Top 10 Web Crawler Tools To Scrape The Websites


Web Crawler

You need two things to start collecting data online. The first is to know the difference between web crawling and web scraping. The second is to choose an efficient tool for your project. We will cover the top ten tools to help you decide but let’s start by defining what we aim to find.

Web Crawling vs. Web Scraping

Web crawling is when you scan websites and make an index of their contents. A web scraper can later use such an index to visit the website and extract what is needed. While you can’t scrape a website only with a crawler, these two processes go hand in hand.

The similarities when comparing web crawling vs. web scraping might raise some confusion when you need to find a good tool. So, it is best to know how to separate them before choosing a tool.

Both tasks are automated with the help of bots. Crawling by crawler bots (also called spider bots) and scraping by scraper bots. Some software provides bots that can accomplish these tasks simultaneously, but in both cases, you must take some precautions to avoid IP bans from websites.

Crawlers filter and prepare the final data with a process called parsing, while scrapers convert it into a convenient format, such as JSON or even an ordinary CSV. So, combining both of them gives us a list of the website’s contents and the needed data on your hard drive.

Why Should We Hire You? 5 Best Answ...
Why Should We Hire You? 5 Best Answers

Whether there’s a lot of hassle and expenses involved for web crawling vs. web scraping depends on the tools you choose. Below there are ten of the best crawlers and scrapers for you to choose from:

Octoparse

Price: 75 USD/month (Standard plan billed annually)

Trial: Free limited functionality version

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Average

Proxies: No

Octoparse is a great place to start for those with no coding experience. However, the workflow isn’t as foolproof and intuitive as one might want, especially with bigger projects. Still, Octoparse supports most websites, including difficult JavaScript and AJAX ones. It is one of the first tools you should look at.

Oxylabs Web Scraper API

Price: 99 USD/month (Starter plan billed annually)

Trial: Free for one week

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Excellent

Proxies: Excellent

Oxylabs is not only a top-tier proxy provider but also develops a leading web scraping API. The product includes innovations, such as a proxy rotator, auto-retry, and JavaScrip rendering. Although you will need some technical knowledge to use their scrapers, the available tutorials and customer support are unmatched in the market.

Webscraper.io

Price: 40 USD/month (limited plan billed annually)

Trial: Free version only with basic features

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Poor

Proxies: Yes

Running as an extension in your Google Chrome browser, Webscraper.io is an excellent software for small projects. A simple interface allows for quick data extraction and conversion into CSV format. Although the tool is a bit inefficient with more data, it does support most websites, including those with JavaScript.

ParseHub

Price: 155 USD/month (billed quarterly)

Trial: Free trial with 200 pages per run

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Average

Proxies: No

Parsehub positions itself as the best free web scraper, and it’s hard to argue. Despite its limitation in the number of pages you can scrape, the free version of Parsehub is better than some paid ones. It is a go-to option for those who only want to pay for proxies.

Proxycrawl

Price: 29 USD/month

Trial: First 1000 requests are free

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Average

Proxies: Average

Proxycrawl aims to provide scraping API solutions for a variety of use cases. From social media sites to SEO and e-commerce pages, Proxycrawl has an API. It takes some time to set up, and support isn’t the best, but with some knowledge, it is a great tool.

Scrapy

Price: Free

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Good

Proxies: No

Scrapy is more of an open-source Python web scraping library than a full web scraper, so it will require you to have a lot of coding experience. If you do, it is a serious contender as the best community-maintained tool available.

Phantombuster

Price: 50 USD/month (billed yearly)

Trial: 14 days free trial

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Good on social media platforms

Proxies: No

Phantombuster is a “click-and-scrape” solution aimed mostly for marketing uses. It is not an ideal tool, but if you only need lead generation, social media scraping, SEO, or related tasks, Phantombuster might be an option to consider.

Smartproxy scraping APIs

Price: 50 USD/month

Trial: 3-day free trial

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Excellent

Proxies: Good

Smartproxy is another excellent proxy provider that develops its scraping APIs. The most outstanding is their no-code scraping API made so simple even the least tech-savvy will understand. It also has a Chrome extension with anything you need for successful scraping.

Apify

Price: 39 USD/ month (billed yearly)

Trial: Limited access free version

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Average

Proxies: No

Apify is a highly cooperative project that enables you to access, use and contribute to many different tools for web scraping and crawling. Your success highly depends on your coding skills, but starting with their free version is a great way to learn the programming you need for data collection.

ScrapingBee

Price: 49 USD/ month

Trial: Free trial with 1000 requests

Dealing with CAPTCHAs: Good

Proxies: No

ScrapingBee is a cloud-based scraping API aimed at providing a complete arsenal of features for web scraping. Unfortunately, coding experience is necessary as you must enter commands to run the software. Besides the commands, you won’t need to think about anything else, so ScrapingBee will save time in the long run.

Conclusion

There is a lot to choose from, and, at the end of the day, the decision rests on your project and budget. But if you want an easy solution, the best route is to use an API from a proxy provider. That way, you will save time and won’t look for proxies additionally.

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