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The How To Know Launch Date of a Website
We’ve probably all had our fair share of problems figuring out when to publish or launch a website. Some need to do this for a school essay, others to prepare for a work presentation, while others want to know how current or up-to-date the content they are reading is.
Fortunately, there are a lot of different methods that we’ll cover, so stick with us.
Search website (and URL)
The easiest and most accurate way is to take a close look at the website, as it often happens that an article online has a date that it was first published and / or last updated. . These sections are usually located at the beginning or end of an article.
You can also search for a copyright date, which appears at the very bottom of the website. Note, however, that not all websites have it, and the copyright date only indicates the year the full website was created and the year it was last updated.
Before taking a look at other more complex methods, keep in mind that the URL may contain the answer as well. Some sites like to keep their articles in order by indicating their publication date in the URL.
Use google to find the date
Google primarily displays the published date next to each search result in most cases. However, if that’s not the case for you, here’s what you can do to find the publish date of a specific web page:
- Go to Google.
- Type inurl: in the search box.
- Copy and paste the URL of the page right next to inurl:.
- Click on the “Google Search” button (or simply “Search”).
- Add & as_qdr = y15 next to the URL
- Search again. A date should now appear below the URL of the page.
Check the source code
The source code helps with many aspects of the website, including how it was created, as most of this information is not available otherwise. Here’s how to open it and find the published date on Firefox, Chrome, and probably most other web browsers:
- Look for the “Show page source” option. If you are using Firefox or Chrome, right-click on an empty area of the website you are visiting, then select the “Show page source” option at the end of the list. The default shortcut for this option is Ctrl + U on Windows and Command + U on Mac.
- The website source code will appear in a new tab in your web browser, which will likely appear next to the tab that contains your website. The next thing you need to do is press Ctrl + F (Command + F on Mac) to open the Search function on your web browser.
- The Find function, which takes up only a small part of your screen, is used to find specific information that we need. To find the date of publication, it is best to simply type “publish” in the search box.
- The terms you are looking for are datePublished, publishdate, published_time, etc. Searching for “publish” may help if you cannot find any of the terms above. You can also search for “dateModified” to find out when the website was last modified. The year must be entered first, followed by the month, then the date.
Carbon Web Dating
There is a free online service called Carbon Dating the Web specifically designed to find the approximate date of a website launch. It’s free and easy to use, but it takes a little while to estimate the date. This tool had a 75% success rate when its developers tested it on pages with a known creation date.
People who cite websites a lot may also benefit from the ability to install the program locally. It can be downloaded from this link.
The Wayback Machine is a tool that tracks existing sites over time and stores this information in its database. It was released in 2001 but has been around since 1996. It gives you the opportunity to explore over 366 billion websites.
All you need to do is type or copy the website address into the search box and click the “Browse History” button. If the search is successful, you will be able to see how many times the Wayback Machine saved site information and when. You can also click on the Summary and Site Map buttons for even more information.
If you want to browse another website’s history from the results page, you probably won’t have the same ‘Browse History’ button. If so, you can always press Enter after pasting (or typing) another link.
Another option to try
Before you give up hope, try checking the comments. Web page reviews can help you get the approximate date or at least see that a particular website existed at the time the comment was made.
Finally, if you can’t even get a rough page to post or update date, consider using the “(nd)” notation. This is usually fine as long as you’ve tried to find the date in advance. Alternatively, if you need some sort of date, you can use the date you last accessed the web page as recommended by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA).
The bottom line is that the only method with a hundred percent success rate is to find the dates the page was published and / or updated. The other methods are not as precise, but can provide useful information if the site itself is lacking in dates. If all else fails, simply use the undated notation or enter the date of your last visit.
Did you manage to find the publish date of a website you were looking for? If so, which method did you find the most effective? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.
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