Accessing Content From a Website That’s No Longer Live

Summary

Have you ever needed to access content from a website that’s no longer live? Perhaps your hosting agreement came to an end, or maybe that domain name of yours expired without you realizing it?

I was recently talking with a client who was disappointed because his company was finally getting around to planning their new website. But when they opened up the browser to access the existing one, it was gone. Time got away and their hosting agreement had unfortunately expired.

He didn’t want to re-new the hosting agreement for another year, so he figured all the data was history and they’d have to start from scratch.

I casually mentioned a tool called the Way Back Machine and, to his amazement, we were able to access a historical version of his website. I could tell he was instantly relieved, as I’ve been there myself more times than I’d like to admit.

Here are a few ways this tool might come in handy for you:

1. You’ve lost access to your website completely. Either something expired, like your hosting agreement or your domain registration, or you launched a new website without backing up the old one. Worry not, this sort of thing happens to the best of us.

2. You’re curious about an older version of a website. Maybe it’s your website, and you’re interested in looking back to get a sense of the history of the company. Or maybe you’re doing some competitive research, and you’re interested in perusing through the language on an older version of your competitor’s website. 

3. You’re performing due diligence. Maybe you’re unsure of a software you’re about to subscribe to, or you’re not feeling 100% confident in a provider you’re about to hire. What’s their story? How far back do these guys go? This tool can help you decide if the person or company is who they say they are. For example, if a website is only a few months old and has no history associated with it, you might decide to proceed with a little more caution.

Watch the video above for the full lesson, and don’t forget to tap into the Way Back Machine next time you need to access content from a website that’s no longer live.

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