Web Scraping APIs
Running your own scraper can quickly become overwhelming so there are a lot of scraping as a service paid web APIs out there.
These services help to avoid blocking and simplify many features like:
- Screenshot capture
- Cloud browser automation
- Proxy selection from many different countries
Abstracting page retrieval complexities from the web scraping process seems like a natural fit for small and big projects.
You should consider web scraping APIs if:
- Your project has limited engineer resources
Learning all web scraping complexities can be very time-consuming
- You're scraping targets that use web scraper blocking technologies
To scrape some well-protected targets expensive resources like proxies and constant maintenance is required.
- You need flexible scaling
When it comes to evaluating a web scraping API look for these key features:
- Anti-scraping protection (Cloudflare, PermiterX etc.) bypass.
While it's possible to write scrapers that get around these services keeping up with these services take a lot of engineering time.
- Successful request based pricing
Since scrapers are being blocked often bandwidth-based pricing can add up quickly.
Even when web-browser is unnecessary to scrape your target having the ability to fire up a cloud browser and do something comes in very handy.
It's easy to get lost when scaling scrapers so, having a proper monitoring dashboard makes it easier to develop, debug and keep an eye on the whole process.
Web Scraping API is a great shortcut into the web scraping world, however we can recreate most of its magic ourselves.