Local Website Archive Lite

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Local Website Archive Lite is a program that can take quick snapshots of individual web pages and store them locally on your hard drive.

It is intended to provide quick access to information that a user finds on the internet and stores it locally for quick off-line access.

In order to determine what to write on Freewaregenius, I do a lot of research over the internet. I look at a lot of websites, blogs, etc.

and often when I find something interesting I need to quickly take a snapshot of a page or article and move on, until a latter time when I can actually sit down to write a posting. Storing the website and/or information locally means that I do not have to do the work of locating the information or webpage twice; it’s also important because much of what I write actually takes place on the bus to and back from work, and in cafes on my lunch break, where internet connectivity is often not available. In these situations, having the research that I need stored on my hard drive is simply a lifesaver.

Local Website Archiver does exactly that. It downloads most of the elements of a normal webpage including layout, text, and images. It does not load multimedia objects such as flash animations, videos, etc.

Here are some notes on this program:

  • Browser integration: will integrate itself as a button within your browser’s toolbar, as an entry in the browser’s context menu, or as a handy shortcut within the quick launch tray.
  • Source URL: Keeps a record of the original URL whence the page was captured (as well as the date of capture).
  • Search: offers a powerful search functionality. You can search within a page, within a folder, within a selected folder recursively, or within all folders.
  • Organization: you can easily drag and drop to organize captured pages into a folder structure that makes sense to you.
  • Archive format: website are stored in their original file format and can be opened by other applications
  • Supported browsers: works with browsers (IE based browsers, Firefox Opera) as well as online tools such as newsreaders, email clients, etc.
  • Associate notes: with captured sites upon capture or later on by right clicking on a captured page and clicking on properties.
  • Import/export: backup and restore functions provided.

How this program compares to other freeware programs that perform the same function:

  • Evernote: although it aims to be more of a well-rounded note taking program, Evernote’s strength is in its web page capture function. After months of continuous use I have stopped using Evernote and replaced it with Local Website Archiver for the following reasons: (a) Evernote’s consistent nag screen, which they only newly introduced into the program, (b) I would often encounter websites which it was unable to capture without any explanation as to why that is so, (c) its over-complicated approach to organizing data, which is a classic case of “more is less” in my opinion. I also like the fact that Local Website Archiver stores sites in normal HTML, which Evernote doesn’t do.
  • Bornfly PIM: I used this for a while; it does a good and efficient job at quickly capturing pages, but organizing these was somewhat of a hassle and the program exhibited some recurring bugs. Plus it came with a whole bunch of PIM functions which I didn’t care for. It stored data in its own proprietary format.
  • ByteScout Internet Research Scout: this one seemed very promising but would not function correctly on my machine. After repeated tries to get it to work, including a brief email exchange with the developers, I finally gave up on it (although who knows it might work on your system).

Wish list (or how this program can be even better):

  • Capture a selected clipping instead of the entire page: this is something that all the alternate programs above support and its surprising that Local Website Archive doesn’t.
  • Small thumbnails next to each entry in the interface. This is something that I first saw implemented in Internet Research Scout and looked rather cool.

Differences between free and paid versions: although this is a ’lite’ version the differences between it and the paid version aren’t that significant in my opinion, and include the ability to edit the text of the page in the paid version, the ability to detect duplicate pages, and eliminate banners. In the free version is the location of the archives (in documents and settings/active user) cannot be changed, which I find most annoying as I do not like to save data on the primary partition.

The verdict: a very nice and reliable program that will prove extremely useful to anyone who works with a lot of information and/or does a lot of research on the internet.

Version tested: 2.0.2

Compatibility: Windows 9x, Me, NT4, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista.

Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 1.5 megs).