Web scraping helps businesses to scrape data from websites conveniently and within a short time. However, paid web scraping tools can be expensive for some businesses, and they may not have the budget for them. Thus, open-source web scrapers can help businesses to scrape data conveniently.
It is highly recommended that you use a premium web scraping tool, as most of the open source options come with lots of limitations. Scraping Dog is our pick as one of the best web scraping API tools if you want to get a premium scraping tool.
However, most businesses struggle to choose the right open-source web scrapers. Thus, here are our picks of 10 best open source web scrapers in 2022. Keep reading to find out the most suitable one for your business.
10 Best Open-source Web Scrapers
Most open-source web scrapers are code based, which makes them extensible and powerful. However, there are also non-coding web scrapers that can be operated without coding. Therefore, no matter whether you are a coder or not, you can find your open-source scraper to use conveniently.
So, here is our pick of the 10 best web scrapers for you to choose from:
Among Python-based web scrapers, Scrappy is one of the most popular ones. This scrapper can efficiently scrape data from web pages, process them according to the user’s instructions, and store them in the users’ desired format.
The scraper is built on top of a twisted asynchronous networking framework to accept and process requests faster. If a business needs large web scraping projects, Scrapy can conveniently handle them with excellent flexibility.
Advantages of Scrappy:
- Powerful and fast
- Can process detailed documentation
- Got abundant resources and a healthy community
- Utilizes cloud environment
- Can plug new functions without touching the core
For Python-based coders, MechanicalSoup is a brilliant scraper. The scraper is designed to simulate human interaction with websites while using a browser. This tool was developed around HTTP sessions and document navigation and can automatically follow redirects, submit forms, follow links, and send and store cookies.
MechanicalSoup can be really useful if you want to simulate human behavior in certain web events or want to know about certain products of a webpage. Rather than pulling up all data from a page, you can get the only data you need from this scraper.
Advantages of MechanicalSoup:
- Significantly fast web scraping
- Support XPath & CSS selectors
- Simulates human behavior
Hertrix is an excellent choice for your web scraper if you are proficient in the JAVA language. This scraper is designed for web archiving and respects the robot.txt exclusion directives and Meta robot tags while collecting data at an adaptive and measured pace.
All these designs make Heritrix an exceptional tool that barely disrupts general website activities. Users can access the web-based user interface from their web browser to control and monitor crawls.
Advantages of Heritrix:
- Pluggable and replaceable modules
- Respecting Meta robot tags and robot.txt
- Web-based interface
- Brilliant extensibility
4. Apify SDK
Apify SDK utilizes tools like AutoscalePool and RequestQueue, which help users initiate scraping several URLs and follow links to other pages. In spite of scraping multiple pages, the Apify SDK can run at maximum capacity.
Advantages of Apify SDK
- Apify Cloud comes with a pool of proxies to avoid detection
- High-performing and reliable scraper for large-scale data
- Built-in support for different browsers
Web-Harvest is another JAVA-based open-source scraper to scrape data from specific pages. This scraper utilizes technologies like XQuery, XSLT, and Regular Expressions to operate. This web scraper can utilize custom Java libraries to argue its extraction capabilities.
Advantages of Web-Harvest
- Powerful XML manipulation and text processor to handle and control data
- Got variable context to use and store variables
- Supports scripting languages to integrate within scraper configuration
Advantages of Jaunt
Process HTTP Responses/ Requests individually
- Straightforward interfacing with REST APIs
- Support for HTTPs, HTTP, and basic auth
- RegEx-enables querying in DOM & JSON
If you are looking for a powerful Python-based web scraper with a straightforward Web UI and a distributed architecture, PySpider can check all those boxes. This scraper utilizes the fetcher, processor, and scheduler to help with scraping measures. Different databases like MongoDB and MySQL can be supported by this scraper for storing data.
Advantages of PySpider
- Authoritative WebUI with task monitor, result viewer, script editor, and project manager
- Kombu, Beanstalk, Redis, and RabbitMQ as the message queue
- Distributed architecture
If you are looking for a scraper that you can use without any programming knowledge, Portia is the one you can choose. This scraper can automate the data extraction process, and you will not need to download or install anything to use this scraper.
This tool utilizes the Github library to extract data and doesn’t require XPaths to learn. This makes it one excellent tool for scraping data without writing a line of code.
Advantages of Portia
- Extract data from websites based on visual selection
- Exports scraped information in JSON, CSV, JSON-lines and XML format
- Can create generic web scrapers to scrape data from webpages with similar structures
Advantages of Node-crawler
- Varying priority for URL requests
- Configurable retries and pool size
- Rate control, Server-side DOM & automatic jQuery insertion with JSDOM or Cheerio
Frontera is a Python-based scraper excellent for both developers and technology companies. This scraper can handle large-scale web crawling and can access all essential data the user requires. As the tool is developed as an open-source framework, one can get the maximum benefit from this tool for free.
The downside of this tool is that it is not maintained actively. Therefore, users may experience some glitches during operations.
Advantages of Frontera
- Modifiable crawling strategy without stopping crawl
- The crawling strategy can be implemented as a separate module
- Can crawl webpages related to a specific topic
Although open-source scrapers are excellent and free, they lack support and databases. Therefore, if you can invest in a paid scraper like Scrapingdog. Paid scrapers will offer you great support, excellent databases, and ways to scrape data without coding.
If you are interested in an open-source scraper, any of the above-mentioned tools can be a good fit. However, make sure you have enough expertise to code in the appropriate language for the scraper.