at old websites broken images broken pages sometimes you can actually click through to these pages and see the website and browse the website sometimes you can’t really depends on how well the caching was done you change the date to choose a time frame that’s different than the one that we saw just now let’s do 2011 click on reload that skip navigator might not be able to load this newer version of the microsoft homepage and here’s how it looks not very good clearly netscape navier was unable to interpret the newer version of the css because this is not how the microsoft homepage looked at that time and i tried to scroll down now it’s reloading so with old web.today if you’re using an older browser make sure you’re using an older archive date as well otherwise it’s not going to load properly and the last two we’re going to look at the third one on our list is the library of congress this is the largest collection of audiobooks website archives in the world all we have to do to find a website is type it in here let’s look for microsoft.com and see what comes up we filter on the left here for web archive because it has a lot of other stuff related to Microsoft as well even notated music so we have a web archive for Microsoft corporation right here if we click on that we see screenshots of the old version of the Microsoft website this one much newer than the versions that we saw earlier has dates you can choose from between 2008 and 2021.
So it’s not going back as far as the way back machine was and that did not take us to more microsoft stuff i find the congress library congress website a little harder to navigate for these kind of things but it does give you more detail for example the flight simulator gives you information about the flight simulator what it actually was if you click on it just like we saw on the microsoft homepage it gives you more information about it you can also navigate through categories instead of using the search to find the stuff that you want library congress i would recommend this is the third place you go if you have trouble finding what you want in the other two tools the second place to go is
3. Oldweb.today and the first place the place i always go to first is the way back machine allows me to see older versions of websites i’ve used this many times for when websites were hacked and the person who was hacked doesn’t have a backup so i can go back and see what the website was what it looked like before then we can recreate it as closely as possible to what it was before as long as the archives are thorough enough sometimes for smaller websites all you have is a home page to view but that’s better than nothing at all next up check out this video right here where i help you speed up your site beyond what you might think is possible and then check out this video down here where i show how to secure your website if you haven’t done so yet make sure to click subscribe bring the bells you don’t miss any future videos my name is bjorn allpass and wp learning lab until next time keep crushing it and i will see you in the next video English (auto-generated)