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When was it updated?

Monday, November 15th, 2004 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I was on a web page the other day and thought the info I was seeing was current. Turns out it was 2 years old! Is there any way to tell when a web page was last updated?

A:
Yes there is. To find out when a particular page was last updated, head to the page and type (or copy and paste) the following line into your address bar:

javascript:alert(document.lastModified)

Head to our homepage ( http://www.worldstart.com/ ) and try it. You’ll get a message box that looks something like this (only with a different date/time):

image

(Note – your browser must have javascript enabled in order to do this little trick.)

Oh, if you’re on a page with “dynamic” elements (it shows the current date for example), this isn’t too helpful. Since the page is basically updated every time it’s loaded, you’ll just get a box with the date and time you landed on the page.

OK, that’s all well and good, but unless you’re a web page designer, chances are you’re not going to remember how to do that a month from now.

So, what can you do? Add it to your favorites.

Now, this is not nearly as easy as it sounds. If you just try adding it to your favorites, you’ll find that it doesn’t work, you get the web page you’re visiting instead. So, here’s a workaround (this is for Internet Explorer, BTW):

1. Add a web page to your favorites. It doesn’t matter what page it is. When the “Add to favorites” screen pops up, re-name the page “Last Update” (no quotes) or something similar.

image

2. Now, click your Favorites menu and find the favorite you just added.
Right-click it and select Properties from the resulting menu. Not surprisingly, a properties screen pops up.

image

3. Finally, put the line below in place of the current URL:

javascript:alert(document.lastModified)

image

You’ll probably get an error message when you change it. Just hit “Yes” if this pops up.

That should do it. Click the “Last Update” favorite anytime you’re on a page and want to know when it was last updated.

~ Steve

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