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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:

  • Javascript rendering
  • 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.


APIs retrieves given page data for us

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.
  • Javascript Rendering
    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.
  • Monitoring
    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.

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