02 December 2010

HTTrack Website Copier

This Thanksgiving Holidays brought me an unpleasant surprise. Coming home from the long and cold weekend, I have found out that my Blogger account was completely blocked and all 18 blogs, I am managing, were disabled. Luckily, the account restoration was smooth, and the blogs reappear immediately after my credentials were confirmed. All blogs, but one, which was claimed to be a splog (spam blog). Even though I am absolutely confident that there was mistake in the spider definition, I cannot be sure that it error is going to be corrected, and the blog is going to be restored. That is one of the major drawbacks of using overly nice, convenient, and free Blogger platform. But even thou I have appealed twice for additional review, the blog can be gone forever.

So, what could I do differently to avoid such situation? Follow the rules? I followed them. Be careful with posted content? I am confident, there was no violation. But, I missed one important step: I failed to backup the blogs. Indeed, if I would have a backup of the blocked blog on my hard drive, I could more or less easy transfer the posts to a different location, another blogging or hosting platform.

Essentially, I started looking for good solution to backup the remaining blogs. While there are several online services available for blogs backup (like Blog Backupr, for example), I decided to shoot for completely independent solution and choose the software, which will allow downloading the entire blog with text, pictures, and comments to my Hard Drive). And I would like to share the utility, I am going to use from now on. Hope you may find it useful as well.

HTTrack is a free (GPL) and easy-to-use offline browser utility. It is able to operate with any website on the Web, including blogs. Software allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site's relative link-structure.

Simply open a page of the "mirrored" website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.

The software has many configuration options for advanced users, but it can be used “out-of-the-box” right away without making any changes to the default settings.

WinHTTrack is the Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Seven release of HTTrack, and WebHTTrack the Linux/Unix/BSD release. Portable version is available, so you do not need to install the utility on your Hard Drive.

Developers Website: http://www.httrack.com/

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