How To Scrape Data From A Website With Python & BeautifulSoup? – The Semalt Answer
A web scraping tool extracts data and presents it in a unique format to help web searchers to come up with results they need. It has a number of applications in the financial market, but can also be used in other situations. For example, managers use it to compare prices of different products.
Web Scraping with Python
Python is an effective programming language with great syntax and readable code. It suits even beginners because of a great variety of options it has. Besides, Python uses a unique library called Beautiful Soup. Websites are written using HTML, which makes a webpage a structured document. However, users need to remember that various websites don't always provide their contents in comfortable formats. As a result, web scraping appears to be an effective and useful option. In fact, it gives users a chance to do various things that they used to do with Microsoft Word.
LXML & Request
LXML is a huge library that can be used to parse HTML and XML documents quickly and simply. In fact, the LXML library gives the opportunity to web searchers to make tree structures that can be understood very easily using XPath. More specifically, XPath contains all the useful information. For instance, if users want just to extract the titles of certain sites, they need first to figure out in which HTML element it resides.
Beginners may find it difficult to write codes. In programming languages, users have to write even the most basic functions. For more advanced tasks, web searchers have to make their own data structures. However, Python can be a really big help for them, because when using it, they don't have to define any data structure, because this platform offers unique tools for its users to perform their tasks.
To scrape a whole web page, they need to download it by using Python requests library. As a result, the requests library will download HTML content from certain pages. Web searchers just need to remember that there are different kinds of requests.
Python Scraping Rules
Before scraping websites, users need to read their Terms and Conditions pages to avoid any legal problems in future. For example, it's not a good idea to request data too aggressively. They need to make sure that their program acts like a human being. One request for one webpage per second is a great option.
When visiting different sites, web searchers have to keep an eye on their layouts because they change from time to time. So, they need to re-visit the same site and rewrite their codes if necessary.
Finding and taking data out of the internet can be a challenging task and Python can make this process as simple as it could be.