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I am designing a test (demo to users) of a web site from my local machine without Internet access. The site will be hosted locally, but I would also like users to be able to follow links to certain external sites. Are there tools that can make the user think they are browsing a site online when they are actually browsing a local copy of the relevant external pages?

The kind of tool I'm imagining would allow you to specify a proxy in the browser that would intercept certain URLs and hand them to the offline copy of a page. There would also be an easy way to save and manage these offline pages.

The offline access requirement is a developing world thing - smart people don't rely on Internet access in places where there is little by way of infrastructure and they only have one chance to get something right.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Fiddler is exactly what you need here. You can set up "autoresponders" to known external URLs to return local content. With a little more effort you can actually use Fiddler to record a session to a real site and then get it to "Play back" the responses, you do have to be very careful to make all your requests in exactly the same way though.

There's even a short video on his site showing you exactly how to do this - item 2 on this page:

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I think what you're looking for is called Site Grabber and Internet Download Manager is a good choice to start with.

Any site grabber completely downloads a site and has many settings to customize grabbing. You can determine whether images get downloaded or not, or whether grabber follow and download external links or not.

Another option could be to deploy your site on a local web server (IIS, Apache, etc.), then change DNS settings (hosts file in Windows) to be able to browse that site. This way, you can deploy some external links on other sites on your local server, and then you can link to them from there.

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