How Can I Learn Web Scraping?

You can learn web scraping by studying the basics of a programming language like Python or Node.js. There are many free practical tutorials and guides to understand the fundamentals. And after some practice, you can build your own projects to find and solve new challenges.

However, we understand that there are hundreds of resources out there, and it’s hard to pick the right ones.

To help you avoid tutorial hell and increase your chances of a successful career or project, we’ve put together a roadmap for you to follow and learn everything you need to start collecting data like a master!

Note: In this list, you’ll find the best resources to learn web scraping for every level. Although we recommend you follow the order in the list, feel free to work it at your own pace.

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1. What is Web Scraping?

Learn a simple definition of web scraping and see an example of a web scraping script.

2. How Does Web Scraping Work?

Understand the different parts of a web scraper and what a good scraper looks like. You’ll also learn how to create a script to collect data from

3. What is Web Scraping Used For?

Let’s explore the different web scraping applications to expand your knowledge of what’s possible.

4. How and Why You Should Hide Your IP Address

Before you start putting your IP address at risk, let’s learn the various ways to hide your IP to avoid getting your scrapers blocked.

5. How to Choose a Web Scraping Tool

There are plenty of web scraping tools available, but how do you choose one and why? Learn everything about web scraping tools, their features, and what you should look for when making a decision.

Beginner Web Scraping Projects

Reading isn’t enough! Let’s start creating a few projects in Python and Node.js to put the theory into practice:

1. Learning Web Scraping with Python

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how websites are structured and how to use their structure to target the desired data by building a scraper using Python.

2. Learning Web Scraping with Node.js

For those that prefer JavaScript over Python, this tutorial explores the different options to scrape web data using Node.js – including dynamic content!

3. Dealing with Paginated Pages

It’s very common for websites to have some sort of navigation, and we can use it to access deeper pages on a website. In this tutorial, you’ll build a spider using Python and Scrapy.

4. Building Your Own Parsers with CSS

Before you can start developing your own projects, you need to learn more about CSS selectors and the different combinations you can use to traverse the DOM tree.

5. Extract Tabular Data from the Web

A lot of data is displayed on tables because it’s easier for people to understand it this way. That means that being able to scrape tabular is necessary to collect information efficiently.

In this tutorial, you’ll build a scraper to extract data from static HTML tables using Node.js – Here’s a Python version if you prefer this language.

Extra Resources

If you want to learn web scraping using a different programming language, we have entry-level tutorials for C#, Ruby, Go, PHP, and R.

Deepen Your Web Scraping Skills

Now that you understand the basics of web scraping and have some experience writing your own code, let’s start building some more complex projects to further your skills:

1. Grabbing and Using the Right HTTP Headers

Although it’s not a super complex project, finding the right HTTP headers can make your scrapers more resilient to anti-scraping systems – but you can leave that to ScraperAPI 😉.

2. Extract Data from LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a lot of publicly available job data we can scrape as long as we understand how they build their pages. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use Chrome’s DevTools to find and extract data from an AJAX request.

3. Scrape Dynamic Tables without a Headless Browser

Not all tables are built equally. Some tables use AJAX to inject their content on the page, which makes it harder to extract the data. Fortunately, we can use the same principle from the LinkedIn project above to find the data we need.

4. Learn to Use Async and Await to Scrape Football Data

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a web scraper using asynchronous JavaScript to make your scraper more resilient to errors or slow response times.

5. Getting Competitors’ Ad Data

Web scraping is a tool. The idea is to collect the necessary data to allow you to gain an edge against the competition, make better decisions or automate a process. In this article, we’ll extra ad data from Google Search to see where our competitors are investing their budget.

Build Your Own Projects

You are now ready to start building your own projects to find and solve new challenges. It’s important to understand that every website is built differently, so the only way to get better at web scraping is by developing your problem-solving skills and expanding your knowledge.

Look for interesting websites you’d like to get data from or think about potential applications you could use web scraping to develop.

Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

Remember, web scraping is both an art and a science, so it’s important that you master the different tools at your disposal to be prepared for the next challenge.

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