What is the best web-scraping solution?

In Web Scraping by Andrew ChooahLeave a Comment

Have you scraped data from a dynamic source such as Instagram or Amazon; if so, what is the best solution you have used?

1. Outwit Hub

Outwit hub is a Firefox extension that can be easily downloaded from the Firefox add-ons store. Once installed and activated, it gives web scraping capabilities to your browser. Out of the box, it has data points recognition features that can make your scraping job easier. Extracting data from sites using Outwit hub doesn’t demand programming skills. The set up is fairly easy to learn. You can refer to our guide on using Outwit hub to get started with web scraping using the tool. As it is free of cost, it makes for a great option if you need to scrape some data from the web quickly.

2. Web Scraper Chrome Extension

Web scraper is a great alternative to Outwit hub which is available for Google Chrome that can be used for web scraping. It lets you set up a sitemap (plan) on how a website should be navigated and what data should to be extracted. It can scrape multiple pages simultaneously and even has dynamic data extraction capabilities. Web scraper can also handle pages with JavaScript and Ajax, which makes it all the more powerful. The tool lets you export the extracted data to a CSV file. The only downside to web scraper extension is that it doesn’t have many automation features built in. Learn how to use web scraper to extract data from the web.

3. Spinn3r

Spinn3r is a great choice for scraping entire data from blogs, news sites, social media and RSS feeds. Spinn3r uses firehose API that manages 95% of the crawling and indexing work. It gives you the option to filter the data that it scrapes using keywords, which helps in weeding out irrelevant content. The indexing system of Spinn3r is similar to Google and saves the extracted data in JSON format. Spinn3r works by continuously scanning the web and updating their data sets. It has an admin console packed with features that lets you perform searches on the raw data. Spinn3r is an ideal solution if your data requirements are limited to media websites.

4. Fminer

Fminer is one of the easiest to use web scraping tools out there that combines top-in-class features. Its visual dashboard makes extracting data from websites as simple and intuitive as possible. Whether you want to scrape data from simple web pages or carry out complex data fetching projects that require proxy server lists, ajax handling and multi-layered crawls, Fminer can do it all. If your web scraping project is fairly complex, Fminer is the software you need.

5. Dexi.io

Dexi.io is a web based scraping application that doesn’t require any download. It is a browser based tool that lets you set up crawlers and fetch data in real-time. Dexi.io also has features that will let you save the scraped data directly to Box.net and Google drive or export it as JSON or CSV files. It also supports scraping the data anonymously using proxy servers. The data you scrape will be hosted on their servers for up to 2 weeks before it’s archived.

6. ParseHub

Parsehub is a web scraping software that supports complicated data extraction from sites that use AJAX, JavaScript, redirects and cookies. It is equipped with machine learning technology that can read and analyse documents on the web to output relevant data. Parsehub is available as a desktop client for windows, mac and linux and there is also a web app that you can use within the browser. You can have up to 5 crawl projects with the free plan from Parsehub.

7. Octoparse

Octoparse is a visual web scraping tool that is easy to configure. The point and click user interface lets you teach the scraper how to navigate and extract fields from a website. The software mimics a human user while visiting and scraping data from target websites. Octoparse gives the option to run your extraction on the cloud and on your own local machine. You can export the scraped data in TXT, CSV, HTML or Excel formats.

8. Mozenda

  • Auto Populate Input Boxes
  • Download Images & Files
  • Track History
  • Publishing & Exporting
  • Error Handling
  • Scheduling & Notifications
  • Full Featured Api
  • Premium Harvesting

Tools vs Hosted Services

Web scraping service providers will enable automation and predefined frequencies. Software tends to require maintenance (software updates to maintain compliance). The advantage of software is typically a one-off cost and a more responsive UI (due to a natively running app, versus an in-browser interface).

 

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