The 10 Best Web Scraping Tools of 2018

Published 2018-07-19 By Dan Ni
Web scraping, web crawling, and any other form of web data extraction can be complicated. Between obtaining the correct page source, to parsing the source correctly, rendering javascript, and obtaining data in a usable form, there's a lot of work to be done. Different users have very different needs, and there are tools out there for all of them, people who want to build web scrapers without coding, developers who want to build web crawlers to crawl large sites, and everything in between. Here is our list of the 10 best web scraping tools on the market right now, from open source projects to hosted SAAS solutions to desktop software, there is sure to be something for everyone looking to make use of web data!

1. Scraper API

Website: https://www.scraperapi.com/

Who is this for: Scraper API is a tool for developers building web scrapers, it handles proxies, browsers, and CAPTCHAs so developers can get the raw HTML from any website with a simple API call.

Why you should use it:Scraper API is a tool that does one job and one job well, it eliminates the need for developers to handle their own proxy pools, browers, and CAPTCHAs. It's fast, reliable, and offers a generous free tier of up to 1000 API calls a month.

2. Octoparse

Website: https://www.octoparse.com/

Who is this for: Octoparse is a fantastic tool for people who want to extract data from websites without having to code.

Why you should use it: Octoparse is the perfect tool for people who want to scrape websites without learning to code. It includes a point and click interface, allowing users to scrape behind login forms, fill in forms, input search terms, scroll through infinite scroll, render javascript, and more. It also includes a hosted solution for users who want to run their scrapers in the cloud. Best of all, it comes with a generous free tier allowing users to build up to 10 crawlers for free.

3. ParseHub

Website: https://www.parsehub.com/

Who is this for: Parsehub is an incredibly powerful tool for building web scrapers without coding. It is used by analysts, journalists, data scientists, and everyone in between.

Why you should use it: Parsehub is dead simple to use, you can build web scrapers simply by clicking on the data that you want. It then exports the data in JSON or Excel format. It has many handy features such as automatic IP rotation, allowing scraping behind login walls, going through dropdowns and tabs, getting data from tables and maps, and much much more. In addition, it has a generous free tier, allowing users to scrape up to 200 pages of data in just 40 minutes!

4. Scrapy

Website: https://scrapy.org

Who is this for: Scrapy is an open source tool for Python developers looking to build scalable web crawlers. It handles all of the plumbing (queueing requests, proxy middleware, etc.) that makes building web crawlers difficult.

Why you should use it: As an open source tool, Scrapy is completely free. It is battle tested, and has been one of the most popular Python libraries for years. It is well documented and there are many tutorials on how to get started. In addition, deploying the crawlers is very simple and reliable, the processes can run themselves once they are set up.

5. Diffbot

Website: https://www.diffbot.com

Who is this for: Enterprises who who have specific web scraping needs.

Why you should use it: Diffbot is different from most web scraping tools out there in that it uses computer vision (instead of html parsing) to identify relevant information on a page. This means that even if the HTML structure of a page changes, your web scrapers will not break as long as the page looks the same visually. This is an incredible feature for long running mission critical web scraping jobs.

6. Cheerio

Website: https://cheerio.js.org

Who is this for: NodeJS developers who want a straightforward way to parse HTML.

Why you should use it: Cheerio offers an API similar to jQuery, so developers familiar with jQuery will immediately feel at home using Cheerio to parse HTML. It is blazing fast, and offers many helpful methods to extract text, html, classes, ids, and more. It is by far the most popular HTML parsing library written in NodeJS.

7. Beautiful Soup

Website: https://www.crummy.com/software/BeautifulSoup/

Who is this for: Python developers who just want an easy interface to parse HTML, and don't necessarily need the power and complexity that comes with Scrapy.

Why you should use it: Like Cheerio for NodeJS developers, Beautiful Soup is by far the most popular HTML parser for Python developers. It's been around for over a decade now and is extremely well documented, with many tutorials on using it to scrape various website in both Python 2 and Python 3.

8. Puppeteer

Website: https://github.com/GoogleChrome/puppeteer

Who is this for: Puppeteer is a headless Chrome API for NodeJS developers who want very granular control over their scraping activity.

Why you should use it: As an open source tool, Puppeteer is completely free. It is well supported and actively being developed and backed by the Google Chrome team itself. It is quickly replacing Selenium and PhantomJS as the default headless browser automation tool. It has a well thought out API, and automatically installs a compatible Chromium binary as part of its setup process, meaning you don't have to keep track of browser versions yourself.

9. Content Grabber

Website: http://www.contentgrabber.com/

Who is this for: Enterprises looking to build robust, large scale web data extraction agents.

Why you should use it: Content Grabber provides end to end service, offering knowledgeable experts to develop custom web data extraction solutions for experts. In addition, they offer training and implementation services, as well as the ability to host their solutions on premise.

10. Mozenda

Website: https://www.mozenda.com/

Who is this for: Enterprises looking for a cloud based self serve web scraping platform need look no further. With over 7 billion pages scraped, Mozenda has experience in serving enterprise customers from all around the world.

Why you should use it: Mozenda allows enterprise customers to run web scrapers on their robust cloud platform. They set themselves apart with the customer service (providing both phone and email support to all paying customers). Its platform is highly scalable and will allow for on premise hosting as well.

The open web is by far the greatest global repository for human knowledge, there is almost no information that you can't find through extracting web data. This list of tools will help you take advantage of this information for your own projects and businesses. Happy scraping!

Our Story

Having built many web scrapers, we repeatedly went through the tiresome process of finding proxies, setting up headless browsers, and solving CAPTCHAs. That's why we decided to start Scraper API, it handles all of this for you so you can scrape any page with a simple API call!