Using The Fetch API To Make HTTP Requests In Node.js

Scraping Robot
March 23, 2023

In today’s interconnected world, web applications are more prevalent than ever, and they rely heavily on Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) requests to retrieve and send data. Understanding how to make HTTP requests in Node.js applications is essential for any developer looking to build dynamic, responsive, and robust web applications.

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Thankfully, Node.js provides a built-in module for making HTTP requests, and the Fetch API makes sending and receiving data even easier. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore how to use the Fetch API to master HTTP requests in Node.js, so you can confidently build powerful web applications that can interact with any external API or service.

Why Are HTTP Requests Important?

learn about http request in node js

HTTP requests are used to send and receive data from external sources. By making HTTP requests, developers can access data from various sites, parse it, and store it in a database. This allows developers to build dynamic web scrapers that can automatically gather data for businesses.

Web scraping can be revolutionary for businesses of all sizes, giving them access to valuable information they would otherwise have to collect manually. This can save businesses a lot of time and money.

Web scraping can also help businesses stay competitive in their industry. By having access to real-time data, they can better understand their customers’ needs and preferences and the trends in their industry. This helps them stay ahead of the competition by being able to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Getting Started With HTTP and Fetch API

nodejs https get

To kick things off, let’s take a look at some key terms.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol

HTTP is an application layer protocol that forms the basis of communications between clients and servers on the web. It dictates how to format and transmit messages, what actions should be taken in response to commands, and how to handle errors.


Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that is open source. It is used to develop server-side applications and is designed to build highly scalable network applications. Node.js allows developers to build efficient, real-time web applications with ease.

Fetch API

The Fetch API is an interface that allows you to make HTTP requests from web browsers. It is easy to use and understand, making it an ideal tool for beginners just starting out with web development. With the Fetch API, developers can quickly and easily access data from remote sources, creating dynamic web applications that can be updated in real time.

The Fetch API provides a modern way of fetching resources across the network and is similar to the XMLHttpRequest object. Fetch returns a Promise that resolves to a Response object, making it easier to handle asynchronous requests. Additionally, the Fetch Standard can fetch a resource from numerous APIs.

With the Fetch API, developers can make HTTP requests such as GET and POST in Node.js quickly and easily. This has opened up a world of possibilities for businesses, allowing them to create more interactive and engaging websites that can be tailored to their specific needs.

Using Node.js with the Fetch API allows businesses to create faster and more reliable applications and reap the rewards of increased customer engagement and satisfaction.

Setting Up Your Fetch API Environment

setting api fetches

Setting up your Fetch API environment is easy. First, you need to make sure you have Node.js installed on your machine.

Once that’s done, you need to install the node-fetch package. Open a terminal window and type:

npm install node-fetch –save

This will install node-fetch and its dependency packages. You can then include it in your code using:

const fetch = require(‘node-fetch’);

Next, set up Fetch API in a Node.js environment, and then you can use the global fetch() method to make GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE requests.

Making a GET request to an external server

Making a GET request to an external server using the Fetch API is an easy and efficient way to retrieve data from a website. If you want to make a GET request with Fetch API, you can call the fetch() method with the URL of the resource you want to get as an argument:

fetch (‘’).

This will return a Promise that resolves to a Response object containing the requested data. Examples of different types of data that can be retrieved from external servers include HTML documents, images, JSON objects, and audio files.

Similarly, for POST, PUT, and DELETE requests, you can call the fetch() method with the appropriate HTTP verb and URL of the resource as arguments:

fetch(‘’, {method: ‘POST’})

fetch(‘’, {method: ‘PUT’})

fetch(‘’, {method: ‘DELETE’})

The Fetch API makes it simple to access these resources and allows developers to take advantage of asynchronous requests.

Promises and async/await

Promises and async/await are important concepts when working with the Fetch API. Promises help simplify asynchronous operations and keep the code clean. When performing an asynchronous operation, you can use a Promise to wait until the operation is complete before continuing with the rest of your code.

Without Promises, code can quickly become difficult to read and understand. Additionally, Promises make it easier to debug errors since all errors will be handled in one place instead of scattered throughout the codebase.

Async/await syntax allows us to write asynchronous code that reads like synchronous code. This makes the code more readable, easier to debug, and easier to maintain. With async/await, you can also avoid “callback hell,” where a function must be called within another function to get the desired result. Async/await simplifies this process by making one operation wait for another to complete before executing the code.

For example, we can make an HTTP request using Node.js’s http.get method and use async/await syntax to wait for the response before continuing with our program:

const http = require(‘http’);

async function getData() {

  const response = await http.get(‘’);

  // do something with response data 


This makes it easier to work with asynchronous functions and manage complex flows of data without having to nest multiple callbacks or use chaining methods such as then().

Handling Responses From HTTP Requests

handling response from http request

Error handling is a combination of coding and methodology that helps developers anticipate and prepare for potential errors in their code. Debugging involves pinpointing the position of the error, the reasons causing it, and fixing it.

Responses can be one of many different types when using the Fetch API. For example, a successful response will have a status code of 200 and include the requested data. If an error occurs during the request, a status code of 400 or higher will be returned along with an error message. Appropriately handling these responses is crucial to ensure your application functions correctly.

When making HTTP requests using Fetch API, common issues include network errors, such as HTTP status codes like 404 Not Found or 500 Internal Server Error. To handle these responses, you need to use methods such as response.ok and response.json().

The response.ok method checks if the response was successful and returns true or false depending on the result. If it returns true, you can proceed with parsing the data using response.json(). This method parses the data into a JavaScript object that can be used within your application.

Receiving a 403 Forbidden response indicates that you don’t have permission to access the requested resource and should take appropriate action accordingly. If you receive a 404 Not Found response, there is no resource at that URL.

Developers can take advantage of tools like the Chrome DevTools Network tab to inspect the request and response headers, payloads, timing information, etc. They should use console.log() statements to log data at different points in their code to help them identify where an error occurs.

Capitalize on Web Scraping Without the Headache

scraping without headache

Web scraping can be expensive, challenging, and unreliable if done manually. Luckily, even new developers can scrape the web with the Fetch API and simplify the process of making HTTP requests in Node.js. This makes it easier for businesses to handle their own web scraping needs without breaking the bank.

To simplify things even further, a reliable web scraping service like Scraping Robot provides an automated solution that makes it easy for businesses to extract data from any website with just a few clicks. With its powerful features and intuitive user interface, Scraping Robot is the perfect tool for any business looking for web scraping technology.

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