Internet archiving services are a very important part of keeping the Internet open and transparent. Web pages and social media posts don’t always stay online forever. But using an archiving service gives you the peace of mind that every important document, tweet, or any other web medium is there when you need it.
These archiving services perform a simple task. You enter the web address of any web page you want to archive, and the archive service scans it and stores all images and other external files on its servers for the page to display efficiently.
Archiving a web page can be useful in many ways. The most obvious is to save the web page in case it is later deleted, but it can also be used to copy content from the source while avoiding certain obstacles.
One example is not to give websites ad revenue. Journalists often archive web pages containing content they don’t want to promote but still report, so they don’t direct traffic to the site.
For whatever reason you need to archive a web page, there are a few services that stand above the rest. Let’s talk about the best sites.
The Internet Archive, commonly referred to as the Wayback Machine, is the leading archiving service on the web. If you ever feel nostalgic for a website a decade or more old and want to come back to it, chances are there are some snapshots of it on the Internet Archive
However, did you know that you can assign Internet Archive web servers to take a snapshot of any page that interests you? Once you visit this page, you can start this process.
In the Save Page Now column, simply enter the URL of any page you want to crawl and save to the Internet Archive Pressing the Enter key or the SAVE PAGE button will take you to the page while it is being archived.
Within a few seconds, depending on the size of the page, the Internet Archive will create a permanent snapshot.
Archive.today is rapidly becoming a popular archiving service, probably due to its ease of use and search.
Everything you need is on one page, which includes a field for archiving the page (above) and another for searching through saved images (below).
One of the best reasons to choose archive.today as your archiving service is the bookmarklet. If you drag the archive.today bookmarklet button to the browser bookmarklet bar, you can navigate to any page you want to take a snapshot of and just click on the bookmarklet.
A new page will open and the save process will begin instantly.
Archive.st takes the minimization of archiving services to the next level with its service.
If the reCAPTCHA checkbox doesn’t distract you, Archive.st is a quick and easy archiving solution. It will not only create a mirror of the page, but it will also take a screenshot of the entire page for you.
For already archived URLs, 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 a fresh snapshot to be saved.
Online archiving services work great as an additional measure against disappearing content. While they are not reliable, using a few of them is a great way to ensure that the web data you want is available over time.
If you’re looking for a more localized way to save web content, check out our recent article on how to save web pages to Word documents.