By Expected reading time 3 min read

Data scraping has become one of the most popular web services in 2017.

With web scraping tools you are able to quickly extract and check online content which allows you to run projects more efficiently. As something that can work well for any company, this service will provide data that helps your team learn more about the market and increase conversion.

Now, let’s review Scrapinghub and see what kind of jobs it can do for you!

What is Scrapinghub?

One of the top platforms which scrape data, Scrapehub is based on Python programming language.

It consists of 4 great tools:

  • Scrapy Cloud
  • Portia
  • Crawlera
  • Splash

Next thing worth mentioning is that although the tool is focused on developers, you don’t have to have experience in the field to use it or to code anything. This is precisely why it is one of the best solutions for almost any website.

Scrapinghub has good, flexible pricing. Companies have two main options: to search data by themselves by signing for a monthly plan or to get help from the Scrapinghub’s team.

If you prefer working yourself, it will cost you less but will take more time. If you let Scrapinghub do your project, it will be more expensive but you won’t have to hassle with it.

What is Scrapy Cloud?

Scrapy Cloud is based on Scrapy, an open source framework which allows you to create spiders for web crawling.

Even though it is great by itself, Scrapy demands a lot of manual work. This is why the company has developed this new Scrapy Cloud as a way to automate the process and to track the status of crawlers.

The tool goes from free to $300. With a free plan you are allow to run 1 concurrent crawler and the tool will retain your data for 7 days. If you turn to any paid plan, you will be automatically able to save that data for 120 days.

What is Portia?

Portia is an open source software.

Although people can use their development skills to code by themselves, they can follow a simple template to select page elements that need to be scrapped. Portia will then crawl websites scraping all the necessary documentation. Portia uses github repository.

It is regarded as a spider editor.

Please have in mind that building spiders with Portia as well as running them in smaller volumes is free. However, if you need large volumes, it is necessary to buy units within Scrapy Cloud.

What is Crawlera?

Once data mining became popular, companies started developing ways to protect their sites by banning IPs.

Crawlera is a tool that helps you avoid this ban. It uses a collection of IP addresses as the center point. Once an IP is banned, it quickly switches to another and so on until it manages to access site data. It also uses an algorithm that reduces chances of being banned. As such, it is an important part of Scrapinghub platform.

It comes in various packages ranging from $25 per month to $500 per month.

What is Splash?

Splash is a tool that focuses on JavaScript rendering.

With it, you are able to properly render pages that use JavaScript. You also get some additional features such as taking screenshots of a site, getting information about website’s response and being able to apply filters for Adblock plus.

You can choose from 3 different monthly plans ranging from $25 to $250.

Final verdict

As you can see from this post, Scrapinghub is a pretty complex platform that has 4 intertwining tools. Each one of them has an important role during scraping process. But the biggest issue I have with it is the pricing concept.

Even though the platform shows a lot of promise as a whole, you need to pay for the tools individually which somewhat affects my overall opinion. It seems it would be much better if the company offered it as a complete suite instead of segmenting it into smaller tools.

Still, it’s undeniably good and it can be used by both professionals and amateurs.

What are your thoughts on Scrapinghub? When you signed up for it, did you go for the whole platform or for individual tools?

Share your experience in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe if you liked the content!

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