In this article we will explain in detail how to download a complete website to your local computer for offline browsing or as an exact copy of the target website.
First of all, make sure you have installed NCollector Studio 2.0, which supports both these scenarios and more.
When starting up the application, you will see the "Home" screen, giving you a selection of use case scenarios. In this article we will explain how to set up a project using the "Offline Browser" and "Mirror Website" wizards.
Click the "Offline Browser Wizard" tile to start the wizard. First specify a name and a target folder for your project, then enter the url for the website you wish to download for offline browsing. You also have the option to add multiple website addresses, but for offline browser projects it often makes most sense to keep each website in a separate project. Keep the other settings as-is (we'll come back to these in later articles). Click "Next" to continue to the next step in the wizard.
Link Restrictions Wizard Step
The last step of the offline browser wizard is not needed in our case as we wish to download the complete website and not apply any filtering to the download process. However, you can use these settings if you would like to e.g. exclude certain links or exclude everything but certain links etc.
Running the offline browser project
We're now ready to start the project, so click the "Finish" button, and sit back and relax while NCollector Studio downloads all parts of the website. It will give you some indication on how many links are excluded based on the filter you applied, the size of the downloaded files etc. When finished downloading, it will translate all the links so that the website can be opened from your hard drive or viewed directly in NCollector Studio.
Viewing the website offline
When the project completes, the application will move to the report view, allowing you to browse the downloaded website from inside NCollector Studio, or in your default browser by clicking the right arrow next to the address field. You can also view all images downloaded from the website in the image gallery by clicking the "Images" tab.
Mirroring a website
If you would like to download a website and keep the markup exactly as it exists on the online website, you can use the "Mirror Website" mode. The settings you use are pretty much the same as for an offline browser project. The only exception is that the downloaded files will not be modified in any way be the spider engine.