Monday, March 24, 2008

Resurrect lost web pages with Google Cache...

Have you ever gone searching for web page that you have accessed in the past, only to find that it has moved or been deleted from the server? Annoying, isn't it?

My school recently changed the company we use to host our website. In theory, all of the files had been backed up and moved via FTP to the new host. The move was supposed to be entirely transparent to users of the site. Of course, anyone who has ever experienced a move knows that no matter how careful you are, there are always a couple of things that seem to get misplaced en route. Unfortunately, my entire directory was among the things that seem to have been "left behind." Go figure.

The only thing worse than learning that every web page you have created in the past 4 years is missing is learning it in the middle of the day when you try to access a page that is required for a classroom activity. Ooops. The moment had the potential for catastrophe.

Luckily a combination of quick thinking and Google's cache feature were sufficient to save the day. I was able to find Google's cached version of my missing page, save it as a web page, then upload the file to my personal web server (where my classroom pages will reside from now on), and business continued as usual. I think we lost about 4 minutes of class time.

Here are some screenshots detailing the fateful event:

  1. I discovered the page was MIA.

  2. I entered the address of the missing page into Google:
  3. I clicked "Cached" to view the last time Google crawled and saved the page./
  4. I was able to see and save the page that had been saved by Google about 1 week before.
    Thus, the tech person's life was spared.
If you are ever in a similar jam, I suggest you try it.

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