This post contains a few case examples where I have used web data scraping and the top ten of the most used web scraping tools that allow mere mortals (non-programmers) to harvest web data and sling it like Google.
Here is a list of top 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!
- API is built for developers. You will be able to scrape websites by just mentioning queries inside the API URI. You can read it’s documentation here.
Mozenda offers two different kinds of web scrapers. Downloadable software that allows you to build agents and runs on the cloud, and A managed solution where they make the agents for you. They do not offer a free version of the software and if you are looking for a version that works on your Mac, you can use scrapingdog.
The nice thing about ParseHub is that it works on multiple platforms including mac however the software is not as robust as the others with a tricky user interface that could be better streamlined. Well, I must say it is dead simple to use and exports JSON or excel sheet of the data you are interested in by just clicking on it. It offers a free pack where you can scrape 200 pages in just 40 minutes.
Diffbot has been transitioning away from a traditional web scraping tool to selling prefinished lists also known as their knowledge graph. There are pricing is competitive and their support team is very helpful, but oftentimes the data output is a bit convoluted. I must say that Diffbot is the most different type of scraping tool. Even if the HTML code of the page changes this tool will not stop impressing you. It is just a bit pricy.
They grew very quickly with a free version and a promise that the software would always be free. Today they no longer offer a free version and that caused their popularity to wain. Looking at the reviews at capterra.com they have the lowest reviews in the data extraction category for this top 10 list. Most of the complaints are about support and service. They are starting to move from a pure web scraping platform into a scraping and data wrangling operation. They might be making a last-ditch move to survive.
Scrapinghub claims that they transform websites into usable data with industry-leading technology. Their solutions are “Data on Demand “ for big and small scraping projects with precise and reliable data feeds at very fast rates. They offer lead data extraction and have a team of web scraping engineers. They also offer IP Proxy management scrape data quickly.
WebHarvy is an interesting company they showed up a highly used scraping tool, but the site looks like a throwback to 2009. This scraping tool is quite cheap and should be considered if you are working on some small projects. Using this tool you can handle logins, signup & even form submissions. You can crawl multiple pages within minutes.
80legs has been around for many years. They have a stable platform and a very fast crawler. The parsing is not the strongest, but if you need a lot of simple queries fast 80legs can deliver. You should be warned that 80legs have been used for DDOS attacks and while the crawler is robust it has taken down many sites in the past. You can even customize the web crawlers to make it suitable for your scrapers. You can customize what data gets scraped and which links are followed from each URL crawled. Enter one or more (up to several thousand) URLs you want to crawl. These are the URLs where the web crawl will start. Links from these URLs will be followed automatically, depending on the settings of your web crawl. 80legs will post results as the web crawl runs. Once the crawl has finished, all of the results will be available, and you can download them to your computer or local environment.
This tool can help you with Lead generation programs, News aggregation, financial data collection, competitive data collection, etc. The pricing looks good and can be used for small projects. Because web scraping projects are often complicated with various layers of details and requirements — so they have built a communication doorway, called ‘Messages’ for each of your projects. Messages are to issue tickets, discuss requirements, and track project status — all from a single place. The software looks quite inexpensive and if you are looking for a simple project and don’t want to spend a lot of money Grepsr might be your best bet.