Do you wish to learn how to find deleted web pages? Have you accidentally deleted your entire website? We recently fell into a situation that had us scrambling around in panic. This entire website went down and we only had a backup from a month ago. The reason for the site going off air was because out web host appears to have gone broke. The host has always been rather unreachable, but site speed was good so, we left it at that.
Now we suspect that the host was a one man operation. We went from having a record number of visitors to this site to having no visitors at all in a matter of hours. That was a scary situation. Afterwards, we did some detective work and discovered that there were probably hundreds of people in similar situations because of that host.
It was also discovered that the host was a reseller. That raised the interesting situation where there were resellers of resellers of resellers. What we mean is that our host’s host was a UK company. Our host was South Africa. On our host’s site, there are packages offering hosting to resellers. If these resellers sell reseller packages in turn, that could be interesting. Somebody ought to limit the number of layers.
Anyway, our host’s host told us that there was nothing that could be done, considering that they had a legal agreement with out host. We had asked for access to cPanel, where we had created a somewhat recent version of our site. However, we had never gotten around to downloading it. Our host’s host politely expressed sympathy but refused to help.
After an entire day, we decided to move over to another web host. We resolved to use the month old backup. Our fear was that our host, who could not be reached on the phone or on email, was gone forever. We have already noted that at the time of writing this post, a week from the beginning of the incident, other affected websites are still down.
The thing that really got to us was the fact that the lost month had been our most productive. We had written at least 200 articles. So, what could be done to find these deleted web pages?
How to Recover Deleted Websites
It’s not easy to recover deleted web pages, but it can be done. In our case, we have managed to recover all posts and pages, save for one. That was the last one that we wrote before the outage. What we did was we set up the old backup on the new host. Once that was done, we had our site up and running again, albeit without recent posts. The challenge was to recover the lost month of articles. You have several options here. You can recover your lost web pages using;
- Google cache
- Bing cache
- Yandex cache
Those three are search engines. At any given point, they have cached copies of the pages on your website. So, what you need to do is to go there and search for your missing articles.
In our case, we started with one article, and then used the Recent Posts widget in the sidebar to identify missing posts. You can also identify them in Search Console. Once you know which page or post is missing, you can then look for the cached version.
To find a missing post, simply type the following into Google, Bing or Yandex; “yoursite.com + title of web post.” You can also use URLs if you have them. From there, you can repost the article. Make sure when doing so that the URL remains the same as before. Otherwise it will be a completely new post.
Anyway, the majority of articles were recovered from Google. However, at the end we had 10 web pages that were missing from the Google cache. So, we went to Bing. Here, we recovered 2 web pages. Finally, we went to Yandex, the Russian search engine. Here we recovered the remaining web pages, except for one.
This article showed you how to find deleted web pages. All pages are cached by search engines. So, when you lose your site, you can recover your pages one at a time by opening the cached copies. It’s hard work, but it can be done. It took us 4 days without sleeping at night to recover our own web pages.
Once that’s done, you can then republish them using the same URL. During our own recovery, Yandex, the Russian search engine, proved to be a surprise. They had more cached versions of our pages than the other search engines, including Google. We welcome comments. Leave them below. What has your experience been like?