How to determine the date a website was created on

When doing research on a topic, it’s vital to make sure your sources are up to date. If you’re writing a scholarly paper, publication dates are often required in citations.

Most of the time, getting the date is easy: just search the site and find the publication date to find how recent it was. Things get a bit more complicated when there is no date on the website. When this happens, how do you know when a web page has been published?

In and around the page itself

The first port of call to find out when a web page has been published is and around the page itself. Most of the time, the publication date of an article should be written along with the author’s name just above the article. On rare occasions, this information might be below the article.

A less accurate, but still useful, way to estimate a web page’s publication date is to look at the comments. When was the first comment written? This will give you an idea of ​​the date of an article, and therefore the relevance of the information contained in it.

Finally, some blogs and sites automatically format the date of the article in the URL of the page, so take a look at the address bar to see if you can find any clues.

One final note: see if the page has a date updated. An earlier article might say it was originally published five years ago, but at the end of the post, you might find a second date that indicates the post was updated six months ago.

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View Source

You can use your browser to see the source code behind most websites. You can often tell when a web page was published by looking up the code.

Start by going to the website or article for which you need the date. You must be on the exact page and not just the home page of the website.

Right-click on this web page and a list of options will appear in a pop-up menu. Select “View Page Source Code” from the list.

The layout of the web page will be rearranged, and a panel will open on the right, revealing the page’s source code. This is the HTML code that the browser executes to display the version of the page that appears on your screen. Every detail related to the creation and design of the web page is mentioned in the source code if you know what to look for.

4. After opening the page source, use the shortcut Ctrl + F to open the search bar.

5. In the bar, type “Post” to highlight each line in the source code where the word is used.

All you have to do is read the entire line where the word “Post” is included. One of these lines will contain the date the web page was created.

In addition, you can search for “Modified” and follow the same steps above to discover the dates the article was modified.

Using Google

Often a Google search of your website will show when a web page was published. Open the web page with the unknown publication date. Copy the URL into a Google search box and search. While there is a much more complicated way to do this, the easiest method is to select a time range to start displaying dates next to each result in the search list.

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Sometimes the date of the last post of a webpage is automatically displayed in Google, as with this search below.

If you don’t see a date, click Tools just above the search results. Open the Anytime dropdown box and select “Custom Range”.

Enter a wide range. Typically, going back about 10-15 years ensures that even old web pages display a date. Otherwise, if the web page is older than the range you entered, the result will disappear from the search results list. If you know a page was published within a certain period, you just need to go back to that time.

Using the Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is a site that monitors how websites progress to. over the years. If a web page is not very popular, it may not appear on the Wayback Machine; however, if you receive a match from the machine, you can get a rough estimate of when the web page was published.

First, go to the Wayback Machine, then enter the address of the site you want to check in the bar of site addresses.

When you click “Browse History”, the Wayback Machine will check to see if it can find records of the website. Doing so will display a calendar showing all the snapshots it has collected. Find the earliest possible date for a rough estimate of when the page was published; at the very least, you’ll know the page existed for that period!

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Using Carbon Dating the Web

Carbon Dating the Web is a handy tool that gets a rough estimate of when it was created the website. When its developers tested it on pages where the creation date was known, it had a 75 percent success rate in guessing when it was made. It’s very easy to use: just enter the URL of the web page in the box and click “Carbon Date”.

The site will give you an estimated creation date for the site you provided.

You can even download the Carbon Dating the Web app for local use, in case you have to do a lot of searching. Just click the link on the site to download it.


Whether you’re researching for an article or just want to know when a web page was published, it can be frustrating when the webmaster does not add a date to his articles. Fortunately, there are ways to get a rough idea of ​​when a page came up. It may not be accurate 100 percent of the time, but it can give you a good idea of ​​how current the article is.

Which method do you like best? Do you know of any methods that we have missed? Let us know below.


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