The Wayback Machine to The Rescue

Regular readers will know I almost lost my blog. Rather, the contents of the blog. It’s ironical because I am in the business of telling people and organizations to backup, and here I was caught pants down.  I had only backed up posts up to September 2013. Dear readers, kindly have a weekly backup (or monthly depending on how often you blog) of your content. Anything can happen.

So then I had to recover posts from between September 2013- March 2014. 6 months of work. That is when a friend pointed me towards The Wayback Machine. The Web Archive that saves every page on the internet (that always crawlers) as it appeared on the day of saving.

The easy to user interface of the wayback machine.

The easy to user interface of the wayback machine.

 

So when I typed “http://www.savvykenya.com/2013/09/” the default WordPress url for September 2013 archives, I got the result of exactly how my blog appeared that month. By playing around with post urls, monthly urls etc, I have been able to recover most of my content. It’s been painstaking work, but so are all labours of love.

 

The wayback machine's September archive of my blog

The wayback machine’s September archive of my blog

 

You can use the Wayback Machine not only to view back old pages, but also to repair broken links on worpdress or any other site, and also for programmers, there is an API for building any relevant tools you’d like. You can also submit a page for future reference, because I noted that for pages with lower amounts of traffic, they are saved less frequently.

What About Google Cache?

I tried to use Google cache but realized that it didn’t have any of my old posts. It seems Google caches mostly the main url (savvykenya.com) rather than the specific for a post (e.g savvykenya.com/2013/09/04). Secondly, the caches are temporary, and at the point of search. The Wayback Machine has various versions of the same url, depending on the date it was captured. For example, it will save “savvykenya.com/2013/09” on a monthly basis, and store all the versions for each of the months captured. I don’t know if that makes sense. So Google cache didn’t and couldn’t work for me.

So lost a page recently, or getting a 404 error? Try the Wayback Machine.

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