1. Scraper API
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 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. It doesn’t burden you with managing your own proxies, it manages its own internal pool of over a hundreds of thousands of proxies from a dozen different proxy providers, and has smart routing logic that routes requests through different subnets and automatically throttles requests in order to avoid IP bans and CAPTCHAs. It’s the ultimate web scraping service for developers, with special pools of proxies for ecommerce price scraping, search engine scraping, social media scraping, sneaker scraping, ticket scraping and more! If you need to scrape millions of pages a month, you can use this form to ask for a volume discount.
Who is this for: ScrapeSimple is the perfect service for people who want a custom scraper built for them. Web scraping is made as simple as filling out a form with instructions for what kind of data you want.
Why you should use it: ScrapeSimple lives up to its name with a fully managed service that builds and maintains custom web scrapers for customers. Just tell them what information you need from which sites, and they will design a custom web scraper to deliver the information to you periodically (could be daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever) in CSV format directly to your inbox. This service is perfect for businesses that just want a html scraper without needing to write any code themselves. Response times are quick and the service is incredibly friendly and helpful, making this service perfect for people who just want the full data extraction process taken care of for them.
Who is this for: Octoparse is a fantastic tool for people who want to extract data from websites without having to code, while still having control over the full process with their easy to use user interface.
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! Parsehub is also nice in that it provies desktop clients for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, so you can use them from your computer no matter what system you’re running.
Who is this for: Scrapy is a web scraping library for Python developers looking to build scalable web crawlers. It’s a full on web crawling framework that 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, and it’s probably the best python web scraping tool for new applications. 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. As a fully featured web scraping framework, there are many middleware modules available to integrate various tools and handle various use cases (handling cookies, user agents, etc.).
Who is this for: Enterprises who who have specific data crawling and screen scraping needs, particularly those who scrape websites that often change their HTML structure.
Why you should use it: Diffbot is different from most page 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. While they may be a bit pricy (the cheapest plan is $299/month), they do a great job offering a premium service that may make it worth it for large customers.
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 web parsing tutorials teaching developers to use it to scrape various websites in both Python 2 and Python 3. If you are looking for a Python HTML parsing library, this is the one you want.
Who is this for: Puppeteer is a headless Chrome API for NodeJS developers who want very granular control over their scraping activity.
Who is this for: Enterprises looking for a cloud based self serve webpage 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. Like Diffbot, they are a bit pricy, and their lowest plans start at $250/month.
Honorable Mention 1. Kimura
Who is this for: Kimura is an open source web scraping framework written in Ruby, it makes it incredibly easy to get a Ruby web scraper up and running.
Why you should use it: Kimura is quickly becoming known as the best Ruby web scraping library, as it’s designed to work with headless Chrome/Firefox, PhantomJS, and normal GET requests all out of the box. It’s syntax is similar to Scrapy and developers writing Ruby web scrapers will love all of the nice configuration options to do things like set a delay, rotate user agents, and set default headers.
Honorable Mention 2. Goutte
Who is this for: Goutte is an open source web crawling framework written in PHP, it makes it super easy extract data from the HTML/XML responses using PHP.
Why you should use it: Goutte is a very straight forward, no frills framework that is considered by many to be the best PHP web scraping library, as it’s designed for simplicity, handling the vast majority of HTML/XML use cases without too much additional cruft. It also seamlessly integrates with the excellent Guzzle requests library, which allows you to customize the framework for more advanced use cases.
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. Because web scraping is done by many people of various levels of technical ability and know how, there are many tools available that service everyone from people who don’t want to write any code to seasoned developers just looking for the best open source solution in their language of choice.
Hopefully, this list of tools has been helpful in letting you take advantage of this information for your own projects and businesses. If you have any web scraping jobs you would like to discuss with us, please contact us here. Happy scraping!