orphaned websites

Orphaned websites and lost information

It happens all the time: websites go offline, are no longer maintained, orphaned websites and lost information. Valuable information that has gone lost for ever.

You visit your favorite website only to find out it’s gone. Of course there’s the “Way Back Machine” but it doesn’t contain all the websites all over the world. It simply cannot. Their archive is impressive though. At this moment their archive contains:

  • 625 billion web pages
  • 38 million books and texts
  • 14 million audio recordings (including 240,000 live concerts)
  • 7 million videos (including 2 million Television News programs)
  • 4 million images
  • 790,000 software programs

As we wrote here, we have noticed many times that valuable information and resources go “offline”. A ministry discontinues their program or did no longer continue to provide certain information, courses or lessons because of financial hardship, change in leadership, changing theological views, a website redesign or just because thy think it’s no longer useful. We’ve seen very valuable online teaching disappear this way!

A few years ago I was studying at a very good, online, bible school offering a Biblical Studies program. All of a sudden the website was gone. Completely gone. Domain name didn’t exist anymore. Couldn’t find it on the Way Back Machine either. All of the sudden my study was halted, course materials no longer available. Extremely frustrating!

Orphaned websites

A few weeks ago I accidentally stumbled upon another website (from a ministry) that seems to be ‘orphaned’. Website didn’t function too well anymore, many dead links. Last updated in 2012. No way to contact them. Registration form didn’t work anymore (404-error). Even their Facebook page wasn’t updated anymore since 2012 and their Twitter account was deleted. Makes you wonder what happened…?

Mind you, this wasn’t just some small ministry that had “disappeared”. The website was from an Association of preachers and churches working together. It is remarkable that the website was still online. Because if an organization has been gone for ten years and the website is clearly not maintained, who is still paying for the hosting? I can tell you, as the owner of a hosting company, most companies won’t host you that long for free. So someone must still be paying the bills or the hosting company doesn’t have a good accounting department.

For situations like this, to secure the content for myself, I use the HTTrack program. But this only works for public data (pages, files, images).

Welcome from the Chairman IFEBS Free Bible SchoolStudents will be stuck if this happens. I’ve experienced it myself. That’s why the Yarah Ministries always offers all their course materials for download. So in case anything bad happens with the ministry, our websites or –in a worse case scenario– governments won’t allow access to Christian websites or any websites at all (and yes, this does happen all the time!) you will still have these valuable courses available if you downloaded them to your computer or tablet.

So here’s the “tip of the day”! Save all the courseware we offer on your device. It’s a valuable, free, collection of great biblestudies and books. Even if you don’t finish the online courses it will be profitable for you (and others!) for years to come.

Rudy Brinkman / Chairman Stichting Yarah & entrepreneur (Brinkman.IT, hosting & web design)

Author: IFEBS Staff

Chairman Stichting B.T.O. Yarah, webmaster IFEBS. Biblical Studies Certificate (Moody Bible Institute) Christian Ministry Certificate (Christian Leaders Institute)