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There are times when you need to go to a website where you cannot access the internet. Or you want to back up your own website, but the web host you are using doesn’t have that option. You may use a popular website as a reference when building your own and need 24/7 access. Either way, there are several ways you can download an entire website for hassle-free viewing offline. Some websites don’t stay online forever, so this is an even bigger reason to learn how to download them for offline viewing. Here are some of your ways to download an entire website for offline viewing at a later date, whether you’re using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Here are the best website downloader tools to download an entire website for offline viewing. Sometimes it is necessary to access the data of a website offline. You might want to back up your own website, but your hosting service has no way of doing it. You may want to mimic a popular website’s design or the look of its CSS / HTML files. In any case, there are several ways to download all or part of the website for offline access.
How to copy websites locally for fast offline browsing
Cyotek’s WebCopy takes a website’s URL and analyzes it for links, pages and media. When it finds pages, it recursively searches for other links, pages and media until it finds the entire website. You can then use the configuration options to decide which parts to download offline.
The advantage of WebCopy is that you can configure multiple projects, each with its own settings and settings. This makes it easy to redownload many sites whenever you want, each the same every time. A project can copy many websites, so use them with an organized outline (for example, a “tech” project to copy tech sites).
How to download an entire website with WebCopy
- Install and run the app.
- Go to File> New to create a new project.
- Enter the URL in the Website field.
- Change the Save Folder field to the location where you want the site to be saved.
- Play with the project> Rules… (learn more about WebCopy rules).
- Go to File> Save As… to save the project.
- Click Copy on the toolbar to start the process.
After copying is complete, you can use the Results tab to view the status of each page and / or media file. The Errors tab displays any issues that may have occurred and the Skipped tab displays files that were not uploaded. But the most important thing is the site map, which shows the complete directory structure of the website as discovered by WebCopy. To view the website offline, open File Explorer and navigate to the backup folder you designated. Open index.html (or sometimes index.htm) in your browser of choice to start browsing.
HTTrack is better known than WebCopy and maybe better because it’s open source and available on platforms other than Windows. The interface is a bit clunky and leaves a lot to be desired, but it performs well, so don’t let that put you off. Like WebCopy, it uses a project-based approach that lets you copy multiple websites and keep them all organized. You can pause and resume downloads, and you can update copied websites by re-downloading new and old files.
How to download a complete website with HTTrack
- Install and run the app.
- Click Next to start creating a new project.
- Give the project a name, a category, a base path, then click Next.
- Select Download website (s) for Action, and then type the URL for each website in the Web Addresses box, one URL per line. You can also store URLs in a TXT file and import it, which is handy when you want to download the same sites again later. Click on Next.
- Adjust the settings if you want, then click Finish.
If you’re using a Mac, your best option is SiteSucker. This simple tool copies entire websites, keeps the same structure, and also includes all relevant media files (e.g. images, PDFs, stylesheets). It has a clean and easy to use interface: you literally paste the website URL and hit enter. One cool feature is the ability to save the download to a file and then use that file to download the same files and structure again in the future (or on a different machine). This feature is also what allows SiteSucker to pause and resume downloads.
SiteSucker costs around $ 5 and doesn’t come with a free version or free trial, which is its biggest downside. The latest version requires macOS 11 Big Sur or higher. Older versions of SiteSucker are available for older Mac systems, but some features may be missing.
Wget is a command line utility that can retrieve all types of files via HTTP and FTP protocols. Since websites are served over HTTP and most web media files can be accessed through HTTP or FTP, Wget is a great tool for downloading entire websites. Wget comes with most Unix based systems. While Wget is typically used to download individual files, it can also be used to recursively download all pages and files found through a home page:
- wget -r -p https://www.makeuseof.com
Depending on the size, it may take a while for the entire website to download. However, some sites can detect and prevent what you are trying to do because copying a website can cost them a lot of bandwidth. To avoid this, you can disguise yourself as a web browser with a user-agent string:
- wget -r -p -U Mozilla https://www.thegeekstuff.com
If you want to be polite, you should also limit the download speed (so as not to monopolize web server bandwidth) and pause between each download (so as not to overwhelm the web server with too many requests):
- wget -r -p -U Mozilla –wait = 10 –limit-rate = 35K https://www.thegeekstuff.com
Final Words: How To Download Entire Website For Offline Browsing
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