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5 Best Web Scraping Tools to Increase Efficiency

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5 Best Web Scraping Tools to Increase Efficiency

In this article, we discuss five of the best web scraping tools available, including Puppeteer, Cheerio, Request-Promise, Nightmare, and Osmosis.

· Big Data Zone ·
Free Resource

At present, the adoption of web scraping has dramatically increased among businesses due to its number of use cases. You might need to scrape flight times or Airbnb listings for a travel website, or perhaps you might want to gather data, such as price lists from different e-commerce sites for price comparison.  Maybe you need to collect training and testing data sets for Machine Learning. That’s where web scraping comes into play. 

Here, we’re going to explore the best web scraping tools.

5 Best Web Scraping Tools 

Puppeteer

Puppeteer is more than a web scraping tool. It is a Node.js library that allows you to control the Chrome/Chromium browser with a high-level API. Puppeteer runs headless by default, but it can be configured to run full non-headless Chrome or Chromium. 

With Puppeteer, you can do the following things:

  • Generate screenshots and PDFs of web pages.

  • Create an up-to-date and automated testing environment. 

  • Capture a timeline trace of your website to diagnose performance issues.

  • Crawl a SPA (Single-Page Application) and generate pre-rendered content (Server-Side Rendering (SSR).

You may also like: Web Scraping Using Python.

Cheerio

Cheerio is a library that parses markup. It provides an API for manipulating the resulting data structure. The best thing about Cheerio is that it does not interpret the result as a web browser does. However, it does not produce a visual rendering, load external resources, or apply CSS. So, if any of your use cases require them, you need to consider projects like PhantomJS

It is worth mentioning that scraping a website in Node.js is much easier in Cheerio. Companies like Walmart use Cheerio to host the server rendering of its mobile website. 

Request - Promise

Request-Promise is a variation of the actual library from npm. It provides a faster solution with an automated browser. This web scraping tool can be used when content is not dynamically rendered. It can be a more advanced solution if you are dealing with websites that have an authentication system. If we compare it to Puppeteer, it is precisely the opposite when it comes to usage. 

Nightmare

Nightmare is a high-level browser automation library that runs an electron as a browser. It is a condensed version, or we can say, a simplified version of Puppeteer. It has plugins that provide more flexibility, including support for downloads of files.

Osmosis

Osmosis is an HTML/XML parser and web scraper tool. It is written in Node.js and is packed with CSS3/xpath selector and lightweight HTTP wrapper. If we compare it to Cheerio, jQuery, and jsdom, then it does not have significant dependencies. 

Final Thoughts

Apart from these web scraping tools, there are a lot of other tools and resources that you can work with. It is all about your project’s requirements. However, some websites do not allow scraping, so make sure you do your research well before trying to scrape any website. 


Further Reading

Topics:
web scraper tools

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