We’ve all been there. You’re looking up a set of directions, a tutorial, or some form of information on the Internet, only to find that the site that Google returns as a result is down. In many cases, finding another set of directions or another site with the same information is a simple task, but in some cases – especially those where the information you are trying to find is on a very specific topic – you’re out of luck. So what do you do when the server that you are trying to get information from becomes unavailable?
One of the things I do when I cannot access a site is immediately return to the search results and explore alternative results. But as my luck often has it, the most promising result is always off-line. In many cases, search engines such as Google will display a “cached” button directly underneath the search result. Clicking this button will (usually) bring you to an indexed copy of the page you are trying to view. However, cached versions usually lack the level of formating, layout, and imagery that the original version of the page had. In cases where the information you are looking up is solely text-based, the cached version should be sufficient. However, if the page has accompanying image or video content, you will surely find yourself out of luck.