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site update forensics

pma111 used Ask the Experts™
are there any useful tools/techniques that could be utilised to determine if a website has been updated (content etc) in say the past 3 months or so, without being the admin of the site itself?
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check the logs of the site... or logs Email to your ID, or contact the Hosting Provider...

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All HTTP headers contain this item: Last-Modified
You can use this as a guide or general idea if it's been updated or not. This method is only for static files (images etc), dynamic creations (PHP script etc) will not have this tag. So going on this alone can sometimes lead to incorrect conclusions (only updated dynamic content, means you might think the website hasn't been updated for a while)
Fractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
This depends on how the content is managed.

1) If the content is static HTML, then just look at the file's last modified date.

2) If the content is in a database, you must look at all rows of data required to render your content. If some/all these rows of data contain time stamps, then you can determine last change date by analyzing all row time stamps.

3) If you're using WordPress, you can simply install the aryo-activity-log plugin, which tracks all site changes, including content changes.
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

There are also sites that can do this for you such as pingdom or visualping.io
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Also https://archive.org can provide some great historical info.

Recently I was looking for an image I used on a Website back around 1992ish.

I was able to scrape the image out of https://archive.org with a simple click.