Website archiving is the concept of regularly archiving websites and storing them for referencing in the future. A ‘web crawler’ was frequently used for website archiving. It crawls a website and extracts information to save it. However, as websites are becoming more complex by the day, it has become difficult to archive them in the exact manner as they appear.
Why is it important?
Ever since the concept of websites emerged, the number of websites has been increasing on a daily basis, and currently, there are over 1.5 million websites in the world. People have access to a lot of websites that are of a similar nature. This leads to websites constantly changing their interface to attract more numbers of people.
This competition has greatly increased now and has caused websites to change their entire design much more frequently. But when creating a new design, you must be aware of what your previous designs looked like so that you can improve on the mistakes that it had and focus on the aspects that users liked.
It’s not just for design
However, website archiving is not required just so organizations can improve their newer designs for the sake of competition in the market. Websites contain critical information that needs to be kept secure for future generations. Websites that belong to research organizations are updated with important research data that helps our entire race move forward.
If this data was to be lost due to the website being taken down or for some other reason, our future generations would be at a great loss. Thus, it becomes extremely important that such websites are archived properly and made accessible to all people.
It also has a cultural significance
Much like textbooks, websites have also become a medium of chronicling the experiences of different generations. Hundreds of websites that came up in different years, all tell us about the society at that point in time- their fashion, their food habits, the music they preferred and so much more. One can get a fairly good idea of what was popular in a particular year by learning which website was the most popular one.
Thus, websites have gained important cultural significance which makes it important to archive them. It was perhaps with this intention that the Wayback Machine began to be used to archive all the websites on the World Wide Web back in 1996.
Web Archiving also helps businesses to take legal screenshots of different websites and use them in the future if some issue arises. Archiving their own websites and that of their competitors can help them resolve a legal issue in the future.
Multiple sectors benefit from web archiving:
Regulated financial firms need to archive a lot of websites in order to keep track of all the rules that are being updated. Archiving websites like those of FCA and SEC becomes important for them as they have to refer them regularly.
National archives, public libraries, educational institutions, and government websites are all very important sources of data belonging to cultural and historical significance. The data on all of these websites needs to be stored safely for future references. Archiving websites that belong to any of these categories is highly beneficial for the public who can view the archived pages anytime to get knowledge on different issues.
There are a number of brands coming up every day in all the categories. This entails that all the brands need to regularly update their websites to attract more customers and not be left behind. With regular updates of the websites, it becomes important for brands to keep a record of their previous websites to know what their customers liked and disliked in those designs.
Now that you know all about website archiving, you must also know about the best tool to help you do so. However, the great Wayback Machine is there to help you with the historic data but you simply can’t rely upon one single tool. You must look for some alternatives to the wayback machine. While there are a number of tools available, none is quite like Stillio.
It is an automated digital archiving tool. All you have to do is enter the web address of the web pages you want to track and the frequency at which you want to track them. Stillio will automatically take screenshots of these websites and store them securely.
You can easily access all of these screenshots whenever you want. Not only that, but it also helps you with other SEO activities like finding out the number of clicks on your website.