Today, almost every business makes serious decisions based on analytical data. That is the reason why data extraction is one of the major
challenges business people encounter. To look for the required data manually takes a lot of time and seems annoying. But there is a method to automate this work, and it is known as web scraping or web crawling. So, you may ask, if there is any chance to get it for free. Well, there are free options you can choose from.
Let’s move forward to learn more about web scraping methods, their actual cost and what free web scraping options can be found in the market.
What Web Scraping Methods are Available
There are multiple ways to propose a web scraping service, and each method has a different cost structure. Let’s review the most popular practices.
To outsource data scraping projects is pretty standard. If your requirements are simple and require minor customization, you can hire a specialist from Upwork and pay per hour. But suppose your project needs a comprehensive web scraping solution and a team of data analysts and web scraping developers. In that case, you should go with companies providing web crawling and data parsing services.
Building a web scraper
There are various methods to build your scraper, from using Python to developing your scraper using Excel. But before going deeper, you need to understand what programming language to use, who will build your scraper, coming bugs, end, etc. All these questions require a clear picture. So you might want to choose a faster and simpler solution.
Using a ready web scraper
As a rule, using an already-ready web scraper is the best solution. Most web scrapers are developed and updated over several years and can scrape different websites. As for their cost, it depends on the web scraper type and your needs. There are, of course, free options, but keep in mind that usually, free of charge doesn’t mean a complete package.
The Real Cost of Web Scrapers
Before you decide to get a free web crawling tool, please consider the following factors that prove that “No such a thing as free, Temple-toon”․
Developers working time to build web scrapers.
Server expenses for running scrapers.
Database expenses to store collected data.
Developers’ time to maintain and fix web scrapers.
If you sum up all these costs, you see such investments expect gains. So you might be tricked by free options that will end up costing you more than you’ve planned. Anyway, let’s go ahead to learn what free web scraping tools you can find in the market.
Top 3 Free Web Scraping Tools
Here is the list of the top 3 free web scraping tools to satisfy scraping needs with a fair amount of data.
It is a powerful and user-friendly tool that empowers you to build scrapers without writing code. You get the required data quickly and easily. ParseHub offers a free package allowing you to scrape over 100 pages. It supports up to 5 public projects with minimal customer support for 14 days.
It is similar to ParseHub and has the same target audience. Its free plan enables unlimited crawled pages and 2 joined local runs to build up to 10 crawlers. You will also have community support.
It is one of the best-recommended platforms that provide a fully developed web scraper. Generally, the cost offered by this platform is quite suitable for growing businesses. The free version provides about 1000 requests every month.
Top 3 Free Web Scraping Extensions
Besides the above web scrapers, you can choose one of the most popular web scraping extensions:
It offers a Chrome extension and a Cloud extension. Using a Chrome extension, you can create a sitemap on navigating a website scraping data. The cloud extension enables you to extract a huge volume of data and run multiple tasks simultaneously.
It is a handy screen web scraper that efficiently extracts data from tables and uploads Google Docs results. Select some data, right-click on the selected part and choose “Scrape Similar”. Just take note, that this tool is for users who are familiar with XPath.
Free Web Scraping Tools FAQ
What web scraping tools are free?
Several web scraping tools offer free trials. E.g., ScrapingBot, ParseHub, OctoParse, Webscraper IO, etc. have freemium subscriptions. However, the only way to do web scraping completely free is to learn Python or other programming languages that have extended web scraping libraries.
How to scrape emails from search engines for free?
Generally, email scrapers extract emails from particular websites, but from search engines as a whole, because the data presented on different websites can have a different format and requires additional cleanup. However, the basic algorithm to search for emails is as follows: open Google searches and specify the query in combination with the “@gmail.com”, e.g., lawyer “@gmail.com”. Google will create the SERP following your request and show you all pages that are related to lawyers and contain “@gmail.com” within the content.
How to scrape data from LinkedIn for free?
LinkedIn uses proficient security measures and does not show sensitive information to visitors that are not registered. It doesn’t have an open-source API with comprehensive documentation, therefore, you cannot scrape LinkedIn profiles with free tools. Use premium plans or order LinkedIn scraping services from professional DataOx developers.
Final Thoughts on Free Web Scraping Tools
People are usually attracted to cheaper products or free-of-charge options. And if you come across free web scraping tools, please think for a while, how you can have them for free when they have paid a lot of budget for developing, maintaining, and running these things? The web scraping tool may be free; however, you need to spend a lot of time learning the tool and even more configuring it. Still, time is money.
At DataOx, we can help you with any web scraping project to save you time and budget. Schedule a free consultation with our expert to find a team of web scraping experts ready to assist you with your web scraping project at flexible prices.