If you want to scrape data from web, there are two options that you can consider.
- Use a DIY web scraping platforms (like extract.io, mozenda)
- Hire a software developer that will write the script to scrape data .
Let compare pros and cons of both options.
Platforms like extract.io, Mozenda etc are very popular, these are big companies and spent a lot of money on marketing etc. , that is why they are popular.
They provide a software platform that you can use to create crawlers/scraper and run them on cloud.
You can consider using these platforms if
- The website that you want to scrape is fairly easy.
- You are ready to spend some time to learn the software to create a crawler.
- The data you want is not large, because if data is large (like thousands of pages) than it will cost of more money.
- You requirements are simple, you just want to scrape data and export it to csv.
You should not use them if
- The website is not easy to scrape, and your required data is available deep is website.
- You do not have time to learn the software, sometimes even for a technical person it takes many hours to create a simple crawler using these software. Many people hire developers of write crawlers using these platforms, which can be costly because you are paying to the developer and for the platforms.
- Your requirements are not simple, you need more than just exporting data to excel files. For example if you want to add data to your database, send scraped data to any other app.
Custom web crawlers
Custom web crawlers can do anything you need, all you need to do is to find a reliable developer who can create web crawlers and prepare a requirements document that will help the developer understand your requirements.
- Its saves time. You can focus on your core business by out sourcing the web scraping work, No need to learn any software , the developer will do all the work for you.
- Most of the time its economical, Someone with strong web scraping skill can develop simple scrapers in less than an hour. Complex scraper can take long time.
- If you want to get data on regular basis, you can ask developer to create a tool for you (instead of providing you the data), you can use this tool to scrape data whenever you want without any extra charges. But in case of DIY Platforms you will be charged every time you run a scraper.
- If you want to enter some data to the websites from database or excel files, you can’t do this using the DIY software, you have no choice but to get a custom scarper.
There is a long list of things that can do with the custom built scraper and can’t do with the DIY platforms, and its not possible to write everything here. With custom scraper you can achieve anything, scrape any data and automate any process on websites.
DIY platforms work ok for simple data scraping, but they have very limited functionality and requires you to spend time on learning these softwares.
Custom built scraper can do anything, there is no limitation, no need to learn any software, Just find a good professional/company to create scraper for you can, provide all the requirements and get the data needed software or data.
Botsol provides quality web scraping services at a very reasonable price. Get in touch to discuss your project with us.