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The Scrapestack API Makes It Easy to Scrape Websites for Data

Christian Cawley 15-10-2019

Finding it time-consuming to visit all your favorite websites and read everything that matters? One solution is a web scraper, a software tool that gathers information you need from other sites.

We’re going to look at the scrapestack API, a web scraping service that you can subscribe to. Once set up, you can use scrapestack to grab whatever data you want from other sites.

Why You Need a Scraper API

Finding information online can be difficult, even with the power of Google. Specific types of information, published around the world, can differ slightly. This is often data that you find valuable.

There are several web scraping services available, but what if you wanted to manage your own? The solution is scrapestack, an API service available with tiered pricing and functionality to circumvent CAPTCHAs, geo-blocking, and other restrictions.

All it needs is the target website URL, and an API (available for free, with limitations). With the power of the scrapestack server, you’re able to scrape all the data you’re looking for.

What Does Scrapestack Do?

Using predetermined parameters, a scraper will visit a specified URL and take a copy of a certain type of data. This could be news on a very specific topic, such as a subset of current affairs or politics, or entertainment news from the NYCC. However, it doesn’t need to be news: it could be weather data, sports results, stocks and share prices, or currency values.

Various software tools exist for scraping that you can run locally from a PC, or wholly on a server. You might even employ a free website to scrape content. But with scrapestack, you have the power of a state-of-the-art server behind you.

The API provides security and reliability, while the scalable approach to the development/testing/release process means that developers can take as long as they need to perfect their scraping process.

Scrapestack: Affordable Packages for All Project Types

Scrapestack API Pricing

While the initial scrapestack signup is free, several packages are available from this scalable service. The Free package provides 10,000 monthly API requests, but support is limited. Standard proxies are in use with this option.

With Basic, you pay $19.99 a month and get 250,000 requests. By paying you get unlimited support, HTTPS encryption, concurrent requests (enabling multiple API use), JavaScript rendering support, and 100+ geolocations. Standard proxies are also available with this plan.

Scrapestack’s best value option is Professional. For $79.99 a month you get 1,000,000 requests, all the same features as Basic, plus Premium Proxies.

The Business package is $149.99, which includes 3,000,000 requests, premium support, and everything Professional has. Finally, there’s an Enterprise option for business-scale projects. Custom solutions, dedicated support, and high-volume API requests are available within.

To get started, of course, you’ll need the Free package. Simply sign up with your email address, grab the API, and begin testing the power of scrapestack.

Get Started With Scrapestack API

Want an idea of what’s behind scrapestack? The server manages over 1 billion monthly API calls, with 99.9 percent uptime. It boasts over 100 global server locations, capable of scraping more than 35 million IP addresses.

In addition, scrapestack claims “2000+ happy customers” and reckons you can get started in under five minutes. But how accurate is this?

Well, signup is quick and easy, with access given almost straightaway. In the account dashboard, you’ll find your API key, which you need to use the API. To protect your account, it’s vital that you don’t share the API key, so keep it safe.

All you need after this is a target URL to scrape data from. For example, you might like to grab data from a popular website such as MakeUseOf. To do that, use a basic URL string like the one below:

This will commence the scraping process. In your browser window, you’ll something like this returned: scraped with Scrapestack API

This is basically the page’s contents without JavaScript and CSS styling. Of course, you probably wouldn’t use the API with your browser. Instead, when used as part of a web application or script run from a live system, you can collect the results as plain text and analyze them later.

Use Optional API Parameters for Enhanced Scraping

There’s more to scrapestack API than the basic request, however. You can utilize several optional parameters, including:

  • render_js: Use 1 to enable rendering of JavaScript on the target web page (default is 0, off).
  • keep_headers: Use 1 to enable; it sends active HTTP headers to be returned in the API response.
  • proxy_location: Specify a two-letter country code (such as US) to use as a proxy for the API request.
  • premium_proxy: Use 1 to enable premium proxies; note one proxy API request counts as 25.

Usage of these parameters is simple: add an ampersand (&) at the end of to the basic URL, such as &render_js=1.

On top of all this, the API features some useful, plain English error codes. These include “103 invalid_api_function”, which means the API function does not exist. This commonly occurs following a typo in one of the above parameters. Similarly, “105 function_access_restricted” indicates use of a function that isn’t supported by your subscription.

If a code is not clear, you can check the scrapestack documentation page.

Use the Scrapestack API With Your Favorite Coding Language

The scripts above are available in several different programming languages. The scrapestack API features support for PHP, Python, NodeJS, JQuery, Go, and Ruby. These are arguably the most popular web and app development languages around.

While the basics of using the scrapestack API remain the same, there will of course be differences between languages. For example, here’s a code sample in PHP:

Use PHP to access the Scrapestack API

This Python script, meanwhile, holds the same purpose:

Accessing the Scrapestack API with Python

Obviously, you’ll want use the best code for the project. Suffice it to say that scrapestack API is up to the task, whatever the coding platform.

It’s Easier Than Ever to Scrape Websites With Scrapestack

Information that you need to collect quickly is easier to scrape with scrapestack. Its flexible API gives you the options you need for scraping and output. The error codes are descriptive, too, helping you to overcome issues easily.

With a range of packages and an initial free signup to get you started with development, scrapestack API could prove itself as the most powerful scraper you use. The API is compatible with PHP, Python, NodeJS, JQuery, Go, and Ruby, so it’s ideal for use across a range of development platforms.

Looking for other APIs? The powerful weatherstack weather data API Integrate Weather Data on Your Homepage With Weatherstack API The weatherstack API provides an easy way to add weather data to your website or app, and it's free to start. Read More can help you build your own weather apps or include weather data on your website, while the Serpstack API can pull search data across multiple search engines.

Related topics: API, Web Scraping, Webmaster Tools.

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