Scraping Websites with Infinite Scrolling

May 11, 2023

Infinite scrolling has become a popular design pattern on many websites, especially social media platforms and content discovery applications. While it provides a seamless user experience, it can pose challenges when trying to scrape data from these sites. In this article, we'll explore techniques for scraping websites with infinite scrolling using tools like ParseHub and Puppeteer.

Understanding Infinite Scrolling

Infinite scrolling is a web design technique that loads content continuously as the user scrolls down the page. It eliminates the need for pagination and keeps users engaged by providing a never-ending stream of content. Infinite scrolling can be implemented in various ways, such as using JavaScript plugins, delivering data through API endpoints, or real-time data delivery through WebSockets.

Scraping with ParseHub

ParseHub is a powerful web scraping tool that can handle websites with infinite scrolling. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to scrape an infinite scrolling website using ParseHub:

  1. Install and open ParseHub. Create a new project and enter the URL of the page you want to scrape.

  2. Use the select command to choose the elements you want to extract, such as blog titles, descriptions, authors, and images.

  3. To handle infinite scrolling, click the PLUS (+) sign next to the page selection and select the main element that contains the scrollable content.

  4. Add the scroll function by clicking the PLUS (+) sign next to the main selection, choosing "Advanced" and then "Scroll". Specify the number of times to scroll and align it to the bottom.

  5. Run the scrape by clicking the "Get Data" button. ParseHub will scroll the page and extract the selected data.

  6. Once the scrape is completed, you can download the data as a CSV or JSON file.

Here's an example code snippet for extracting blog titles using ParseHub:

1. Select the first blog title and rename the selection to "blog_title".

2. Click on the second blog title to select all blog titles on the page.

3. Use the Relative Select command to associate the blog title with its description, author, and other relevant data.

Scraping with Puppeteer

Puppeteer is a Node.js library that provides a high-level API to control headless Chrome or Chromium. It allows you to simulate user interactions, including scrolling, making it suitable for scraping infinite scrolling websites. Here's how you can use Puppeteer to scrape an infinite scrolling website:

  1. Install Puppeteer using npm: npm install puppeteer

  2. Create a new JavaScript file and require the necessary modules: javascript

    const fs = require('fs');

    const puppeteer = require('puppeteer');

  3. Define a function to extract the desired items from the page: javascript

    function extractItems() {

    const extractedElements = document.querySelectorAll('#container >');

    const items = [];

    for (let element of extractedElements) {



    return items;


  4. Create an async function to control the scrolling and extraction process: javascript

    async function scrapeItems(page, extractItems, itemCount, scrollDelay = 800) {

    let items = [];

    try {

    let previousHeight;

    while (items.length < itemCount) {

    items = await page.evaluate(extractItems);

    previousHeight = await page.evaluate('document.body.scrollHeight');

    await page.evaluate('window.scrollTo(0, document.body.scrollHeight)');

    await page.waitForFunction(`document.body.scrollHeight > ${previousHeight}`);

    await page.waitForTimeout(scrollDelay);


    } catch (e) { }

    return items;


  5. Launch the browser, navigate to the target URL, and start scraping: javascript

    (async () => {

    const browser = await puppeteer.launch({ headless: false });

    const page = await browser.newPage();

    await page.goto('');

    const items = await scrapeItems(page, extractItems, 10);

    fs.writeFileSync('./items.txt', items.join('\n') + '\n');

    await browser.close();


This code launches Chromium, navigates to the specified URL, scrolls the page until 10 items are extracted, and saves the extracted data to a file named items.txt.

Alternative Scraping Methods

While Puppeteer is a powerful tool for scraping infinite scrolling websites, there are alternative methods depending on your specific requirements. One such alternative is using the Cheerio library, which is a lightweight implementation of jQuery for server-side parsing of HTML. Cheerio works well when the data you need can be extracted directly from the page's HTML without the need for rendering or interaction.


Scraping websites with infinite scrolling can be challenging, but tools like ParseHub and Puppeteer make it easier to handle such scenarios. ParseHub provides a user-friendly interface for selecting elements and handling scrolling, while Puppeteer offers programmatic control over a headless browser to simulate user interactions.

When scraping websites, it's important to be mindful of the website's terms of service and robots.txt file to ensure you are not violating any guidelines. Additionally, be prepared to handle any anti-scraping measures implemented by the website.

By understanding the techniques and tools available for scraping infinite scrolling websites, you can efficiently extract data from these sites and use it for various purposes, such as data analysis, research, or building applications.

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