"some more info to help you decide for yourself......"
Version: Web Dumper 1.8.1
...and \"comparison with free alternative\"
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I don't think I mentioned before that WD allows sucking down multiple sites at once, while SimpleWget doesn't. (It has a New... command, which would imply that it does support this, but it's not working in my version, which I downloaded a few days ago.)
WD also gives you stats at the bottom of the window (if you enlarge it to show details), but VERY ANNOYINGLY resets these to zero as soon as it's done. If the developer is reading this: THIS IS LAME! When else do you want to read the stats other than when they actually tell you something--when everything is done!?
Of course, SimpleWGet doesn't show anything like this (in the UI anyway), so that's still a point for WD.
Another problem with WD is that the only time to authenticate is before beginning the dump. In fact, any given site could have multiple areas requiring different authentication, and you may not know/remember that a site has a part that requires authentication. It would be better if, as soon as WD hit a page requiring authentication, it would prompt you for it (and continue sucking down pages in the background that didn't require authentication).
Also, the list of items downloaded has column headings that pretend to be sortable, but at least the Status column is NOT sortable. THIS IS REALLY BAD! if you have a huge site you sucked down and you want to see all the items that failed, you have to laboriously scroll up or down through thousands of entries.
Also, several times WD has gotten hung up on a single page (like overnight) even though I have it's timeout set to about 90 seconds. It just keeps trying and trying and trying.... This is unacceptable...
The Commandline wget is looking better all the time...
I'm downgrading my rating to three... (from five)
Here's my previous (now deleted) review:
Many have written bad reviews of this software based on the supposed fact that equivalent software is available free. I have several clients who needed their sites sucked down off the web, and it's critical they get everything. So I need something that works and is reliable and complete and painless. Using the commandline program curl does not seem to be an option (as far as I can tell you have to specify all URIs for it) and wget is not as simple and painless as I'd hope. I don't have time to futz with learning it and risk that I screw something up. So WebDumper and SimpleWget were the only options I could find. I've compared Web Dumper with SimpleWget (if there are others I don't know about them), and here's what I've found:
When I used both to get the same site, SimpleWget got 23.x MB of files and Web Dumper got 28.x MB of data. Either WD is duplicating things (which would be forgivable) or SimpleWget is missing things (which would be unforgivable).
SimpleWget doesn't have an available option to spider to infinite depth. Web Dumper does have this option. (I've read in its VT reviews that you can set the depth to 0, and that serves as infinite, but there's nothing in the interface to make that evident. So the capability may be there, but it's not exposed in the interface.)
SimpleWget has an option to read URIs from a file (presumably a text file). I tried this and it did not work. I put one URI to a line, and the first time I did it, it only read the first line. I removed that line and tried again after saving the file. It did nothing at all. Since it didn't work, I thought I'd look in Help to see if there's some specific and non-intuitive syntax I need to follow. Help opened up the OS X Help Viewer, but it was blank.
Web Dumper shows you what it's doing as its doing it, which is not critical but I find it helpful feedback when you're getting large sites (as I'm getting). Simple Wget just shows a spinning 'fan' to let you know it's busy. Not a biggie, but a difference worth noting.
SimpleWget is nice in that it's free, and it could help one learn to use the commandline wget (if you mouse over the options it tells you the commandline switches that they translate to). Therefore you could gradually get used to the syntax of wget, and do scripted things that you can't do with Web Dumper. (Well, maybe you can use AppleScript for WebDumper, but that's harder to write in my opinion, although much easier to read than than shell scripts.)
But if you just need to get work done now, especially anything important or anything you're getting paid to do, Web Dumper has many advantages over Simple Wget. They are absolutely NOT equivalent and should not be presumed so. If you're getting paid and you can't pony up $20 (add in Kagi fee and round up) then you're crazy.
The only thing that makes me uncomfortable with WebDumper is that the company that sells it makes several products that are suspiciously well suited to the needs of spammers. If there were a good alternative to Web Dumper I would have chosen it. And if SimpleWget is ever as good, I'd recommend avoiding buying anything from these people, who are profiting indirectly from the spam in your inbox.
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