Sometimes you may need to open a cached page of a website instead of the real one. Maybe the real website is down and inaccessible, contents that have been published on it have been deleted, if the website is blocked in your network, or if you do not want to reduce your online footprint. Whatever the reason, you can usually use caches that search engines create automatically when they crawl websites to do so.
The best cache for that is probably provided by Google. One issue with it is that Google has moved it out of sight for a while so to speak. So, instead of being able to click on the cache link right away, it is now necessary to move the mouse cursor over the search engine result you want to access the cached version of, move the mouse over the arrow icon that appears, wait for a while until the preview image of the webpage is displayed, to click on the cached link there.
While that is certainly okay if you do it every now and then, it is not optimal or fast if you do that regularly. We have reviewed several caching related add-ons in the past, like the excellent Cache Machine for Firefox which adds cache access options to the browser's right-click context menu.
Amit Agarwal just posted a tip on his Digital Inspiration blog that lets you open cached pages faster, under certain circumstances. Most users do not know that they can use cache: in front of any url on Google to open the cached version of a page directly.
The query cache:reddit.com opens the latest cached entry of Reddit's front page for instance. This works very well when the url is short, if you have stored it in the clipboard for some fast pasting action, or if you are on a site and want to access its cache.
Note that the latter only seems to work in Chrome. You can simply add cache: in front of any url in the browser to open a site's cached version in the browser. When I do that in Firefox, I get a "The address wasn't understood" notification.Enjoyed the article?: Then sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed to kick off your day with the latest technology news and tips, or share the article with your friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ using the icons below.