Web scraping used to be only a thing that experienced developers knew how to do. (“No coding skills? No web scraping for you!”) But that all changed a few years ago, when several no-code web scraping tools came onto the market allowing anyone to pull information off web pages. It’s now as easy as pointing to the information you want, and watching one of these tools do the work for you.
Truly, we live in the future. 🦾
Get ready to discover the incredible world of no-code and low code web scrapers with the top 10 picks for non-programmers and developers.
But first—what is a no-code web scraper?
A no-code web scraper is a non-human tool that knows how to pull data from websites into a spreadsheet or web form, with zero coding skills required from your end. These little apps are revolutionizing the way small and medium-sized businesses collect information from websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb, and more.
People use no-code web scrapers to collect and organize information about their leads, potential partners, target companies, and more. It’s a great way to pull massive amounts of information from multiple sources into one place where you can easily sort through and put it into action.
“Sounds great! But how does it work with no code?”
Don't worry, it's far from rocket science. Most of these tools work by letting you input a URL, or navigating through a point-and-click interface.
- The URL method is simple enough—you give the platform a URL (and perhaps a few other inputs) and in return, you instantly get the scraped data. But while this is easy to set up, it also means you aren’t able to control what information you’re actually scraping.
- The point-and-click method lets you "teach" the scraper what you need by interacting with the website with clicks, much like you would in any regular browser. You can set additional rules like scheduling, batch URL scraping, country-specific web scraping, etc. Once the “teaching” phase is over, and data is extracted, you receive it usually in JSON, CSV, or Excel format.
With these two methods in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best no-code web scrapers available today—and how easy they are for you to use.
The 10 best no-code web scrapers in 2023
Easy-to-use score: 9.8/10
Magical is a free Chrome extension that lets you easily scrape individual pieces of information off a web page. All you need to do is identify which pieces of information you want to pull and choose where you want them to go (either a web form, or a spreadsheet). It’s dead simple to use—check it out:
Easy-to-use score: 9.5/10
Octoparse is like your handy multi-tool for web scraping. It doesn't matter what your application is, it can turn that jumbled mess of data into something you can actually use. Imagine it like a digital sieve, filtering out the rubbish and giving you all the gold nuggets from a variety of different websites. This thing is great for users from any industry, making sense out of unstructured data and saving it in any format you want—Excel, plain text, HTML, you name it.
Let's run down the pros and cons for you:
- Web scraping (duh, it's in the name)
- Exporting the scraped data in chunks that you define
- Organizing complex scraped data in a way that even your Nan would understand
- Different extraction modes for extra flexibility
- Let's you channel your inner Pac-Man and gobble up all that data at once.
- Works on any setup you've got (MacOs, Linux, etc.)
- The free version is like a diet meal, you're restricted to a small number of crawlers and simultaneous runs, and can only export 10,000 records at once.
Now, should you give Octoparse a whirl? If you're trying to scrape product data from websites that seem to have an aversion to XML or API, and want to import them into your e-commerce platform without much hassle, then absolutely, yes. This tool has a knack for pulling data from various types of sites. The catch? The free version is like a free appetizer at a restaurant—it's not enough to fill you up. So, you might face a few hurdles if you play it thrifty. But upgrade to premium, and those roadblocks vanish.
Easy-to-use score: 9.3/10
Having evolved from an open-source web extraction tool, Import.io now offers premium scraping solutions featuring a user-friendly point-and-click interface and design. It helps you collect large chunks of data from the web without breaking a sweat. Really, this is a no-brainer to use, especially when creating a web agent—it's way easier than writing a script from scratch.
- Got a mammoth list of URLs to scrape data from? Import.io is on it like white on rice—effective and precise.
- It's as easy as pie to use with its "no coding required" promise.
- Get Import.io to crawl and scrape pages based on your specific instructions. It's like your personal errand runner!
- Magnify your search! Import.io will scrape a specific section of a website.
- Now, we got into this thinking it's a no-coding zone, but turns out for specific tasks, you just might have to flex your coding muscles.
- The software went through a metamorphosis to "cloud-only". We're still holding out hope for a desktop application comeback.
- When we stack it up against other open-source tearaways, the scraping features could use a little oomph.
- Remember when Import.io was free-of-charge? We do, and we think a chat with the pricing department is long overdue.
Easy-to-use score: 8.8/10
Aimed at non-developers, Parsehub's desktop app houses a plethora of features that are accessible free of charge. For an enriched feature set, businesses might have to subscribe to a plan.
- Ease of use? Check. Plenty of online training? Double-check. And did we mention it's free for up to 5 projects? Triple-check!
- This mighty tool can pull information from the vast sea of apps on the AppStore and neatly present it to you in an Excel sheet. Score!
- Alright, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Parsehub can be a bit of a diva at times, throwing bugs around and giving your computer the cold shoulder.
- Despite the occasional drama, it's still a solid performer. You can forget about digging into code with this tool—it's got your back.
5. Web Scraper
Easy-to-use score: 8.5/10
This free-to-use browser extension is a handy tool for localized web scraping use. For extensive scraping needs, they offer premium subscriptions with a rich feature set. Plus, it also lets you schedule data-crawling at your ideal time; it’s like having control over time itself! Now, who wouldn't want that?
- Super user-friendly, it crawls data like a champ and the price doesn't demand you sacrifice your daily avocado toast.
- It comes with its own cloud-home for all your scraped data.
- It wears many hats and can analyze every nook and cranny of a product you're watching like a hawk—Image? Feedback? Quality and quantity? Tick, tick, tick.
- The UI during scraping could use a little TLC. We're not asking it to walk the ramp, but let's spruce up that UI/UX, shall we?
- Need to catch a data to export? You'll be playing hide-and-seek since it's missing that function.
- We're putting on our Oliver Twist hat here asking for more—functions to help users manage and analyze data would be just great.
Easy-to-use score: 7.2/10
Best known for their custom-built solutions and detailed retail datasets, ScrapeHero offers economical self-service options apart from their premium solutions.
- Setup is dead simple. User-friendly interface and clear results from every scrape.
- It saves you boatloads of time.
- Self-service options pale in comparison to their full-service options.
Easy-to-use score: 7.0/10
Catering to a wide user base, WebAutomation offers over 500 website templates, and it also allows you to build new extractors for customized solutions.
- Product is easy to use and works as advertised.
- Excellent customer support—super fast at getting back on problems or issues.
- The crawler and scraper don't always work as intended, and can run into technical issues.
- Some features seem like bloat or unnecessary for most use cases.
Easy-to-use score: 6.8/10
Renowned for its multitudinous features, Apify offers a cloud-based platform for processing and storing scraped data. Its “Apify Store” is a treasure trove of ready-to-use web scraping and automation templates, proving invaluable for businesses seeking no-code web scraping solutions. While the platform hosts a slew of quality templates, if targets are specialized, minor code tweaks may be required to fit the square peg in a square hole.
- Makes it easy to scrape well-structured information from the internet.
- Provides access to data in a variety of forms via an API.
- Proxy rotation is already built in, making it easier to avoid usage limits.
- Not great if you're managing a large number of people and tasks.
- A bit of a learning curve for non-coders, with some customization options that might be too technical
9. Bright Data
Easy-to-use score: 6.5/10
Bright Data Collector offers a powerful no-code solution for web scraping tasks and data acquisition. This one is a bit trickier to use in that you’ll need to choose from their pre-made coding templates to access platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Google Maps, and more. The platform can automatically adapt to website structural changes, which is great—but beginners may find it challenging to navigate.
- Full feature set for web scraping, part of a much larger Bright Data ecosystem of products.
- Seems to be designed mainly for enterprise customers
- Difficult to use for web scrapers who are beginners
Easy-to-use score: 6.2/10
A large business solution packed with three versatile web scraping bots, termed Extractor, Crawler, and Pipes. Despite the learning curve, the perks are numerous, including taking screenshots for fail analysis and data visualization. The platform also allows you to customize the scraping agent to include unique credentials and obtain information that would be impossible to get through other products.
- An abundance of options and customizations available for all your web scraping needs
- Unique features not available with any other web scraper.
- The most difficult to use no-code web scraper on this list.
- The use of "credits" can be confusing—and expensive.
Frequently asked questions
1. Why would I use a no-code scraper instead of learning code myself?
Well, my curious comrade, you could absolutely learn to code. In fact, it's a great skill to have. But let's break some bad news: learning code isn't exactly a walk in the park. It takes time and patience - two things most of us are running short of.
No-code scrapers are like your friendly neighborhood superheroes. They swoop in, do the heavy lifting, and let you reap the benefits. They're easy to use and real time-savers, so you can focus on analyzing that sweet, sweet data instead of wrestling with complex codes.
2. Will a no-code scraper limit how much data I can obtain?
Not on our watch. A no-code scraper like Magical doesn't pose any restrictions on the amount of data you can extract. It's less about quantity and more about quality, after all. Other data scrapers may have restrictions, so be careful to read the fine print before you start digging.
3. Is using a no-code scraper legal?
Here's where things gets a little murky. The legality of scraping data depends on the site you're scraping and how you're planning to use the data. It's always best to check the site's 'Terms of Service' before you start. Our advice? Stay upright, scrape responsibly, and never use scraped data for shady purposes.
4. Can I scrape data from any website with a no-code scraper?
Almost! Web scraping tools like Magical can pull information from websites that allow it. However, some sites have systems in place to block scrapers. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but you might get stuck if you're trying to scrape data from a site with tighter security than Scrooge McDuck's purse strings.
5. Do I need particular technical skills to use a no-code scraper?
Think you need a tech degree from MIT to get started? Hell no. No-code means, well, no code. All you need is a browser, a pinch of common sense, and gallons of curiosity. Go ahead, add 'data scraping wizard' to your LinkedIn profile. We won't tell.
6. How reliable is data obtained by no-code scrapers?
Pretty darn reliable! The magic of digital tools like Magical is that they're precise. They ensure that the data you get is accurate and up-to-date. And without having to copy and paste, there’s no danger of you accidentally pasting the wrong info into the wrong cell on your spreadsheet. But remember—even a magical tool is only as good as the website it's pulling from. So choose sites that are reliable and consistently updated.
Start scraping websites with Magical for free
Let's wrap it up. Web data extraction can be a tricky mountain to climb, but with some of the tools listed above, the ascent becomes almost leisurely. All you need to do is pick one that aligns best with your project needs.