How to cite an archived website using APA style

Imagine you are working on your thesis and the website you are citing went offline during your work, quite a stressful situation! The citation you are using might be labeled as non-existing and might discredit your work. However, there is no need to panic, because you can still use the citation! As discussed in the article “What is a cached page and how to use it” we explained that a cached page of a website is a snapshot of that specific website taken at a certain time.

We recommend to use the wayback machine to find the website you are citing. Google updates their cache to quick to make it reliable for a thesis or any other document. The wayback machine saves web pages at a less regular interval, but archives the pages per date. This gives you a better chance to find the information you are citing and it won’t be overwritten by a recent update of the cache.

Citing archived pages using APA style

The most difficult part is over once you’ve found the page from which you are citing in your work. The APA style for citing an archived page is no different than from citing a normal website URL.

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Retrieved from URL

An example from the first archived page of Google:

Google Inc.. (1998, December 2nd). Google!. https://web.archive.org/web/19981202230410/http://www.google.com/

If you want to make sure that there is an archived page of the page you are citing you can also use the wayback machine to instantly archive the page. This way you can always be certain that the information you wish to use can be properly referred to. Instant archiving is available from the homepage of archive.org.