In addition to our automated database backups, and a backup policy you might have internally, the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine can be a last-ditch effort to recover lost content. Briefly, the Wayback Machine is a cache of the World Wide Web going back as far as 1996, and often there will be copies from multiple dates an old web page stored. It is useful especially to see how a website or its content evolved over time.
There's no guarantee the Wayback crawled your site at any given time or has a copy of the content. This may be for a few reasons:
- The Wayback Machine just have never learned about the existence of your website, and therefore didn't know to crawl it.
- The content it archived may be out of date, not reflecting any updates you made after it was archived.
- You may have instructed, through the
robots.txtfile, not to crawl your website.
Another risk is that the Wayback Machine website itself is notoriously slow, so attempts to recover content there can be painstaking and time-consuming.
Do not rely on this as a backup strategy. It's truly a last-ditch effort, and should be used only to either quickly retrieve a small amount of lost content or as the final item in a backup recovery checklist.