How to Download a Website for Offline Viewing?

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The internet has an abundance of information. However, there are times when you may need to download a website offline for various reasons. This article provides a detailed guide on how to accomplish this task using different tools and techniques.

Why Download a Website Offline?

There are numerous reasons why someone might want to download a website for offline viewing. Here are a few common scenarios:

  1. Website Backup: If you own a website, you might want to create an offline backup as a safeguard against data loss.
  2. Offline Access: You might need continuous access to a website in areas with poor or no internet connectivity.
  3. Research: If you’re conducting research, having offline access allows you to review the content at your own pace, even without internet access.
  4. Website Mirroring: You might want to create a mirror website for testing or other purposes.

Understanding the Basics of Website Downloading

Downloading a website for offline viewing involves capturing all the components of the website including HTML files, stylesheets, scripts, images, and other multimedia content. The process is also known as “web scraping” or “web harvesting.”

Internet Download Manager (IDM)

IDM is a tool that not only lets you download files but also allows you to download subsets of websites or complete websites for offline browsing. Its site grabber feature comes with predefined project templates that make the process easy.

Steps to Download a Website Offline Using IDM

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use IDM to download a website for offline viewing:

 Open IDM

Open IDM and click on the “Grabber” icon at the toolbar or click Tab “Tasks” > “Run Site Grabber“. This will open the “New project” window.

Step 1: Enter the Website URL

In the “Grabber Project Name” write  “New project” and in Start Page/address type in the URL of the website you want to download.

In “Project Template” you can choose which parts of the site to download for you. For example, does it also download videos or photos?

If needed, enter your username and password in “Use authorization” to login and allow access.

grabber site idm - step 1

 

Step 2: Set the Download Directory

Choose a directory on your computer where you want to save the downloaded files.

All of the files can be saved to a folder based on their categorization. When you download ZIP, ARJ, and RAR files, for instance, they are saved to the folder “C:\my documents\my name\downloads\compressed” if you have defined the “compressed files” category, which includes a list of file types, including ZIP, ARJ, and RAR.

You can also save downloaded files in category-specific folder. Select category and push the radio button. Grabbers display directories below categories.

grabber site idm - step 2

 

You can tick the “use original relative subfolders” box and choose a location to save all downloaded files if you want to create all folders exactly as they were made on the website.

You can convert URLs to local for offline browsing if you’re downloading the whole website or just a section. In the first phase, the “All images from a web site” template doesn’t require saving HTML pages, so this checkbox is disabled. After downloading all selected files or stopping, the grabber will alter the links to downloaded files to local relative ones for each grabbed web page. All remote file links (files that cannot be downloaded) will be transformed to absolute internet links by the grabber.

The grabber will append an underscore and a number to the file name, such as index_2.html, if the “Overwrite existing files” option is not checked and the file already exists.

There is a button in the main Grabber window toolbar that may be used to add all selected files to the Internet Download Manager’s main download list, so there’s no need to click the “Add checked files to IDM” box. This tick indicates that the grabber will automatically add the specified files to IDM when it closes.

Step 3: Set the Filters

The current website is configured to explore from the start page that you specified in the first step. The current site would be www.example.com with all supported protocols applied to this site name, such as https://www.example.com and ftp://www.example.com, for instance, if you supplied www.example.com/support/index.html.

In this phase, you can instruct Grabber to search solely for files on the current site, or you can indicate how many levels of web pages to process on this site and how many levels to process on other sites. Take caution when configuring a lot of levels for other websites, since this can cause IDM to display meaningless files slowly and process millions of unnecessary pages.

Ignore popup windows

Should you select the “Ignore popup windows” option, the Grabber will not investigate websites that appear in browser tabs while pages are loading. Please take note that while the phrase “popup window” refers to online browsers, it does not apply to the Grabber. The only time the grabber opens a browser window is if you want to authenticate manually.

grabber site idm - step 3

 

When a path related to the site name is found in the start webpage, the “Don’t explore parent directories” checkbox will be selected. This means that the Grabber will not search parent directories of the start page if this option is checked. For example, if the start page is www.example.com/support/index.html, the Grabber will not go beyond the support directory. Checking this option limits the Grabber’s exploration to only the specified path. For instance, the grabber will investigate www.example.com/file.html and www.example.com/support/other folder/index.html but NOT www.example.com/index.html and www.example.com/other folder/index.html for www.example.com/support.

Explore all sites within the main domain

The Grabber will investigate every other domain that shares a portion with the start page domain if you check the “Explore all sites within the main domain” box. The grabber will investigate, for instance, https://example.com, https://ftp.example.com, and https://some-other-domain.example.com in relation to www.example.com/support/index.html. The Grabber will investigate the number of levels designated for the present site on child domains.

Additionally, the grabber can execute and extract Java scripts on web pages. This allows you to get additional links from a website, but you should use caution when using this tool for Download a Website for Offline.

The “Advanced >>” option will cause the box to expand, allowing you to choose which domains and paths to include and exclude criteria for the sites you need to explore. A filter pattern can be created by matching any number of characters using the asterisk wildcard (*).

Step 4:

You should configure file kinds, locations, and other filters for downloaded files in this phase. All file formats allow you to set include and exclude criteria.

You can add or modify default filters for Download a Website for Offline using the “Add Filter” button if you’re not happy with them. Following the “Add Filter” click, the “Edit Filters” dialog box will show up.
The file type elements in a filter with several file types should be separated from one another by commas rather than spaces. Any number of any characters is indicated by the asterisk wildcard (*).

Result step 4

You can make a pattern that matches several file names by using a wildcard. For instance, the pattern “image*.jpg” matches any JPG picture filename that begins with the word “image,” such as image01.jpg, image2.jpg, imageHot.jpg, and image735.jpg. The start page set on the first step can be specified in filters using the “<start page>” phrase.

grabber site idm - step 4

 

Grabber will only display files from the current website in the main window. It will not show their size or type if the “Search files on this site only” option is selected.

A Grabber examining a project may find several copies of the same file in distinct locations. Checking “Hide duplicate files found in different locations” limits the grabber to the first instance of the file.
If two files are identical in size and name, the grabber considers them to be copies. When the “use original relative subfolders” option is selected in step 2, this option is not enabled.

All detected files will be downloaded right away if you select “Start downloading all matched files at once”. Start by browsing the website, finding the files you need, and downloading them with Grabber or adding them to IDM.

Finally

Clicking “Advanced >>” opens the dialog box to set include and exclude criteria for routes and domains where the Grabber downloads files.
The wildcard asterisk (*) can be used to indicate any number of any character. You can also specify the minimum and maximum file sizes that will be downloaded.

Step 5 for Download a Website for Offline:

Now downloading starts!  and enjoy the Download a Website for Offline !

Other Methods to Download a Website Offline

Apart from using tools, there are other methods that you can use to download a website for offline viewing:

Using the Save Page As Option

You can download a webpage by right-clicking anywhere on the page and choosing the “Save Page As” option. This method is simple but may not capture all elements of the webpage.

Using the wget Command

The wget command is a computer program that retrieves content from web servers. It supports downloads through HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols. It allows recursive downloads, conversion of links for offline viewing, and proxy support.

Conclusion

Downloading a webpage for offline viewing is vital for backup, research, and continuing access.
IDM Grabber is the best tool for this task. With the correct tool and approach, you can effortlessly download a website for offline access, ensuring availability even without internet.

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