Sam Wilson's Website

Keeping websites online

There’s a discussion on hacker news about how to make a website live for a very long time:

It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure about 500 years, but I do think it’s worth figuring out for about 30 or 40 years. Maybe 50. I base that on the fact that I seem to often come across things that people wrote in the 1970s and 1980s that reference other things from that time that are now very hard to find (or even really determine if they’re at all findable).

It’s basically the timeframe between when someone is old and produces a work, and when their grandchildren’s generation is old enough to appreciate that work. Their children’s generation often don’t care enough or see it as too recently made and so not worth looking after.

My approach is still to make printable versions of things (on archival paper with pigment-based inks, stored in polypropylene folders). The hosting is fragile and shouldn’t be expected to last more than one’s own life, mostly for bureaucratic reasons rather than technical.