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Web Scraping With Selenium by Python in 2024: How Will You Use It?

author
Pramesh Jain
~ 10 min read
Web Scraping With Selenium by Python in 2024: How Will You Use It?

Summary: Web scrape is a card of Aces that helps to collect data in a systematic way. Collect, extract, and export your data at ease with web scraping. Before the new innovations in the form of web scrape tools, it was done on manual basis. But now, with the growth of sites, there is a need for precise data scrape. And for that the online world has built tech advances like Selenium. 

In the dynamic world of web pages, we need a powerful tool like Selenium. Selenium by Python helps confine static content at ease. Now, let’s dive in the blog to know the apt use of Selenium for web scraping.

Introduction: Web Scraping

What is web scraping? The word ‘web scrape’ explains it all! The data is easily extracted from the sites with the help of software. To scrape content this tech has many unique tools. It is highly used throughout the internet to collect- market research, price compare, content check, and more.

One of the very basic example to understand web scrape is: you copying and pasting your favourite song’s lyrics is one of the forms to web scrape. 

Enhance your research & harvest your data with the best web scrape tactic. It is the future to obtain database in an accurate way. Start to gather the best data set to be ahead of your competition and ace your genre of business online.

What Can We Actually Scrape From the Web?

program automating

ANYTHING! Search engines to govt info. can be scraped. It consists of the use of unique tools or programming languages to collect data. 

  • eCommerce sites can study reviews, product details, market trends, etc.
  • The content creators can collect articles, blogs, etc.
  • One can get a hold of the best market strategy and go ahead of his competition with such web scraping service.
  • Realtors can avail all the details like property price, owner, rooms, etc. It becomes easy for him to present such data to a client.
  • Traders and finance analysts can gather data for stocks, investments, historical trends, etc.

These are just a few examples of data that one can look for across the internet. 

Now, after a gist of web scrape, let’s have a look into some of its popular web scraping tools.

Popular Web Scraping Tools

With the growth of the many organic sources, it is very crucial to get your hands on apt data. There are many varied techs, styles, etc., that has made data fetch a task. Each site is unique and has the durability to change content instantly. So, one will need expertise or an expert who knows these tools the best. Get your data with these ethical and advanced tech.

#1 Beautiful Soup: 

The Python library allows a user to scrape HTML and XML pages. With the help of a parser, it becomes easy to search, modify, and navigate data. And thus, saves a lot of time of an expert. Here are some steps to use to web scrape with the use of Beautiful Soup:-

  • One can install it with pip or pip3 command.
  • Inspect the site and study its structure. Go through the part of the web page you want to scrape.
  • Get HTML content from the page.
  • Import library to parse and process the data

#2 Scrapy:

The Python web crawler and web scrape framework have some great packages for experts to manage code. It is best used for large scale web scrape projects. There are toolkits that help extract, process, and store data in a preferred format. Now, how will you create a scrapy project?

  • Install scrapy
  • Create scrapy project
  • Create a new Spider for web scrap target

#3 Selenium:

The open source library uses WebDriver Protocol. It controls browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The scrape tools that Selenium has helps an expert to collect data from a JS site. Thus, it is popular than the above two web scraping services in the online world. Here are some steps to start with Selenium:-

  • Install Python 3
  • Install Selenium Python binding package
  • You can then use Selenium WebDriver to control web browsers
  • Locate a web element and run the test as per desire 

Now, after the gist of these best web scraping tools, let’s dive into the most renowned and used tool Selenium.

Selenium Power House of Web Scraping!

Do you want to get your hands on the untouched data? The GEM! The super power!! to get your hands on it is Selenium Python library. Imagine yourself as a content explorer across the internet. Now, it is a crucial task of your job to keep yourself upgraded with the change in the content. 

Obviously, you cannot do it on a manual level. That’s when web scrap tools like Selenium come to you. Before we move further, let’s have a look at its main features.

  • It allows to extract and automate content on dynamic sites especially JS ones.
  • Chrome, Firefox, etc., it works on any browser you name.
  • Type, click, fillup, etc., go with any real user functionality with Selenium. It is easy to interact with a site with advancements.
  • It supports multiple languages. (Python, Java, C#, etc.)

In the recent times, past 5 years, on a global level, Selenium tend to hype up. Experts are fond of using it for their web scraping softwares. 

interest over time

As of April 26, 2024, Selenium upgraded itself with a 4.20 version.

Let’s dive into the Selenium web scrape world where every magic is possible to obtain a great database.

Explore Selenium by Python Web Scrape Wonder

#1 Interact with dynamic pages

Selenium interacts with dynamic page elements. It looks the same as a user who uses a site with his intuitions. One can click, fill, scroll, etc., through the content that he wants to extract on a page.

#2 Execute JS

JS drives all the modern sites with dynamic data. Requests no longer work on such sites. Thus, one has to opt for Selenium. It can scrape data even from a page’s table and gives one real time updates.

#3 AJAX requests

AJAX nad XML requests are great to fetch data after the initial page load. Selenium waits for these requests to be completed and ensures to get a proper picture of the page.

#4 Headless browsing

There are times when you want to scrape data without a browser window display. Selenium helps to do it with the headless browsing. One can run scripts in silence which makes it a best choice for a server side scrape.

#5 Simulates browsers

 You can choose your weapon and scrape like a pro. Plus, you can set custom user agents, cookies, and other browser specific settings.

#6 Capture screen shots

It captures a whole page screen shot that helps to debug or document at ease.

#5 Authentic login

 Selenium can handle authentic logins with the help of form fill ups and session management.

#6 SPAs

SPAs are made of tech stacks like React and Angular. Thus, all these one page advances have dynamic content. Selenium navigates in these SPAs with ease.

#7 Avoids detection

Selenium lets you mimic human behaviour and reduces the risk of detection.

Discuss your web scrape requirements with our experts

Now, how will you start with Selenium? Here is a small gist of it.

Guide to Start With Selenium

We have taken Chrome browser as an example in this guide to start Selenium.

  • Install the Library

Before Selenium, you need to have Python in your PC. 

After that run the below command:-

Install the Library

Thus, it will also install ‘webdriver-manager’ that helps in a simple use of Selenium.

  • Quickstart

Create a Test.py in any folder and run the below script to check if there is any error.

Quickstart

It will open a new Chrome window in which you can test and go through your desired sites. Also you can collect the HTML content of the web page.

  • Scrape data

After you get HTML content of the web page, you need to extract it. To extract the content, you need to use Beautiful Soup, another Python Library. Install with this code:-

Scrape data

You can find your source on any page and pass it via Beautiful Soup. It will parse the data with use of find and find_all. Thus, will extract specific elements from a page. 

Some extra features

Some extra features

Maximize window

Maximize window

Start your journey to extract content via Selenium at ease.

Let’s Use Selenium for Your Web Scraping!

Selenium is the best way to extract data from JS sites. It is apt to automate almost any thing on the web page. If you have to act upon a mundane task like form fillups or detail check behind a login without API. You can automate it with Selenium!

With the use of Selenium, the tech advances is able to extract specific data from a web page. Selenium web scraping has indeed a long way to go. If you have any query about Selenium Python library, selenium testing, etc., consult our experts. You can also hire developers as per your needs. We have all kinds of experts and teams to help you with your web scrape.Get a free quote for your idea, too!

FAQs

What is Selenium web scrape?

Selenium allows to create scripts that interact with a web page, similar to a browser. It has a headless browser capability that is best used to render JS and helps to avoid any site block.

How can web scraping with Selenium be sped up?

There are many varied ways to speed up Selenium. Here are some of the ways:-

  • Block resources that are of no use
  • Choose the selectors that perform well
  • Run parallel requests
  • Reboot your servers

Which one is better, Selenium or Beautiful Soup?

Beautiful Soup extracts data from a large number of static pages. At the same time, Selenium performs complex tasks that interact with the web pages. Also, it has the best browser automation capability that surpasses every other web scrap tool. Thus, Selenium is better than Beautiful Soup.

How do you use Selenium to scrape a site’s page?

One needs to create a WebDriver instance and use it to navigate to a specific target. Then, one can use the library to interact with the page and extract the details one wants from the site. Once you know how to use Selenium, it will be very easy for you.

Web Scraping With SeleniumWeb Scraping With Selenium by Python

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