Overview of Web Scraping Tools and Libraries

Jul 23, 2023

Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites programmatically. It allows developers to gather information from online sources and use it for various purposes, such as data analysis, machine learning, or building applications. In this article, we will explore the most popular web scraping tools and libraries, focusing on Python and JavaScript ecosystems.

Key Points

  • Web scraping can be done in almost any programming language, but Python and JavaScript (TypeScript) are considered the best overall choices due to their extensive library support and active communities.

  • HTTP clients, such as HTTPX for Python, are the foundation of web scraping, allowing developers to make requests to websites and retrieve HTML content.

  • Browser automation tools, like Playwright, Selenium, and Puppeteer, enable scraping of dynamic web pages that require JavaScript to display data.

  • HTML parsers, including BeautifulSoup for Python, help extract desired data from scraped HTML using techniques like CSS selectors and XPath.

  • JSON parsers, such as JMESPath and JSONPath, are increasingly important as more websites use JSON data to render pages.

  • Utility libraries for URL formatting, regular expressions, and data parsing can significantly simplify web scraping tasks.

  • Scraping frameworks, like Scrapy for Python, provide a structured approach to building scalable web scrapers, though they may be less suitable for modern, complex websites.

Python Libraries


HTTPX is a modern, fast, and asynchronous HTTP client for Python. It is an excellent choice for web scraping due to its performance and ease of use.

import httpx

response = httpx.get("https://example.com")

html_content = response.text


BeautifulSoup is a popular HTML parsing library for Python. It provides a simple interface for navigating and searching the parsed HTML tree structure using its native methods or CSS selectors.

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

soup = BeautifulSoup(html_content, "html.parser")

titles = soup.find_all("h2", class_="article-title")


Scrapy is a powerful web scraping framework for Python. It offers a full suite of tools for handling complex scraping tasks and can be easily integrated with other data processing libraries.

import scrapy

class MySpider(scrapy.Spider):

name = "my_spider"

start_urls = ["https://example.com"]

def parse(self, response):

for article in response.css("div.article"):

yield {

"title": article.css("h2.article-title::text").get(),

"url": article.css("a::attr(href)").get(),


JavaScript Libraries


Playwright is a modern browser automation library for JavaScript and TypeScript. It supports Chrome and Firefox browsers and is well-suited for scraping dynamic web pages.

const { chromium } = require("playwright");

(async () => {

const browser = await chromium.launch();

const page = await browser.newPage();

await page.goto("https://example.com");

const articles = await page.$$("div.article");

for (const article of articles) {

const title = await article.$eval("h2.article-title", el => el.textContent);

const url = await article.$eval("a", el => el.href);

console.log({ title, url });


await browser.close();



Cheerio is a lightweight HTML parser for JavaScript that provides a jQuery-like syntax for traversing and manipulating the parsed HTML.

const cheerio = require("cheerio");

const $ = cheerio.load(html_content);

const titles = $("h2.article-title").map((i, el) => $(el).text()).get();


Web scraping is a valuable skill for developers, enabling them to extract data from websites for various applications. Python and JavaScript offer a wide range of libraries and tools for web scraping, from basic HTTP clients to advanced scraping frameworks.

When choosing the right tools for your project, consider factors such as the complexity of the target website, the need for browser automation, and the scale of your scraping tasks. By leveraging the power of libraries like HTTPX, BeautifulSoup, Scrapy, Playwright, and Cheerio, you can build efficient and effective web scrapers to gather the data you need.

Let's get scraping 🚀

Ready to start?

Get scraping now with a free account and $25 in free credits when you sign up.