If you were an Amazon seller, would you want to know the listing price of a product of all competitors? Since you don’t have direct access to the Amazon database, you are out of luck and have to browse and click through every listing to construct a table of sellers and prices. A web scraping tool comes in handy. It automatically downloads your desired information such as product name, seller’s name, price, etc. However, web scraping that requires coding skills can be painful for professionals in IT, SEO, marketing, e-commerce, real estate, hospitality, etc. It seems beyond one’s job description if he/she needs to learn how to code to get some useful data from the web. For example, I have a friend who graduated in Mass Communication and works as a content marketer. She wanted to scrape some data from the web so she decided to learn Python herself. It took her two weeks to come up with a page of messy codes. Not only did she waste time learning Python, but she also lost time for doing her real work.
Even if you don’t code and can use a web scraper to download the desired data, it still requires some technical, non-coding configuration when using a traditional web scraping tool. What if there is a web scraping template, just like the Powerpoint templates (where you choose and start doing real work instead of starting from a blank page), that you can choose and start downloading data from your choice of website? May I introduce you to the Octoparse Web Scraping Templates?
Who are we?
Octoparse（https://www.octoparse.com/） is the ultimate tool for data extraction (web crawling, data crawling and data scraping). You can turn the whole internet into a structured format with Octoparse web scraping tool. In order to achieve automatic web scraping in a real sense, the Octoparse team has never slowed down its pace in making data more accessible and ready for everybody. It’s rooted in our belief that in the era of big data, anyone should be blessed with the capability to collect data so as to harness the power of big data. With a precise database at hand, you would be able to conduct data analysis, marketing strategy, sentiment analysis, ad campaign, lead generation and more.
What is a Web Scraping Template?
Web scraping template（https://helpcenter.octoparse.com/hc/en-us/articles/360028582331-Introducing-Template-Mode-a-scraping-solution-for-muggles） is a very simple yet powerful feature. The idea is to input the target website/ keywords in the parameter on the pre-formatted tasks, so you don’t have to configure any scraping rules or write code. For example, if you want to scrape product information about “pillow” on eBay, type “pillow” at the parameter and run the task. You will be able to get the product information including item number, pricing, shipping, delivery etc in a few seconds.
What makes the Template Mode so special?
If you have ever wondered about the level of technical proficiency required to build a web scraper? The answer is “None” with the newly launched Web Scraping Template. With traditional web scraping techniques, you have to learn Python in order to complete one task template. However, Python has a stiff learning curve. Think of writing Python as like editing photos using Adobe Photoshop. Compared with photography filter apps like Meitu, Adobe Photoshop is way more complicated with sets of parameters. Octoparse Web Scraping Templates are the solution for people who have a hard time laying a hand on web scraping. All you need to do is enter the URLs of the websites, and Octoparse will take care of you from there.
Who is this for?
Anyone! Yes, for anyone who wants to get data fast and easy. If we already have a template you need, that’s great and carry on! If not, let us know through the contact form.
What else is so special compared to other web scrapers (web crawlers)?
- Octoparse simulates human operation through a built-in browser. The robots mimic the actions of humans to browse, search and extract the data. Advanced setting including web scrolling, wait before execution etc makes the whole extraction process humanized and smoother.
- To prevent defensive websites with anti-scraping techniques, Octoparse provides a proxy server, IP rotation, user agents, CAPTCHA bypass, cookie clear etc to prevent the interruption of web scraping.
- You can enjoy a sip of coffee and leave the extraction to Octoparse by setting the extraction time and frequency. Or you can run the task on the cloud so it won’t occupy your local resource.
- Data cleaning at ease with Octoparse built-in RegEx Tool. XPath generator(https://helpcenter.octoparse.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021314091-Octoparse-XPath-Tool) is fantastic for locating elements precisely for people who don’t know how to program.