Save Complete Websites Offline With PageNest [Windows]

What is the best way to save a website for later reading? You can either bookmark it, save to Read it Later, print to pdf, or use the old ancient way – save as webpage in your desktop. If you are not connected to the Internet all the time, and you are not so web savvy, the last option of saving the webpage is definitely the easiest. The only limitation is that it only saves the current webpage and doesn’t give advanced filter options like image and video downloading, saving external site elements etc.

PageNest is a very powerful program which can be used for “offline bookmarking”. It can save the entire website of your choice with advanced features. The saved pages are in HTML format so you can view the website without the need for installing PageNest everywhere.

PageNest will automatically change the links on the downloaded pages to link to the downloaded offline versions. This is a great feature as we will have the complete navigation structure for offline viewing.

The installation of PageNest software is quite easy but you will need to be careful during the installation process. This is because PageNest installer will offer to install additional software (crapware). You will need to uncheck all the installation checkboxes.

crapware installation

The first time PageNest is run, it will ask you about the Internet connection to optimize the software for downloading webpages accordingly. Since most of the users are using high speed Internet connection, it is recommended to select dial-up option only when you are using a very slow Internet connection.

select Internet connection

The welcome screen of PageNest was quite confusing to me because of the highlighted terms of use for free and paid versions. The left hand pane is the folder tree. Each folder contains downloaded sites. You may change the folder name or create new folders and sub-folders according to your needs. Just right click any folder and select “New Category”.

new category

The right hand pane will consist of different tabs. The default tabs include the “Welcome” tab and “Sites” tab. To download a webpage or complete website, go to “New” menu and select Custom (Ctrl + N). Or just enter the webpage name on the welcome tab and press the download button.

Add new site to download list

This will open the New site download configuration window. The Address tab is quite obvious and does not require any explaining.

New site address tab

In the range tab, you can set different parameters for downloading the site. You can either download a single webpage or the whole site. You can also setup the depth of pages to be downloaded. You can also specify whether to download graphics from other servers or not. Some sites use a CDN for hosting graphics and multimedia files. This option is especially useful for downloading those graphics files hosted on a CDN or any other third party server.

new site range

On the File Types tab, you can define which types of files are to be downloaded. You can also limit the file size range.

file types

For advanced users, PageNest includes the Filters tab. You can setup advanced filter rules to include or exclude specific resources not covered in earlier options. You can also make use of regular expressions under Advanced field.

Filter options

If you want to use the sync feature which will make sure that the offline copy of the site stays up to date, you may make use of “When updating delete files no longer on server” option on Advanced tab.

New site advanced tab

Finally, clicking on the OK button will start the actual download process. Since PageNest makes use of multiple threads to speed up download, you may adjust the threads according to the speed of your Internet connection.

start download process

The download process may take some time depending upon the size of the webpages being downloaded. Looking at the download status window, you will find two buttons very interesting. Quick Pause button will pause the download progress. This can be useful if you need Internet bandwidth for any other purpose temporarily. The second button is Pause & Parse. This button will actually pause the download process and create the offline copies of all the downloaded pages. You may resume the downloading process from the Welcome tab or pressing “Ctrl + R” hotkey.

Resume paused projects

I have been using other website copier previously for downloading multiple webpages offline but PageNest seems more promising. What are your thoughts about downloading websites offline using these tools? What are your favorite offline downloading tools?

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