I need to backup a website to DVD.
October 25, 2007 7:06 PM   Subscribe

What's the best software and method for completely backing up a website to DVD?

I need to archive a website completely to DVD. My dad's cousin passed away and his website is still online so his widow wants a complete backup of his writings and comments.

I have tested software for both Windows and OS X including SurfOffline and Blue Crab but there are usually invalid links, missing images or no @import css files. Once I find the right software, I want to burn the backed up website to DVD and have a cross platform autorun for the index file (so that you don't have to open up Finder or Explorer to find it).

What solutions are there for offline website backups and cross platform dvd backups?
posted by asuh to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well if its his (now her) website, then you would have access to the back end of the site no? Any FTP client can pull the files off of the server and as long as you keep the folder structure the same, the index file will be all you need to run it/view it in any browser.

Unless I'm misunderstanding the question, I think you're over thinking the process.

If for some reason you do not have access (which would be strange since it's her property) then perhaps someone else can help out.
posted by wile e at 7:12 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

firefox + scrapbook plugin

Then burn it with a dvd program (eg. Nero).
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 7:17 PM on October 25, 2007

I've done this several times and always used http://www.httrack.com/ with success.
posted by PowerCat at 7:24 PM on October 25, 2007

Agree with wile e; the best way to do this is to log into the web host either via the management interface or FTP, and get the entire site that way. If it's a database-driven site, you also want to get a dump of the SQL DB. I would do that in addition to sucking down the site through an offline browser. The stuff you'd get from the server would be the most original versions possible, and ensure you don't miss anything.

But to just suck down the site from a browser's perspective, I'd use wget, and set it to infinite recursion depth but limit it to the site's domain. Wget can download pages and rewrite all the links to relative ones, add ".html" to the end of dynamically-generated pages, etc. Just read the manual page and don't be afraid to play with it for a while before you get it to suck down the whole site.

But I'd get the master files and database, too.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:43 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

The problem with getting the "back-end" files is that it may rely on some sort of database software to build the pages.

Use Firefox with the Spiderzilla extension. I use this a lot and have found that it works perfectly. Of course, if the site relies on something like php to run, you may have some problems or may have to re-author it to replace those functions with more generic code.
posted by dg at 8:00 PM on October 25, 2007

second wget
posted by pompomtom at 8:10 PM on October 25, 2007

If you're on windows, ht track is the easiest way to go.
On linux, wget -m http://example.com works fine.
Both allow you to mirror an entire website to your hard disk, from where you can burn it to dvd.
posted by arungoodboy at 8:30 PM on October 25, 2007

In my experience, HTTrack will get you most of the way there; with massively dynamic, data driven sites, you may still need a few find and replace rules to get you through.

And to my knowledge, you can't have OSX perform an autorun. I think the best it'll give you is a mounted CD which opens finder to the root for you.
posted by Smoosh Faced Lion at 2:20 AM on October 26, 2007

Response by poster: @wile e: I understand what you're getting at, which is to just grab the original files and sql file from the mySQL database, but once I grab that how do I set it up on a CD or DVD so that it runs like a website would? It seems much more complicated than I feel comfortable doing.

This site relies on Wordpress, so it's php and mySQL driven and I'd have to rebuild both somehow on a CD or DVD and I don't know how to properly do that.

Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by asuh at 11:42 AM on October 26, 2007

Though it (potentially) throws the cross-platform aspect out of the window, there are multiple stacks which will run on a USB drive or CD. These include XAMPP, Server2Go and WAMP. There's a more complete list, of course, at Wikipedia.

With some fiddling, you could probably set up an OSX setup on the same CD, and hide each folder from the opposite OS.
posted by Smoosh Faced Lion at 3:43 AM on October 27, 2007

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