A good way to save disappearing content
Internet archiving services are a very important part of preserving an open and transparent internet. Webpages and social media posts aren’t guaranteed to remain online forever. But using an archiving service provides peace of mind in knowing that each important document, tweet, or any other piece of web media will be around when you need it.
These archiving services perform a simple task. You enter the web address of any webpage that you want to be archived, and the archiving service crawls it and saves all images and other external files to their own servers so that the page is effectively mirrored.
Archiving a webpage can be useful in several ways. The most obvious is to preserve a webpage in case it’s later deleted, but it can also be used to copy content from a source while avoiding certain barriers.
One example is to avoid giving websites ad revenue. Journalists often archive webpages that include content they don’t want to promote, yet still report on, so that they aren’t sending traffic directly to the site.
For whatever reason you need to archive a webpage, there are a few services that stand above the rest. Let’s talk about the best sites.
Commonly referred to as the Wayback Machine, Internet Archive is the leading archiving service on the web. If you’re ever feeling nostalgic about a website from a decade or longer ago, and you want to revisit it, there’s a good chance that Internet Archive has a few snapshots of it.
However, did you know that you can assign Internet Archive’s web servers to create an instant snapshot of any page you’re interested in? By navigating to this page, you can begin this process.
Under the Save Page Now column, simply input the URL of any page that you’d like for Internet Archive to crawl and save. After hitting the Enter key or SAVE PAGE button, you’ll be taken to the page while it’s being archived.
Within a few seconds, depending on how large the page is, Internet Archive will create a permanent snapshot.
Archive.today is quickly becoming a popular archive service, likely because of how simple it is to use and search.
Everything you’ll need is on a single page, which includes a field to archive a page (top) and another to search through saved snapshots (bottom).
One of the best reasons to choose archive.today as your archiving service is because of its bookmarklet. If you drag and drop the archive.today bookmarklet button into your browser’s bookmarks bar, you can navigate to any page you want to create a snapshot of and simply click on the bookmarklet.
This will open up a new page and begin the saving process instantly.
Archive.st takes the minimalization of archiving services to the next level with its service.
If the reCAPTCHA checkbox doesn’t turn you away, Archive.st is a quick and easy archiving solution. Not only will it create a mirror of the page, but it also generates a full-page screenshot for you.
For URLs already archived, Archive.st will display an error and give you a link to its latest snapshot. However, you can simply click the Archive button again to force-save a fresh snapshot.
Online archiving services work great as an extra measure against disappearing content. While they aren’t foolproof, using several of them is a great way to ensure that the web data you need will be around for a long time.
If you’re looking for a more localized way to save web content, check out our recent article on how to save webpages to Word documents.