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10 Best Open Source Web Scraping Tools

proxiesapi profile image Mohan Ganesan Originally published at ・3 min read

Cheerio JS

Cheerio is ideal for programmers with experience in JQuery. You can deploy Cheerio JS on the server-side to do web scraping easily using JQuery selectors.

Scraping can be as simple as

Sponsor cheerio

Beautiful Soup

One of the aftermaths of the Internet Explorer era is how badly formed most HTML on the web is. It's one of the common realities you are hit with when you start any web scraping project.

No library wrangles with bad HTML as well as beautiful Soup.

Beautiful Soup provides a few simple methods and Pythonic idioms for navigating, searching, and modifying a parse tree: a toolkit for dissecting a document and extracting what you need. It doesn't take much code to write an application. It also handles all encoding issues automatically.


Kimura Framework

A brilliantly simple Ruby-based framework that can render javascript and comes out of the box with headless chromium and Firefox

Here is how simple it is to work with infinite scroll web pages

Import IO is an enterprise-grade web scraping service that is quite popular.

They help you set up, maintain, monitor, crawl, and scrape data.

They also help you visualize data with the chart, graphs, and excellent reporting functions.



Goutte is a screen scraping and web crawling library for PHP.

Goutte provides a nice API to crawl websites and extract data from the HTML/XML responses.

PHP Version: PHP 7.1 .

Example of submitting a form in Goutte

Scrapy is an extremely powerful crawling and scraping library written in Python.

Here is how easy it is to create a multi-threaded crawler and parse it at a single endpoint.
cAnd to scrape, it allows both XPath and CSS selectors.
Mechanical Soup

Mechanical Soup is a super simple library that helps you scrape, store and pass cookies, submit forms, etc. but it doesn't support Javascript rendering.

Here is an example of submitting a form and scraping the results on Duck Duck Go

PySpider is useful if you want to crawl and spider at massive scales. It has a web UI to monitor crawling projects, support DB integrations out of the box, uses message queues, and comes ready with support for a distributed architecture. This library is a beast.

You can do complex operations like...

Set priorities.
Set delayed crawls. This one crawls after 30 mins using queues
this one automatically recrawls a page every 5 hours

This powerful crawling and scraping package for Node Js allows server-side DOM and injection of JQuery and has queueing support with controllable pool sizes, priority settings, and rate limit control.

It's great for working with bottlenecks like rate limits that many websites impose.

Here is an example that does that.
Selenium Web Driver

Selenium was built for automating tasks on web browsers but is very effective in web scraping as well.

Here you are controlling the Firefox browser and automating a search query.
Its language agnostic, so here is the same thing accomplished using Javascript.

Puppeteer lives up to its name and comes closest to full-scale browser automation. It can do more or less everything that a human can do.

It can take screenshots, render javascript, submit forms, simulate keyboard input,

This example takes a screenshot of the Ycombinator home page in very few lines of code.

Colly is a super fast and scalable and extremely popular spider/scraper.

It supported web crawling, rate limiting, caching, parallel scraping, cookie, and session handling and distributed scraping.

Here is an example of fetching 2 URLs in parallel.

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