How to Save Web Pages

Joanne Leong · Sun, Jan 13 2019 in Articles

We are constantly bombarded by many interesting articles on the internet. It is a problem of too much to read, too little time. Furthermore, articles on the web have a finite lifespan (read more about link rot here).

Saving web pages to read or revisit later has been around for some time now. Our simplest options include using CTRL/CMD + S on a computer to save the page’s raw files, saving the page as a PDF, printing out a physical copy, or just taking a screenshot of the page (or parts of the page).

Beyond these simple options, there are a variety of web bookmarking and archival services out there to help with the clutter. Nevertheless, these services vary in their functionality, usability, and overall user experience. This post compares several of such services: Evernote, Instapaper, Pocket, Pinboard, and PageDash.

  1. Evernote

    Saving pages to your Evernote account can be done with the Evernote Web Clipper tool which is available as a browser extension. Saved articles can be tagged and placed into different notebooks for better organization and easy retieval. You can choose to save the entire page as is, save a simpler stripped-down version, or simply save a bookmark to the page itself.

    Cross-platform and device syncing is another feature, in which links saved on one device can be accessed on another with a common account. Offline reading is also supported, as long as the article has been synced.

    Evernote provides users with three account options: Basic (free), Plus, and Premium. Users can expect more enhanced features with Evernote Plus and Premium, such as syncing across unlimited devices, greater monthly uploads (1GB/10GB), search, and annotation tools. However, while Evernote does well most of the time, when saving full pages Evernote often fails to preserve the original page order and layout after it has converted the page into its note format. Read more about it here.

  2. Instapaper

    Unlimited articles, videos, and other pages can be saved with Instapaper through browser extensions. Bookmarks can be synced across the web, iOS, and Android platforms; which can be accessed even offline. Instapaper only saves the page content; it does not preserve the HTML of the page.

    Folders can be created for organization of bookmarks. Besides sorting articles according to when they were saved, the option of sorting articles by length or reading progress is also available. API integration for third-party apps are also available.

    Instapaper offers both free and paid options. With a paid account, users can enjoy full-text search for all articles in their account, unlimited notes, text-to-speech playlists on mobile, speed reading (up to 3x faster), and a “Send to Kindle” option through a bookmarklet or mobile app.

  3. Pocket

    With the appropriate browser extension, Pocket can be easily used as a bookmarking tool on a desktop. Pocket was acquired by Mozilla in 2017, and Firefox has since integrated Pocket directly into its browser. Pocket is also integrated into the mobile version of Firefox and it offers a desktop app for Mac users. Articles saved in Pocket can be read in offline mode and are accessible across a range of devices after syncing. Similar to Instapaper, Pocket only saves the main content of the page, while removing the HTML structure of the page.

    A tagging system is provided for the organization of articles. Pocket prides itself in a built-in social network for quick direct sharing of articles with other Pocket users and ease of getting article recommendations.

    Pocket is free to use but also offers a paid option, Pocket Premium. This paid version is ad-free and keeps a permanent backup of all the articles and web pages that have been saved, even if changes are made in the original page. Suggested tags and advanced search make up other premium features.

  4. Pinboard

    Marketed as a speedy bookmark-saving provider due to its minimalistic design, Pinboard can save your open tabs through its available browser extensions. It has the capacity of syncing bookmarks across various external sites such as Twitter, Instapaper, and Pocket.

    Its other features include the ability to import and export data in different formats, a full API, and an extensive family of third-party clients. Tags can be added to bookmarks, which enables users to review bookmarks by a tag or combination of tags. Pinboard also allows users to acquire a searchable archive of their tweets when connected to their Twitter account.

    Pinboard offers two types of accounts: a basic Pinboard account and an Archiving account. The Archiving account allows users to save a copy of the bookmarked page, and it also automatically checks your account for dead links while featuring full-text search. However, Pinboard can only save pages that are publicly accessible from the internet. If you are trying to save pages that require login, you’re out of luck.

  5. PageDash

    A click of the PageDash Web Clipper browser extension is all it takes for a web page to be archived onto your dashboard. With the search and tagging feature, organization and retrieval of articles is simple and quick. Even if an original web page disappears, as long as it is in PageDash, the page can be rendered again in its original format (HTML/PDF/images). Alongside Evernote, PageDash stands out from the others in its ability to save the page exactly as you saw it in the browser, even if it is not publicly accessible.

    Various options are available for users when viewing a saved page: the page exactly as it was, reader mode, full-screen viewing mode, and a screenshot of a particular portion of the page. PageDash enables link sharing through either a public or private link, and allows users to export pages as ZIP.

    PageDash offers three account versions: Free, Lite, and Pro. Free allows saving up to 30MB worth of pages monthly, while Lite and Pro are paid subscriptions which include upgraded features such as more monthly new uploads (1GB or 10GB), full-text search, Google Drive integration, and the option to strip ads from saved pages.

Feature Comparison

Evernote Instapaper Pocket Pinboard PageDash
Save Method
  • Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, & Safari
  • Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, & Safari
  • Instapaper Text Bookmarklet
  • Browser extensions: Chrome, Microsoft Edge & Safari
  • Built-in to Firefox
  • Pocket Bookmarklet
  • Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, & Safari (Pinbar)
  • Browser extensions: Chrome, Firefox, & Vivaldi
Offline Availability Yes Yes Yes No No
Cross-platform Support Yes Yes Yes Yes (3rd party mobile apps) Web
Annotation Tools Inline Editing, Highlighting Highlighting, Notes Highlighting No No
Organization options Notebooks, Tags Folders Tags Tags Tags
Search Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Retrieval of page after deletion (archive) Yes Yes Yes (Pocket Premium only) Yes (Archiving account only) Yes
Pricing (USD)
  • Basic: Free
  • Plus: $3.99/month or $34.99/year
  • Premium: $7.99/month or $69.99/year
  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $2.99/month or $29.99/year
  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $4.99/month or $44.99/year
  • No free plan.
  • Pinboard account: $11/year
  • Pinboard account (with archiving): $25/year
  • Basic: Free
  • Lite: $3.50/month or $29/year
  • Pro: $59/year or $6.50/month

Well, this is PageDash’s blog, so it would be amiss to not encourage you to try out PageDash for yourself. Thank you for reading!

References

  1. Read It Later Showdown: Pocket vs. Instapaper https://lifehacker.com/read-it-later-showdown-pocket-vs-instapaper-1756021479
  2. Pocket vs Instapaper https://www.slant.co/versus/555/13864/~pocket_vs_instapaper
  3. The best alternatives to Instapaper 2018 https://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-alternatives-to-instapaper
  4. 9 Best Alternatives to Pocket App (2018) https://techwiser.com/alternatives-to-pocket/
  5. The Best Bookmarking Tools https://www.lifewire.com/best-bookmarking-tools-for-the-web-3486309
  6. Pinboard - Social Bookmarking for Introverts https://cito.github.io/blog/pinboard-review/
  7. Webclipper https://evernote.com/products/webclipper
  8. Instapaper https://www.instapaper.com/
  9. Pocket https://getpocket.com/premium
  10. Pinboard https://pinboard.in/
  11. PageDash https://www.pagedash.com/