What is website archiving? What are its benefits?

What is website archiving? What are its benefits?

Everything is vulnerable to time, and not even information stored in a digital platform can escape it. That’s why preservation of this gigantic amount of data is as significant as creating new assets.

A great example of everything that can go wrong is the huge data loss Myspace faced in 2019, millions and millions of pictures and songs lost into oblivion in an instant.

The remedy is website archiving. This way, the content gets stored for eternity, even if the original website goes down. They can be used as proper evidence in court cases, and they can attest to the truth of any matter. Some of the very best tools used for this are The Internet Archive’s ‘Wayback Machine, HTTrack, CMS, etc.

It’s often used to hold governments, politicians, and any individual accountable for something they said or did publicly in times gone by.

It can be of great help to scholars and researchers too. They can provide a close reading of old academic material, and give you access to a wealth of knowledge that they may not get otherwise.

Some of the other benefits of website archiving are:

  • Legal evidence

Businesses in many heavily regulated industries are forced to employ website archiving. They can be held accountable in legal matters with the help of the archives. Many companies delete information like details from web pages that they’re legally bound to keep. Web archiving allows authorities to impose bans and penalties or take them to court.

The food and beverage sector is one such example. Many brands use inferior quality ingredients or harmful substances to make more profit. But, due to web archives, all the nutritional values and contents are there to use as proof of litigation against them.

Healthcare is another sector that is benefitted from web archives. It helps to identify non-compliance or violation of life-altering measures as all the online content about critical medical machineries, medicines, and nutritional aids are stored for any future cross-checking or reference.

And the financial sector is also adapting to web archiving. Authorities like the SEC, FCA, and FINRA all have strict regulations on web content and social media information. Every financial institution today needs to preserve its details of digital presence and communications. Failure in compliance can result in severe penalties, suspended licenses, and other criminal lawsuits.

  • Reliability as a backup option

You may think that web archiving is rather exaggerated: Take website screenshots and that’s it. But a screenshot is just an image, and that can be manipulated (ahem, photoshop) quite easily. So they can’t be used as evidence in a court of law. Moreover, you can’t scroll, click and interact anyway with a still image.

Web archiving is much more inclusive and reliable as a backup. The businesses that adopt this know full well that whatever happens down the line, their data will be secure. All of it can be completely retrieved anytime they need to.

Moreover, they can execute much more control over their old content. For example, they can replay those web pages just like their life, including all the elements inside them if they employ top-notch archiving software. Businesses can index and present their data much more easily if the need arises. After updating or renovating websites, businesses can get historical web records and authentic copies far more quickly.

  • Securing Intellectual Property

Archived web pages are perfectly eligible to use as legal evidence for violating intellectual property rights. Without archiving, any individual or business’s content is vulnerable and can lose out on money that can be made from copyrights and patents.

But, with proper archives, you can easily charge any person or institution for theft of intellectual property, if they copy your content, images, or anything that’s exclusively yours. It doesn’t matter how old the content is, you’ll always have proof of your ownership.

  • Preserving memory

The world is becoming more digital with every new technology and the advent of social media. That’s why it becomes essential for big companies to employ website archiving to store their data sources. That way, they can introduce upcoming generations to their legacy and history.

Old brochures, photos, newspaper articles, products: everything that’s associated with the company can be preserved. That can be a great marketing tactic as well, to give customers a glimpse into the past- the moments that made them what they’re today, and all the milestones they’ve achieved.

CONCLUSION

Website archiving is an important aspect of business nowadays. Not only it benefits their prospects in legalities, but they’re also emblems of their history.

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