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MIT 195 4 2,878
8.9 thousand (month) Jul 17 2018 v2.1.1(4 months ago)
1,320 1 5 MIT
v0.7.2(3 months ago) Mar 16 2013 65 (month)

Panther is a convenient standalone library to scrape websites and to run end-to-end tests using real browsers.

Panther is super powerful. It leverages the W3C's WebDriver protocol to drive native web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox.

Panther is very easy to use, because it implements Symfony's popular BrowserKit and DomCrawler APIs, and contains all the features you need to test your apps. It will sound familiar if you have ever created a functional test for a Symfony app: as the API is exactly the same! Keep in mind that Panther can be used in every PHP project, as it is a standalone library.

Panther automatically finds your local installation of Chrome or Firefox and launches them, so you don't need to install anything else on your computer, a Selenium server is not needed!

In test mode, Panther automatically starts your application using the PHP built-in web-server. You can focus on writing your tests or web-scraping scenario and Panther will take care of everything else.


  • executes the JavaScript code contained in webpages
  • supports everything that Chrome (or Firefox) implements
  • allows taking screenshots
  • can wait for asynchronously loaded elements to show up
  • lets you run your own JS code or XPath queries in the context of the loaded page
  • supports custom Selenium server installations
  • supports remote browser testing services including SauceLabs and BrowserStack

php-spider is a PHP library for web crawling and scraping. It allows developers to easily navigate and extract data from websites by simulating a web browser's behavior.

  • supports two traversal algorithms: breadth-first and depth-first
  • supports crawl depth limiting, queue size limiting and max downloads limiting
  • supports adding custom URI discovery logic, based on XPath, CSS selectors, or plain old PHP
  • comes with a useful set of URI filters, such as Domain limiting
  • supports custom URI filters, both prefetch (URI) and postfetch (Resource content)
  • supports custom request handling logic
  • supports Basic, Digest and NTLM HTTP authentication. See example.
  • comes with a useful set of persistence handlers (memory, file)
  • supports custom persistence handlers
  • collects statistics about the crawl for reporting
  • dispatches useful events, allowing developers to add even more custom behavior
  • supports a politeness policy

This Spider does not support Javascript.

Example Use


use Symfony\Component\Panther\Client;

require __DIR__.'/vendor/autoload.php'; // Composer's autoloader

$client = Client::createChromeClient();
// Or, if you care about the open web and prefer to use Firefox
$client = Client::createFirefoxClient();

$client->request('GET', ''); // Yes, this website is 100% written in JavaScript
$client->clickLink('Get started');

// Wait for an element to be present in the DOM (even if hidden)
$crawler = $client->waitFor('#installing-the-framework');
// Alternatively, wait for an element to be visible
$crawler = $client->waitForVisibility('#installing-the-framework');

echo $crawler->filter('#installing-the-framework')->text();
$client->takeScreenshot('screen.png'); // Yeah, screenshot!
use Example\StatsHandler;
use VDB\Spider\Discoverer\XPathExpressionDiscoverer;
use Symfony\Contracts\EventDispatcher\Event;
use VDB\Spider\Event\SpiderEvents;
use VDB\Spider\Spider;


// Create Spider
$spider = new Spider('');

// Add a URI discoverer. Without it, the spider does nothing. In this case, we want <a> tags from a certain <div>
$spider->getDiscovererSet()->set(new XPathExpressionDiscoverer("//div[@id='catalogs']//a"));

// Set some sane options for this example. In this case, we only get the first 10 items from the start page.
$spider->getDiscovererSet()->maxDepth = 1;
$spider->getQueueManager()->maxQueueSize = 10;

// Let's add something to enable us to stop the script
    function (Event $event) {
        echo "\nCrawl aborted by user.\n";

// Add a listener to collect stats to the Spider and the QueueMananger.
// There are more components that dispatch events you can use.
$statsHandler = new StatsHandler();

// Execute crawl

// Build a report
echo "\n  ENQUEUED:  " . count($statsHandler->getQueued());
echo "\n  SKIPPED:   " . count($statsHandler->getFiltered());
echo "\n  FAILED:    " . count($statsHandler->getFailed());
echo "\n  PERSISTED:    " . count($statsHandler->getPersisted());

// Finally we could do some processing on the downloaded resources
// In this example, we will echo the title of all resources
foreach ($spider->getDownloader()->getPersistenceHandler() as $resource) {
    echo "\n - " . $resource->getCrawler()->filterXpath('//title')->text();

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