Preserve Web Pages with the Wayback Machine

In addition to serving as a useful reference for reviewing long lost web sites, the Wayback Machine can also be used to archive web pages, on demand.

The Wayback Machine, part of the Internet Archive, is a massive web page archive that holds more than 279 billion copies currently. This makes it an excellent option to look up pages that are no longer available at all, or have changed. You can head over to the Wayback Machine website directly to look up copies of web pages manually, or use browser extensions like Wayback Machine, No More 404s or Resurrect Pages instead.

What many Internet users may not know is that the Wayback Machine offers an option to add web pages to the archive.

This can be quite useful. Maybe you want to make sure that an article or page is preserved, so that you can access it in the future, or use it for citation, without having to worry that it is no longer available or altered.

While you can do the same by saving the page to your local system, it is difficult to prove that you have not altered the web page in any way during or after that operation. If you use the Wayback Archive, you prove that you did not manipulate the web page in any way.

How to add pages to the Wayback Machine

wayback machine preserve web page

It is rather easy to add the copy of a page to the Wayback Machine. Please note that this works only for pages that allow web crawlers. If a page blocks those, it is not possible to add it to the Wayback Machine’s archive.

  1. Load https://archive.org/web/ in your web browser of choice. This works using desktop and mobile browsers.
  2. Locate the save page now section on the page that opens.
  3. Type or paste a web URL into the form.
  4. Hit the save page button.
  5. The process to save the page to the archive is launched immediately.

The page is loaded, and a prompt is displayed on top of the page that returns status information to you. It should not take longer than a couple of seconds to save web pages.

saving page

The process may take longer if the server the web page is hosted on is under heavy load, or rejecting requests.

The service lists the URL the page is accessible on from that moment onward. You can copy that link, for instance to bookmark it, or for sharing.

Tip: You can use the syntax https://web.archive.org/save/http://www.example.com/ to start the capturing process right away without having to use the form.

Make sure you change the “http://www.example.com/” part of the URL to the URL you want to save.

An alternative is provided by archive.is which you may use for that purpose as well.

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