When gathering information from websites to use for analytics, you may encounter dynamic websites. Unlike static websites, which come with a fixed number of pages with specific layouts, dynamic websites display different types of content every time users view them. The display changes depending on various factors, such as location, time of day, viewer demographics, updating information, and language settings.
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Since dynamic websites use complex content load mechanisms to provide unique user experiences, they are often tricky to data-scrape. Read on to learn how and why you should scrape dynamic web pages. You’ll also learn how to scrape a web page for data with a free scraping tool, Scraping Robot.
What Are Dynamic Web Pages?
Dynamic websites display unique content every time visitors contact the site through a combination of server-side and client-side scripting.
Server-side scripting is code that the server executes before sending the content to the viewer’s browser. It impacts the webpage when someone loads or visits it through shopping carts, login pages, and submission forms.
Here are some common dynamic website elements:
Many eCommerce sites use custom recommendations to give users related product recommendations based on their previous visits and searches. For example, a laptop eCommerce store can use custom recommendations to suggest laptops or laptop appliances to users based on their previous visits.
This can help the store:
- Sell more of its products.
- Raise awareness about its products.
Dynamic animation and visual displays
Dynamic elements let you insert animations and dynamic visuals to spice up your content. These engaging images and animations can play an essential role in attracting and retaining customers. By pairing powerful imagery with compelling copy, you can attract visitors’ attention instantly and encourage them to continue looking through your site.
Format changing depending on your screen size
Dynamic website development allows the site to fit on every screen without compromising its layout and appeal. It can reformat text and typography, rearrange buttons, and resize images to suit customers’ screens. Without this handy functionality, you would have to spend more time designing and reformatting your site for different devices.
Integration of social media
Dynamic websites may also incorporate social media feeds into their web pages. This can help showcase a variety of content from your other social media platforms. Site users will be able to see how active you are on other social media platforms even if you don’t update your site very often. You’ll also be giving search engines like Google more content to crawl through, which can boost your search engine results page (SERP) results.
Why Scrape Web Pages?
Like static websites, dynamic web pages contain a lot of data that can help you understand your industry better. Many dynamic websites contain more data than most static ones since the former typically has more images and social media integrations.
Here’s a list of some of the most important data you can get from dynamic web pages:
- What your competitors are doing in your industry: Collect information about what your competitors are doing so you can stay ahead of the curve. Extract product data — such as prices, reviews, and descriptions — to identify products in high demand and trends in your industry.
- Reviews of your competitors’ products: Many dynamic web pages contain in-depth user reviews about their products. By collecting and analyzing these reviews, you can gain a deeper understanding of what users are seeking.
It’s possible to gather this information manually by copying and pasting images, descriptions, and reviews into an Excel sheet. However, this would take a lot of time and energy that you could spend on tasks that require human ingenuity, such as marketing campaigns.
That’s why you should use web scraping to scrape dynamic web pages. Also known as web data extraction and web harvesting, web scraping is the process of aggregating large amounts of data from websites and saving it to a file or database. It’s done through automated applications called bots or web scrapers, which automatically populate databases and files with scraped data. All you have to do is instruct your scraper to collect the information you want.
How To Scrape Dynamic Web Pages
Fortunately, there’s a way around this:
1. Download BeautifulSoup, the Selenium Python Library, and a headless browser.
BeautifulSoup is one of the most popular Python libraries for HTML parsing. You can use it to scrape dynamic content by using the Selenium Python library and a headless browser. A headless browser has no user interface that renders output as a text object rather than a screen. For this example, we will use the Chrome headless browser.
2. Import necessary parts of Selenium and set options.
After you’ve downloaded everything, you need to import the necessary parts of Selenium and set the right options.
Type the following to get started:
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.chrome.options import Options
Then, use opts = Options(), add a “–headless” argument, and type in the location of your browser. After that, set the location of your web driver and instantiate the web driver. You can then load the HTML page by typing:
For the sake of this example, let’s say that the source, “https://your.url,” is a blank page that has the text, “I love Scraping Robot.”
3. Create a BeautifulSoup object to start scraping.
Next, you need to create a BeautifulSoup object and load your URL into it. After that, you’ll be able to scrape data from your sources.
Start by inputting your URL as a variable. Then, create a BeautifulSoup object from it. Then, load and print the text and title of the <div> of the dynamic webpage.
You will get this:
Dynamic web page
I love Scraping Robot
The result is what is rendered in a browser window.
How To Scrape Dynamic Web Pages with Scraping Robot
As you can see, scraping dynamic web pages can be challenging, particularly if you don’t know how to code and you’re running on limited time. That’s why you should consider using Scraping Robot. Unlike many other web scrapers, Scraping Robot lets you scrape directly from dynamic websites without downloading other programs and apps.
It provides all of the following and more:
- Parses metadata: Our scrapers use parsing logic to return the data you want. Say goodbye to building separate parsers to handle metadata!
- No proxies required: Just paste in your URLs and let us handle the rest. We cycle through various IP pools so you can scrape nonstop without encountering IP bans and other barriers.
- Stats: We provide sleek graphics showing how many scraps you[‘ve done in the past day, week, and month. We also provide records of your most recently used projects and modules so you can access previous results whenever you want.
What’s more, it costs you nothing to get started with Scraping Robot. By registering an account with us, you’ll instantly get 5,000 free scrapes per month. You’ll also get to use all of Scraping Robot’s features, including:
- Frequent module and improvement updates: We want you to have the best experience with scraping, so we proactively add new modules every month for you to use. You can also request new modules and features, so feel free to reach out to us if you have an idea for a new module.
- 24/7/365 customer support: Our experienced customer support team is available at your fingertips.
- 7-day storage: You can store your scrapes for seven days. Export or download your scrapes for further analysis.
If you need more than 5,000 scrapes per month, consider becoming a Business or Enterprise-tier member. Our Business tier offers up to 500,000 scrapes per month at only $0.0018 per scrape. Our Enterprise tier offers more than 500,000 scrapes per month at rates as low as $0.00045 per scrape.
Interested? Get started with a free Scraping Robot account today.
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