How to Restore a Website without Backup: Use Google Cache and Web Archive

In Blogging by Fathi Arfaoui0 CommentsLast Updated: September 29th, 2017

If you really want to protect your website or blog, you should backup your files every day in a safe place. Even, you have to create another copy every week and save it to your Google drive, or any other cloud hosting services. But sometimes, people lose their files and entire websites with a wrong click of a button.

That can happen without any notice for any reason. Today, you’ll learn how to restore a website without backup. Of course, this method needs more work than a normal backup, because you don’t have the files and database to run a restore process.

Why people can’t restore their blogs with a backup?

Not everyone who runs a website thinks about backups, even, some people don’t know that their website can be hacked or simply lost. This is a very important topic that people should understand. Even, if you have a backup of your blog, you can’t guarantee at 100% that you can use it at the right moment to restore your files.

This can happen when you reach your disk space limit with your web hosting provider, make sure that you have enough space if you save your backups in the same servers (not recommended at all to save backups on the same servers).

Restore a Website without Backup

In other cases, you find yourself unable to restore your site, even, if you have a full backup of all the file. This is not a normal situation, of course, but, it happened to many bloggers in the past. If your old hosting server was windows and the new one is Linus, you will find some issues to make things compatible with the two different languages that machines use.

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If you think that this can’t happen, then search Google for similar problems, and you will find thousands of people who lost their business at least for months because of similar issues.

The best way to stay safe without the above issues is to save your daily backup on a different server, outside of the one used to host the website. Google Drive, Dropbox are just examples of other cloud backup services that you have to use.

If you are a person who needs to guarantee at 100% his website backups, then you need to create at least, two different external servers for the same daily backup. That will guarantee at least one functional source if you lose backups. Now, let’s back up a website if you lost all files.

Restore your website even without a backup

1.Restore with Google Cache

Google cache is the Google way to serve their surfers when a page is not available. They use a cached version of your blog and add a message at the top of the page to let people know that the page is only a cached version and not a real-time page. This is really a free gift that worth millions if you have a popular blog or website.

Please, note that this is a hard method to restore your web pages, one by one. But, it’s better than losing your entire files and pages.

You just need to browse your website as it was in the last days or months if Google has a cached version. Just type this URL in your browser and change the example.com with your domain name.

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http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://example.com/

In the example below, I just typed the BBC website to see the last cached version:

Google cache

If you just lost some pages or links, you can restore them easily with Google cache. But, if you need the full website pages, you need to spend more time browsing your website through the cached version. A simple and fast way is viewing and copying the page source code, then paste it on your new server, or just copy and paste the content if you have text only.

Google cache saved many bloggers and website owners from losing their sites and business. It’s the only real caching service in the world that shows you functional pages and links exactly as the real version. But, as Google cache is great, it has its limits, you can only view the latest cache and not all of them.

2. Restore from the Web Archive

The web archive is the oldest and largest archive for the web. The only problem is that many of their archived pages are broken and even non-functional, you’re not guaranteed to get even 80% of your website pages. Remember that you can get other functional pages, that you can use to restore your blog or website.

The best thing about the web archive is that you can browse your website any day, month or year that you want. Just add your website URL in the search box and start browsing.

restore a website with web archive

As using Google archived pages, you have to browse and copy your pages from the archive, then use them in your actual server. You will find some of your pages are broken, this is an alternative method if you don’t have a Google cache.

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The two methods to restore a website without backup are the only real ways. You will find some other websites, they just use the web archive or the Google cache and link to them through their sites. It’s not their archive, but, one of the above archives.

If you’ve used the archive to back up your website in the past, you already know the importance of saving files and backups multiple times and in different places. That’s the only way to restore a website. There are many paid ways to save your backups, but, no one of them will guarantee to restore your website if it’s hacked.

Sometimes, things seem easy, but when problems happen, they look completely different and, even complicated than people though. My advice is, even if you use one of the popular paid backup services, you don’t know how they secure their servers. They’re as any other business in the world, that just try to rise up their security levels.

We hear about some of the popular attacks and hacks, for companies that live from website security, they protect you, but how they protect themselves? Simply their personal work that never guaranteed a result by 100% in the critical situations.

Final word, use what you want to use as backup services, continue with your free or paid services, but, never forget to make an alternative backup, at least, once every week and on different servers.

About Fathi Arfaoui

Fathi Arfaoui: Blogger, and the founder and owner of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, Blogging, WordPress, Web Safety, and Blogging tips to build better websites and blogs. Also, he shares online marketing strategies and recommendations.

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