The web became a mass means of publication that has been replacing printed media. However, its information is extremely ephemeral. Currently, most of the information available on the web is less than 1 year old. There are several initiatives worldwide that struggle to archive information from the web before it vanishes. However, search mechanisms to access this information are still limited and do not satisfy their users that demand performance similar to live- web search engines. This paper presents some of the work developed to create an effi�cient and effective searchable web archive service, from data acquisition to user interface design. The results of research were applied in practice to create the Portuguese Web Archive that is publicly available since January 2010. It supports full-text search over 1 billion contents archived from 1996 to 2010. The developed software is available as an open source project.