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Top 12 Tools for Accessing And Creating Website Archives

Websites are home to a wealth of information. With more and more information existing online, organizations are actively using their websites as their primary marketing, sales and relationship-building channel. Despite the ease of using websites, recordkeeping precautions must be taken. Recordkeeping regulations in every industry require organizations to make conscious efforts to collect histories of their website content. Regulations aside, collecting website archives is also handy in litigation cases, as website content becomes subject to investigations and eDiscovery.

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Below is an overview of a number of online tools that allow you to access website histories for these purposes.

  • Screenshots.com
    Screenshots.com allows you to access screen shots of website domains from specific dates and gives you the flexibility to zoom in on them, as well as compare them with the current version of the website on that day.

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  • Archive.is
    Archive.is allows you to both search the history of any website, and also access its screenshot. You can also download the required web page for use later or share it on social media.

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  • DomainTools
    Domain Tools is used for a number of web domain functions, but also has a feature that allows you to check a domain’s history and search and pull screenshots from the domain quickly.

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  • Alexa
    Alexa provides more detail on a website's history upon searching for it. You’ll find information like past visits, locations where the website is visited from and more detailed analytics similar to those found in Google Analytics.

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  • iTools
    iTools also gives you more detailed analytics as well as comparative analytics from similar websites. It also has a separate archive tool under the “internet category” under “websites” where you can enter a domain and get your results.

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  • Competitor Screenshots
    Competitor Screenshots another alternative that can be used to trace the history of any website. You can obtain the email, its campaign screenshot and even historical screenshots of its social networking.

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  • URLinfo
    URL info boasts a very simple and user-friendly interface and a wide range of 113 tools to use to help you identify speed, traffic rank, IP / country and more.

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  • YubNub
    YubNub is a handy search engine-like tool for pulling up website information for commercial or business use. After setting it up on your browser, you can simply type "gim porsche 911" to do a Google Image Search for pictures of Porsche 911 sports cars. Type "random 49" to return random numbers between 1 and 49, courtesy of random.org. And best of all, you can make a new command by giving YubNub an appropriate URL.

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  • Whois
    Whois is unique in that it not only shows website archive histories, but also more detail like the registration and expiry date of the website.

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  • WebCite
    WebCite provides email archives once you provide the website URL and your email ID. Archiving in WebCite allows anybody (particularly authors and editors of scholarly papers, books etc.) to cite a stable version of a Web page (including Blogs, Wiki, PDF file, and other web documents), making it "citable" in an academic context.

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While these tools are easily accessible online and fairly straight-forward, always make sure to understand the difference between typical screenshots and website archives that collect appropriate metadata. Collecting website and social media metadata is necessary for using archives in court. Read more about metadata here. 

The following tools collect website screen shots and archives with full metadata, adding digital signatures and timestamps to verify data authenticity and integrity. 
  • WebPreserver
    Offering superior functions to simple screenshots, WebPreserver is a very easy to use browser plugin that allows you to take instant screen shots of full website pages, with complete metadata, digital signatures and timestamps to verify their legitimacy.

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  • PageFreezer
    PageFreezer offers you a real-time enterprise-class SaaS solution built to support the most complex websites and social media platforms. PageFreezer makes it possible to re-experience any past version of your website as though it were live – clicking links, playing video or audio, and viewing the pages exactly as they originally appeared. All metadata is collected, and archives digitally signed and timestamped.

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  • PageFreezer Legal
    PageFreezer Legal is available to all as an evidence collection service with a quick turnaround time. Simply enter the URL you want to capture screen shots of, your email address, credit card payment, and you will soon after receive your collected website or social media evidence digitally signed and time-stamped, with complete metadata.

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