WayBackMachine Uncovers Our Digital Past


Have you ever wondered what some aspects of organizations, institutions, or projects looked like 20 years ago? There are several tools and applications on the web that you can use to go into the past and see how web technologies, web design, but also the very first versions of some pages have evolved.

Probably the most famous tool is hidden within the largest internet archive (Archive.org), namely the WayBack Machine. Its uniqueness lies primarily in its global scope, recorded digital footprint, and then, of course, in the simplicity of its use.

In 2020, this service has been indexing over 420 billion websites, and as already mentioned, the use is very simple. Just insert the domain you want into the address bar, and the system will present you with all available captured versions of the page in history, including the timeline or the options for selecting a specific day from the history, if available.

For example, if you’d like to see one of Google’s predecessors, Altavista, enter the address of the www.altavista.com. You can then go on your way back to October 1996. Wasn’t that a wonderful time? Well, ok…

Of course, that we can use the WayBackMachine and see the first moments of Google. This could be really challenging for us to even see our own projects how did they look like. Or, just to remind ourselves what we were actually doing in a specific time. Nice. Maybe.