PHP Web Scraping vs Scraping Robot: Who’s The Winner? (2023)

PHP Web Scraping vs Scraping Robot: Who’s The Winner? (1)

I’ve always labeled myself a “words” person. Making art and writing stories always made more sense to me than deciphering numbers, letters and extensive data sets that looked like unbreakable code to me. When I saw a spreadsheet list of numbers, I didn’t always see their significance and value, I just saw complicated values that made no sense to me. But when I started taking statistics in high school, I learned to see the connection between my creative and analytical sides. I started learning to see that data in a completely different way and understand how important and valuable it could be in my personal life. When you learn how to collect data and present it in a clear, thoughtful way, you can use that data to help you make impactful decisions for your personal and professional life.

When I started learning more about the importance of this kind of data, I started wondering more about the processes people use to collect this valuable data. It turns out that there are many processes for data collection, but some of them are more complicated than others. Data collection can be such a valuable tool, but only if you know the right tools to use. Scraping Robot is one great tool that makes web scraping so much easier, but there are other ways to scrape the web that aren’t so efficient. One of these processes uses PHP coding. In this article, we’ll talk about the definition of PHP code and how someone could use it to scrape the web. However, when we compare the two processes together, I think you’ll see that web scrapers are the more simple and effective solution. With the right tools, you can get all the data you need from the web and use it to your advantage.

Table of Contents

  • 1. What is PHP Web Scraping?
  • 2. What are the Pros and Cons of PHP Web Scraping?
  • 3. What Tool Should You Use Instead of Web Scraping PHP?
  • 4. Why Does Scraping Robot Beat Web Scraping With PHP?

What is PHP Web Scraping?

PHP Web Scraping vs Scraping Robot: Who’s The Winner? (2)

Before we talk about PHP web scraping, there are some definitely some basic terms we need to understand. I find that it’s best to start with a definition of data scraping when explaining this topic. Data scraping is the process of extracting data from websites, but only data that is available to the public. This data can include pricing information on your favorite kitchen appliances, consumer reviews on restaurants in your neighborhood, travel information and so much more. There are many reasons why someone would want to scrape the web for a lot of valuable data, but we’ll talk more about those reasons later in this article.

If you’re fluent in computer coding languages, you can actually build your own scraper framework to extract data from websites. One of the most popular coding languages for scraping is PHP, which is the shorthand name for a PHP Hypertext Processor. (It used to stand for personal home page, but that name doesn’t effectively describe its purpose anymore.)

(Video) PHP Web Scraping & HTML Parsing using DOMDocument

PHP code is specifically used to build dynamic websites, or websites that can change and adapt to users based on information they provide to the website. For example: if you wanted to build a website that allowed your users to log in with a username and password, you would use PHP code to make that happen. You may additionally read this PHP tutorial for more info about PHP. HTML, another coding language, doesn’t allow you to make these types of interactive features on your website. However, you can use HTML and PHP to build a website, it just depends on what you want your website to do.

What are the Pros and Cons of PHP Web Scraping?

PHP Web Scraping vs Scraping Robot: Who’s The Winner? (3)

One of the main reasons why someone might want to scrape the web with a PHP scraper is simply because that’s the coding language that makes the most sense to them. If you know the ins and outs of a certain type of code, that’s probably going to be what you use. Someone might use PHP because the website you want to scrape hasn’t provided a specific API, or application programming interface that gives specific instructions on how can collect data from that website.

You can also build PHP code that allows you to scrape the web, but it’s pretty complicated and fragile code. Since PHP can only access data within a website’s HTML code, it’s very possible that your PHP code could break as soon as the web developer changes the site’s HTML. If the website owner or developer makes changes to the HTML code of a website you’re trying to scrape, your PHP web scraper could break, and you could lose access to that very valuable data. This makes it almost impossible to get real-time data, which is one of the main reasons why people use web scrapers.

There are some major cons to using PHP, some of which have already been mentioned in this article. If your PHP scraper at the mercy of the website you’re trying to scrape, then you could lose access to valuable data. This means that you probably shouldn’t use PHP scraping to access data for your business initiatives, since your company relies on that data to grow and succeed.

PHP Web Scraping vs Scraping Robot: Who’s The Winner? (4)
(Video) PHP CURL Tutorial - Web Scraping & Login To Website Made Easy

If you want to scrape the web quickly and efficiently, you should steer clear of using PHP or other coding languages to scrape the web for you. Instead, you can use automated web scrapers like Scraping Robot, which are built to perform scrapes with just a few clicks. Scraping Robot allows you to input the websites you want to scrape and receive output data from those websites. Most scraping software systems allow you to experience this process of scraping through easy-to-use modules, so you can scrape specific websites for your needs. Not only are automated web scrapers like Scraping Robot going to lead to more personal and professional success, but they are also more reliable, efficient and ethical than self-made web scrapers.

Why Does Scraping Robot Beat Web Scraping With PHP?

It’s no secret that we think Scraping Robot is the best web scraping tool out there, but hear us out. We take scraping very seriously, and we put people (not data) first. This means you can expect our modules to give you the best results, because we would want the best results! Plus, we offer custom solutions for your scraping projects, so if you don’t think one of our modules will work for you, we’re happy to find other options to help you succeed. Here are some other benefits of using Scraping Robot:

The most affordable solution

Some people might think that building their own scraper is the cheapest option, but here’s what we say to them: how do 5,000 free scrapes per month sound? Frankly, it’s the very best deal you’re going to find. If you’re going to use more than 5,000 scrapes per month, great! Each scrape after that is only $0.18. We can offer these unbeatable prices because we use high-quality rotating proxies from Rayobyte, our partner company that offers unused proxies to use for scraping purposes. Since we don’t have to buy our proxies from third-party vendors, we can give you scrapes for free!

Custom modules

We offer plenty of modules to help you get the most out of your data. Do you want to extract data about top-rated travel locations with our Google Places Scraper? Or maybe you want to find the top 100 URLs from Google search results pages with our traditional Google scraper. If you want to find pricing info that can give you an edge in your market, we suggest our Amazon scraper. Or maybe you want to find out more about your followers on social media so you can engage with them more effectively. If you want to scrape the HTML of any website on the internet, our HTML scraper is for you. But these are just a few use cases. The possibilities are endless for scraping the web. No matter what idea you have, we have a scraping solution for you!

Intuitive API

An API is a set of instructions that tells websites how to interact with each other, especially when you want to scrape their data. With our intuitive API parameters, you can use our instructions to efficiently collect real time data with few simple coding requests. These functions allow your software to run scraping projects on Scraping Robot so you can get real-time data. This kind of data is highly beneficial for all sorts of reasons, including letting you know exactly when a price changes or letting you extract data from multiple websites more quickly and efficiently. For more information on how to use this competitive feature, check out our API documentation.

(Video) Build a Web Scraper (super simple!)

Final Thoughts

If you’re reading this article, you probably know already that data is important. Maybe you learned that early on in life, or maybe you took a little bit longer to figure out why it was so important (like me). No matter how you came to appreciate data, you now have even more reasons to use data scraping in your own life. Whether you are a corporate professional looking to gain a competitive edge, or you are an individual simply looking for the best prices on your favorite products, web scraping is the perfect tool for you. No matter how you see data or what purpose you want to use it for, you can rely on reliable scraping tools like Scraping Robot to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. We hope you’ll let Scraping Robot join your data journey today!

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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PHP Web Scraping vs Scraping Robot: Who’s The Winner? (6)

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FAQs

Is PHP good for web scraping? ›

Web scraping lets you collect data from web pages across the internet. It's also called web crawling or web data extraction. PHP is a widely used back-end scripting language for creating dynamic websites and web applications. And you can implement a web scraper using plain PHP code.

Is it web scraping or web scraping? ›

Web scraping is the process of collecting structured web data in an automated fashion. It's also called web data extraction. Some of the main use cases of web scraping include price monitoring, price intelligence, news monitoring, lead generation, and market research among many others.

Why is API better than web scraping? ›

Web scraping focuses on retrieving specific information from multiple websites. Then, the application and tools convert the voluminous data into a structured format for the users. Meanwhile, through an API (Application Programming Interface), one can gain access to the data of an application or operating system.

What is the best way to scrape data from website? ›

How do we do web scraping?
  1. Inspect the website HTML that you want to crawl.
  2. Access URL of the website using code and download all the HTML contents on the page.
  3. Format the downloaded content into a readable format.
  4. Extract out useful information and save it into a structured format.
15 Jul 2020

Do hackers use PHP? ›

PHP, C, C+, SQL, Python and Ruby are the basic programming languages that ethical hackers use.

Why do hackers use PHP? ›

Understanding PHP will help hackers understand web hacking techniques better. Server-Side Scripting: PHP is used in server-side scripting. Using PHP, you can write a custom application that alters a web server and makes the target server susceptible to attacks.

Do hackers use web scraping? ›

Content scraping (also known as "screen scraping" or just "scraping") is a familiar, often useful process for collecting information from the web. However, in recent years, the technique has become a favored tool of hackers and fraudsters.

Is web scraping a crime? ›

From all the above discussion, it can be concluded that Web Scraping is actually not illegal on its own but one should be ethical while doing it. If done in a good way, Web Scraping can help us to make the best use of the web, the biggest example of which is Google Search Engine.

Which tool is best for web scraping? ›

12 Best Web Scraping Tools Here's a list of the best web scraping tools:
  • ParseHub.
  • Diffbot.
  • Octoparse.
  • ScrapingBee.
  • Grepsr.
  • Scraper API.
  • Scrapy.
  • Import.io.

Which language is best for scraping? ›

Python is regarded as the most commonly used programming language for web scraping. Incidentally, it is also the top programming language for 2021 according to IEEE Spectrum.

Why web scraping is difficult? ›

Some of the data will be on the website, some will be in the mobile app, and some will be in PDF format. The scraper works in such a way that it collects all the information from one service. In such a case, it is difficult to collect and group the information, some of it may be missing altogether.

Is data scraping profitable? ›

Web Scraping can unlock a lot of value by providing you access to web data. Does that mean that there is money to be made from that value? The simple answer is… of course! Offering web scraping services is a legitimate way to make some extra cash (or some serious cash if you work hard enough).

How long does it take to scrape data from a website? ›

Typically, a serial web scraper will make requests in a loop, one after the other, with each request taking 2-3 seconds to complete.

How much does web scraping software cost? ›

Web Scraper

The costs range from $50 to $300 per month. If you want a free and simple online research tool, Scraper is a good choice.

Do data Engineers web scrape? ›

Job Description

As a Web Scraping focused Data Engineer, you will be responsible for extracting and ingesting data from websites using web crawling tools. In this role you will own the creation process of these tools, services, and workflows to improve crawl/ scrape analysis, reports and data management.

Is PHP better than Python? ›

Python is better than PHP in long term project. PHP has low learning curve, it is easy to get started with PHP. Compare to PHP Python has lower number of Frameworks. Popular ones are DJango, Flask.

Who Hacked NASA with HTML? ›

Gary McKinnon
NationalityBritish
Other namesSolo
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Known forComputer hacking
2 more rows

Is PHP good for cyber security? ›

PHP is used in most web domains and helps cybersecurity professionals defend against malicious attackers. Older versions of PHP can lead to many security vulnerabilities. It's important to keep your version patched (alongside all of your code), otherwise PHP websites are prime targets for hackers.

Is PHP more secure than Python? ›

Python is more secure than PHP. It has many security features that you can leverage to build complex applications with high-end functionality and clear goals.

What software do hackers use? ›

Some of the most famous hacking tools in the market are Nmap (Network Mapper), Nessus, Nikto, Kismet, NetStumbler, Acunetix, Netsparker, and Intruder, Nmap, Metasploit, Aircrack-Ng, etc.

Does Facebook really use PHP? ›

Facebook still uses PHP, but it has built a compiler for it so it can be turned into native code on its web servers, thus boosting performance. Facebook uses Linux, but has optimized it for its own purposes (especially in terms of network throughput).

What skills do hackers use? ›

Top Ethical Hacking Skills
  • Networking Skills.
  • Computer Skills.
  • Linux Skills.
  • Programming Skills.
  • SQL Skills.
  • Hardware Knowledge.
  • Knowledge in Reverse Engineering.
  • Cryptography.
5 days ago

Is C++ good for web scraping? ›

As you saw in this tutorial, C++, which is normally used for system programming, also works well for web scraping because of its ability to parse HTTP. This added functionality can help you expand your knowledge of C++.

What do most hackers use to hack? ›

Besides social engineering and malvertising, common hacking techniques include:
  • Botnets.
  • Browser hijacks.
  • Denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Ransomware.
  • Rootkits.
  • Trojans.
  • Viruses.
  • Worms.

Can you get a job with web scraping? ›

How to Get a Web Scraping Job. The qualifications you need to work in web scraping include a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a relevant field and experience in data engineering, either through an internship or apprenticeship position.

Can I web scrape Amazon? ›

Web scraping will allow you to select the specific data you'd want from the Amazon website into a spreadsheet or JSON file. You could even make this an automated process that runs on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to continuously update your data.

Is scraping legal in USA? ›

Web scraping is completely legal if you scrape data publicly available on the internet. But some kinds of data are protected by international regulations, so be careful scraping personal data, intellectual property, or confidential data.

Is VPN good for scraping? ›

Also, VPNs are not designed to carry out large web scraping operations, so they are more commonly used by individuals who want privacy while browsing the internet or accessing geo-restricted content. Manually harvesting data from a site is very useful if you don't want anyone to find out who is doing the scraping.

Does Google allow scraping? ›

There are two ways you can scrape Google search pages: either by URL or by search term. Scraping by URL will get you data from Google search results page. You'll get Google data from a copypasted Google URL, any domain. You can add as many URLs as you want.

Is web scraping a skill? ›

Web scraping is a skill that can be mastered by anyone. Web scraping skills are in demand and the best web scrapers have a high salary because of this. Web scraping allows you to extract data from websites, process it and store it for future use.

Which coding language is most powerful? ›

Java is one of the most powerful programming languages that is currently used in more than 3 billion devices. Java is currently one of the most trending technology. It is used in desktop applications, mobile applications, web development, Artificial intelligence, cloud applications, and many more.

Which backend language is fastest? ›

Python. This is the most used backend language in 2022. It is considered a fairly simple and fastest backend language to learn and use.

How long does it take to master web scraping? ›

Depending on your Python knowledge, and how much time you're allocating to learn this skill, it could take anywhere from two days to two years.

Does web scraping need coding? ›

You can have Self-built Web Scrapers but that requires advanced knowledge of programming. And if you want more features in your Web Scraper, then you need even more knowledge.

Is Java or Python better for web scraping? ›

Short answer: Python!

If you're scraping simple websites with a simple HTTP request. Python is your best bet. Libraries such as requests or HTTPX makes it very easy to scrape websites that don't require JavaScript to work correctly. Python offers a lot of simple-to-use HTTP clients.

How much can a scraper make? ›

Salary Ranges for Scrapers

The salaries of Scrapers in the US range from $17,400 to $34,750 , with a median salary of $21,310 .

How can I make the most money scraping? ›

What are the best things to scrap for money? Copper is the most valuable scrap, selling for nearly $4 per pound as of January 2021. However, you can also make money recycling aluminum, cast iron, car batteries, plumbing brass, stainless steel, large appliances, lead, transformers, and more.

Is scraping data easy? ›

Data scraping has a vast number of applications – it's useful in just about any case where data needs to be moved from one place to another. The basics of data scraping are relatively easy to master. Let's go through how to set up a simple data scraping action using Excel.

How many hours does it take to build a website from scratch? ›

How Much Time Is Required to Design and Build a Website? The time it takes to develop a website ranges from 150 to 500 hours. The website building process will go through various stages if you are getting it built from a technical partner.

Does Netflix allow scraping? ›

Netflix users can scrape information on an endless number of movies, but this cannot be performed manually.

Is R or Python better for web scraping? ›

The user mainly uses R for statistical analysis, business analytics, web scraping, etc. whereas python is used to give a wider approach to data science terminologies such as data mining, artificial intelligence, web development, machine learning, etc.

Is Python web scraping free? ›

Scrapy. Scrapy is a free, open-source framework in python that is used to build scrapers to extract data from websites in a simple yet extensible way. It provides all the tools needed to crawl websites, extract structured data, process, and store the harvested data in the user's preferred format.

Is web scraping a good project? ›

There's a lot of demand for useful web scraping tools in the SEO industry. If you are interested in using your tech skills in digital marketing, this is an excellent project. It will make you familiar with the applications of data science in online marketing as well.

Can Python scrape data? ›

Instead of looking at the job site every day, you can use Python to help automate your job search's repetitive parts. Automated web scraping can be a solution to speed up the data collection process. You write your code once, and it will get the information you want many times and from many pages.

Which language is best for web scraping? ›

Python is regarded as the most commonly used programming language for web scraping. Incidentally, it is also the top programming language for 2021 according to IEEE Spectrum.

Is PHP good for front end? ›

PHP is a programming language for back end development only. JavaScript, in turn, was initially designed as a front end development language. But with the introduction of Node.

Is scraping profitable? ›

Web Scraping can unlock a lot of value by providing you access to web data. Does that mean that there is money to be made from that value? The simple answer is… of course! Offering web scraping services is a legitimate way to make some extra cash (or some serious cash if you work hard enough).

Which platform is best for PHP? ›

Top 10 PHP Development Tools For Efficient PHP Developers in 2022
  • PHPStorm.
  • Zend Studio.
  • NuSphere PhpED.
  • Netbeans.
  • Cloud 9.
  • Aptana Studio.
  • CodeLobster.
  • Sublime Text.

Is Facebook still PHP? ›

Thrift. Facebook uses several different languages for its different services. PHP is used for the front-end, Erlang is used for Chat, Java and C++ are also used in several places (and perhaps other languages as well).

Is PHP still in demand? ›

PHP is known to be the most frequently used programming language. According to W3Techs, 78.8% of all websites are using PHP for their server-side.

Is PHP in demand in future? ›

The future of PHP might not be as bright as other web development languages such as Python or JavaScript/jQuery, but it will still have a place in web development environments over the next five years. PHP is a technology that is always in demand by businesses.

Do companies use web scraping? ›

In short, web scraping is used by many companies to collect contact information about potential customers or clients. This is incredibly common in the business-to-business space, where potential customers will post their business information publicly online.

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