Download the entirety of a website – or individual web pages – to your hard drive. Whether you want to do some work offline or do some research on the road, downloading web content locally means you don’t need to stop when your connection does.
Occasionally you just don’t have Internet access. Whether you’re on a plane or your grandparent’s place in the country, life occasionally brings all of us to places WiFi and 3G can’t reach. With a little preparation, however, you can have the data you need on your hard drive, waiting for you.
There are three distinct ways to read offline: download an entire website, download recent blog posts or news stories, and download the content from a specific page or article. I’m going to touch on downloading an entire website…
This is the hardcore option: downloading the entirety of a single website for offline reading. Obviously how long this takes will vary depending on the web site in questions – Wikipedia could take days to finish, and will take up a lot of your hard drive when it does. If you just want an offline copy of something simple, however downloading an entire website might be right for you.
The software I recommend for downloading an entire site is HTTrack.
This open source program can be a little hard to use at first. But if you’re looking to make a complete offline version of your favorite website – not an individual web page, an entire web site – it’s one of the simplest options out there. Tweak the settings if you run into problems and you should be fine. Read an article here to get some ideas about using this tool.
Of course, this list is only the beginning: there are other ways to do this. I’m sure readers will point out plenty of other ways to download an entire website or individual pages for offline reading. Unless, of course, they’re reading this comment offline – then they can’t leave comments. Oh well.