How to Check When a Website Was Last Updated

In the ever-changing and ever-evolving world of the internet, websites tend to keep their data fresh and updated for users’ and visitors’ convenience.

However, while newer data tends to remain in the limelight, one can also search for old data whenever necessary.

Developers tend to attach ‘last updated’ data alongside newly published articles with a specified index-data and date for easy reference.

For both developers and visitors, last updated data may help in many ways; one must know how to check when a website was last updated to help increase productivity.

The process may seem complicated at first; however, with a little practice, one can ensure that they remain updated with both the old and the new data segment, updated on a website.

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To better understand the process, this article showcased an array of comprehensive methods designed to simplify your web experience.

Difference between Published, Indexed, and Last Updated Dates

To answer when was a website last updated, one must thoroughly understand the difference between published, indexed, and previous updated dates.

The published date stands for the initial date of data publication; the day when the article went public on the internet; moreover, the Last-Modified date refers to the day when the author last update their website’s data.

Even after uploading and updating data, one must wait till the search engine crawler makes your article public for the world to see; the day when your article goes out to the people becomes the indexed date.

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Irrespective of the date modified, one needs to wait for the indexed data to achieve complete publication.

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Use of Dates

When browsing the internet, you will notice that all websites showcase dates for publication and modification, irrespective of the content.

When the users can find the date of a web page, they tend to validate the content, increasing the author’s goodwill subconsciously.

Articles showcasing screenshot references must showcase dates to help strengthen their validity and confirm usability. Users tend to believe in such descriptive essays even more!

Methods of Finding Last Updated Dates

Even with a date checker, one may not gain access to the last updated dates on a website; merely looking for the initial publication date may not prove useful either.

One must follow a series of well-organized methods to help reveal the last updated date on a website at a given time.

● Search for HTTP Header from the Source Page

Newer and older internet users distinctively recognize ‘HTTP;’ however, most people do not know how the HTTP protocol works.

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The protocol helps send and receive information to help viewers experience the webpage at its fullest.

To find the last updated dates, one must know how to view page source. The steps presented below may help achieve the desired results on an internet browser:

  • Free HTTP checker tools may help reveal details regarding a particular webpage when given a URL to follow. These tools can announce last modified dates, alongside content type, server, connection, and much more!
  • One can opt to right-click on a webpage to reveal a direct source-code. With the use of <meta> tags, carefully placed between <head></head>, one can search for other important details. One can find publish date of the website by simply clicking the ‘control’ and ‘f’ buttons together.
  • Alternatively, one can opt to use developer-tools to help search for last modified dates on a webpage.

● XML Sitemap Method

Apart from viewing old web pages, one can use XML Sitemap to help understand a website’s structure in detail.

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After analyzing the system, one can also view last-update dates and other essential information regarding the source page and the website.

To use the method appropriately, one must follow the steps mentioned below:

  • By entering the website https://websitename.com/sitemap.xml, one can easily sitemap any given website at a time.
  • Against a specific URL, one can also opt to check the last updated date with site-mapping.

● Google Search Method

While searching for a Google website, one can include “&as_qdr=y15” after the URL to make Google display a meta-description of the desired website.

The meta-data will also include dates for last updates, apart from the older versions of website.

However, one must not forget that Google showcases the last-indexed fate, which may lie close to the last update date with most websites on the internet.

● Command URL Method

To follow this method, one must possess a certain degree of skill with JavaScript; however, one cannot utilize the Command URL Method on dynamic a webpage; using static pages may breed better results.

One can opt for this method instead of searching a solution for “&as_qdr=y15 not working” on Google! 

  • One must first open the desired webpage on their browser to find the last updated data.
  • One must proceed to type “javascript.alert(document.lastmodified)” to access the desired results in the address bar.
  • When executed successfully, one will encounter a pop-up showcasing the last update date on their screens; you can press the enter button to close it.

● Google Cache Method

In case alert(document.lastmodified) fails t work for you, you can opt for an even more straightforward method to access the last update dates on your web browser.

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Google Caches data may help you verify the dates when used with care and precision. 

  • Several websites on the internet allow their users to download cache checkers for Google, for free!
  • To find cached pages, one can directly search on Google; website URLs usually contain a small arrow when presented as search results on Google. Clicking on that arrow may grant the user access to cached data from that website.
  • After accessing the required details, one can screenshot their screen for future reference. The cached data will contain the last updated dates, helping you analyze the data and proceed with your work accordingly.

One can access the last saved data and old version of websites by using a simple set of commands presented to you in this write-up.

With their help, you can analyze the website in great detail and integrate your research.

Upon going through the steps systematically, one can gain access to an array of useful information, making one’s internet experience even better.

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Rahul Setia was born and raised in the Kaithal, Haryana. He worked at brands like Jabong, ProProfs etc. He was also in the List of Top 100 Social Media Influencer's 2019 by Status Brew. He lives in Delhi/NCR and is a Digital Gig & Founder of Websites i.e TechBlogCorner.com, ViralMasalla.com, DealorCoupons.com. Follow me on: LinkedIn, @rahulsetia007 and Facebook.

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