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Blogging Tools: DownThemAll Browser Add-on

Blog Resources by Lorelle on WordPressDownThemAll! Firefox Extension is another tool for your blogging toolbox.

As a reminder, most power bloggers use Firefox or Chrome web browsers. Not just because they are “better” in the terms of meeting web standards, but also because of their powerful extendable features. Browser extensions, add-ons, or plugins allow you to extend the features and capabilities of a web browser just as WordPress Plugins extend the same for a website.

DownThemAll adds advanced download capabilities to your browser allowing you to download links or images on a web page.

<lecture>Before you start screaming copyright infringement and violations, let me be clear that this tool is much like what many believe about weapons. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Anything may be used for evil, but let’s not yet throw out a fantastic tool because it might do harm. </lecture>

I use DownThemAll! Firefox Extension for two good reasons, both of them reasons why this tool should be among yours.

  1. Web Development
  2. Research

Let’s see if this is a tool you will need in your blogging toolbox.

DownThemAll for Web Development

The DownThemAll! Firefox Add-on is excellent when you are working with clients who need to have their old or original web pages downloaded and saved. Think of this as a manual style backup.

Install DownThemAll! to Firefox or Chrome.

  1. Right click on the front page of the site or on a site map page.
  2. Select the DownThemAll! option.
  3. Select the web pages, links, images, etc. for downloading.
  4. Designate the destination folder on your hard drive.
  5. Start the process.

DownThemAll! offers a variety of filters and customization to expand or restrict the downloaded files.

The files are saved as static HTML web pages, great for reference and simple backups.

It doesn’t save the entire site, just the web page you are on and the links to web pages from that site elsewhere.

I’ve worked with many clients who want to do a completely new reboot of their site or the platform they originally used is to out-of-date, there is no way to import or easily copy and paste the information into the new site, and after all, it must all be updated content. Saving all the original content allows us to not reinvent the wheel but also gives us a solid reference point.

This add-on also makes it easy for the client to save web pages and their content to their computer for future reference. There are better tools for this, but this works fine for raw copy.

DownThemAll for Research

DownThemAll Firefox Extension - download Hurricane Katrina Weather Advisories.Just as you would work with saved web pages from the original site to create a new one, you can use DownThemAll! Firefox Add-on to save any web pages and the links they offer for research.

Think of the possibilities.

I’m working on a project on one site to revisit Hurricane Katrina in an anniversary post soon. I was able to use DownThemAll! to save over 300 web pages of weather advisories from the National Hurricane Center. I won’t use all of these, but they give me a timeline of the weather reports we heard on our NOAA weather radio as the storm approached our location, assisting with memory recall. I’ve saved weather maps to trace the path of the storm and tornado and rain charts to recall the impact this hurricane had not only on the Gulf Coast but further up into the northern states. Not everyone needs to do this, but I often work online due to limited Internet access while traveling as well as to remove distracts. Having the documents at my fingertips helps.

DownThemAll Firefox Extension - Download Complete of web pages.Many clients have requested their site images downloaded for a book, to print, or some other project. They may have lost the originals uploaded to their sites or they are scattered all over their hard drives. They could right click and save each image, but why not download them all in a single swish. Well, at least the images on that web page.

More and more bloggers are turning their blogs into books. What a great way to save all the web pages and use them as reference or copy and paste into your editing manuscript program like Literature and Latte’s Scrivener.

This is the the very least that DownThemAll! can do for you. Make sure you add it to your toolbox to be ready when the need arises to download many web pages and files.

NOTE: Mozilla announced in August 2015 that they were soon discounting support for XUL-based add-ons, which includes DownThemAll as well as many add-ons critical to myself and many other bloggers. While their reasons are justified (security, evolution), many have protested and there doesn’t seem to be a date for when such add-ons will stop functioning, or if they will.

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