5 SCRAPY ALTERNATIVES in 2022 That You Should Try

Want to extract bulk data from the Internet? Use a Web Scraping tool like Scrapy or Scrapy alternatives and scrape data efficiently within no time.

Web scraping is a process in which data from websites is collected. Many web scraping frameworks have been introduced in the market to serve the purpose. Either you will have to hire technicians to scrape data for you. Or you can simply use a web scraping tool to scrape data from websites. 

One such web scraping tool is Scrapy.

What is Scrapy?

Scrapy is a free open-source Python-based web scraping framework. It crawls the website and stores data in a structured format. You can also integrate it with API to extract data. Scrapy is based on the concept of Spiders. These spiders and web crawlers will run through the website pages to extract the required data.

People use Scrapy for web crawling, collecting real-time data, and web development. It is also used for competitor research, lead generation, and cross-site data integration.

Pros and Cons of Scrapy 

Scrapy web crawling is one of the best tools for Python developers. But it is not for everyone. Some of the pros and cons of using Scrapy web scraping tool are 

Scrapy Pros

  • Efficient & Fast

It’s a fast Python-based framework for web scraping. It provides asynchronous support. It means the Scrapy tool handles more than one request in parallel. So it gives scraped data output efficiently. 

  • Cross-Platform

Scrapy tool supports cross-platforms. You don’t need to write a separate code base for every operating system. Scrapy supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD also.

  • Healthy Community

Scrapy tools have a healthy community. If there is any problem that you run into. That problem would have already been discussed in the community forums. Stackflow has around 18K questions about Scrapy. According to the GitHub stats, it has 43,100 stars.

  • Powerful and Extensible

Scrapy is a powerful tool. It is used to crawl thousands of pages efficiently. It handles CPU and memory in a much better way than former scraping tools for Python developers. You can also add more functionalities to it other than the default ones. 

Scrapy Cons

  • Not For Javascript

Scrapy was made for static websites. It does not work with Javascript or dynamic websites.  If you want to execute Javascript then you have to use Scrapy with Splash.

  • Not Much User Friendly

Scrapy tools are easy to use. But if you compare Scrapy with other tools like BeautifulSoup. Learning Scrapy is more difficult than other web scraping tools.

Due to these limitations, people use Scrapy alternatives for web crawling.  

Scrapy Alternatives for Web Scraping

5 scrapy alternatives

Scrapy is indeed one of the best tools, but it is not for everyone. It is only meant for Python users. Even developers of other languages can’t easily use it.

If you are looking for an alternative to the Scrapy framework, Then scroll down for some of the best alternative software. 

  1. Parse Hub

Parse Hub is a web data collection tool. It is very popular because of its no-coding feature. ParseHub also deals with Javascripts and searches through forms, maps, and dropdowns. It has a free plan that you can use easily for small scraping tasks.

The only disadvantage is that the ParseHub interface is not very user-friendly. In comparison to other tools, you have to repeat steps to get proper output. 

  1. Octoparse

Octoparse is a visual data extraction software. It doesn’t require any coding. So it can be used by non-technical staff also. It is based on the Point and Click method for selection. You can also access its cloud and schedule the scraping process. Using this tool helps you convert web page data into spreadsheets. 

It also supports Ajax websites and Javascript pages. Octoparse also supports proxies for IP rotation, allowing you to scrape anonymously.

  1. Apify

Apify is an automated web scraping platform. It’s one of the best alternatives to Scrapy. It provides you with ready-made web scrapers for extracting data. It has scrapers for Google SERPs and Amazon Products. It has separate scrapers for extracting data from Facebook and Instagram. It supports recursive crawling and lists of URLs.

You should have SDK installed and then you can use Apify easily. Apify is a paid tool but has some free offerings too. 

  1. BeautifulSoup With Request Library

It is a Python library and is very popular among developers for web scraping. It is best for pulling data out from HTML and XML files. Using the request library, an HTTP request is sent to a webpage. The HTML page is then downloaded locally. The webpage is then crawled by BeautifulSoup and data is extracted. 

The request library converts the HTML page to the format of a tree-like node. You can specify the node structure to extract data from them. The library is openly and freely available for everyone.

  1. Selenium

Selenium is one of the best alternatives to Scrapy. It renders Javascript, unlike Scrapy. Selenium automates the web browsers and uses API to access content on the website. It automates browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.   

Selenium is available for free. It uses the headless mode for launching websites. The headless mode means browsers are used in invisible mode. You would not know that a browser is launched. The visible mode/head mode is used for debugging only. Either it will slow down the system. It is also used in popular programming languages like Python, Java, and NodeJS. 

In comparison with other web scraping tools, Selenium is a bit slower. 

Thus, web scraping is no longer a coder’s job only. Some of its alternatives can be used without writing code. Every web scraping tool has its own set of pros and cons. You have to decide which tool fulfills your requirements and is affordable for you.

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