The Wayback Machine, an essential and amazing tool that's preserved 19 years of the web's history, is getting a big redesign. The Internet Archive expects to launch a rebuilt and modernized Wayback Machine sometime in 2017, promising that it "will have more and better webpages that are easier to find." The existing resource already offers over 439 billion captures of web content, including websites, video, and images. That's a lot.
But with the support of a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Internet Archive aims to "improve the scope and quality" of webpages that it crawls and saves even further; right now, approximately 1 billion pages are captured every week. "Taking the Wayback Machine to the next level will make the entire Web more reliable, stable and retrievable for everyone," said Kelli Rhee, LJAF's VP of venture development.
All of the Wayback Machine's code will be rewritten, which should make hopping between websites past and present more reliable. And the Archive says it'll do a better job of supporting deprecated formats, so the media inside old web pages won't vanish forever. This also extends to helping other important web efforts avoid broken links; the Internet Archive is partnering with Wikipedia to replace broken links with archived versions from the Wayback Machine. Other improvements coming in 2017 include a refreshed, simpler user interface and the ability to find websites by keyword instead of typing out the whole URL. The Internet Archive is also welcoming user suggestions for new features and further optimizations of the Wayback Machine at email@example.com.