Are you looking for the best alternative to the import.io web scraping tool for your data extraction exercise? Then read the article below to discover some f the best alternatives in the market right now.
Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?
Well, that is not always the case and in the web scraper market, the numerous web scrapers have brought nothing but confusion. There are many web scraping solutions out there that picking the right one can seem to be luck. And when you make that ‘right’ choice, you will discover it is not the “Swiss army knife“ for web scraping because of either you can’t find the features most important to you or you do not just like it.
Such is the case with users of the import.io web scraping tool – they picked it up and discover either before they start using it or along with the usage that they can’t continue.
If you are one of the users of the import.io web scraper, then you need not worry. It is completely normal to want to make use of an alternative and there are even many alternatives you can use to continue your web data extraction exercise without being forced to use an application you do not want to. Some of these alternatives are even better at getting the job done at cheaper pricing.
Others are easier while you will just like some when you start using them. We would be providing you with 10 alternatives to this web scraper to choose from. Before doing that, let take a look at an overview of import.io and why you need an alternative first.
Overview of import.io
The import.io is a web data extraction tool developed to help marketers, businesses, and researchers collect data from the web at scale. It is one of the top web scraping solutions used by big businesses and companies around the world. The tool can scrape at scale, making it possible to collect data from billions of pages. It is reliable and accurate, thereby making sure the integrity of your data is not compromised.
One thing you need to know about this tool is that at its core, it is a visual web scraper that provides users with a point and clicks interface for identifying data of interest on a web page. This tool has support for pagination, URL generation, and advanced extraction features including XPATH, CSS selectors, and Regular Expression (RegEx), among others. With import.io, you can collect terabytes of data without getting blocked.
Why Use an import.io Alternative?
The above are just some of the features that come with import.io – there are many more but why then will you need an alternative? Well, just like it has its strengths, it also has its weaknesses. In this section, we would be taking a look at some of the reasons users of import.io seek an alternative web scraper.
Pricing is Considered Expensive and Not transparent
For most of the web scrapers out there, if you visit their pricing page, you will see the price listing for each of their packages on the page. Quite transparent – everybody gets the same price. In the case of import.io, the case is different – all you will see is a button to schedule a consultation with a sales team member. In the end, the prices are still quite expensive when compared to the prices of other web scrapers that can be likened to them.
Term of Usage Not Customer Friendly
Import would change their term of usage without letting you know. Some users complained the customer support wasn’t available to close their subscription as at the time they wanted it and that has forced them to remain with the service for another year. Generally, when you set out to use his tool and you are a small marketer, just know that you are dealing with an enterprise-level service that only wants to make money for itself and their terms might not be in your favor.
Not Easy to Use
If you are looking for an easy-to-use software for extracting data from the web then you will need to look elsewhere as the import.io application is not the tool for you. Yes, if you’re a new user, you will need to spend some time with the tool to get used to it. However, once you get used to it, using it becomes easy.
Top Data Extraction Tools Similar to import.io
There is no doubt that the import.io service works and a good number of businesses use it for web data integration. However, if its downsides turn you off, then below are some of the top alternatives to the tool that you can use for web data extraction.
- Pricing: Starts at $500 for 151K page loads
- Free Trials: Available
- Data Output Format: Excel
- Supported Platforms: Web-based
Introduced into the market recently by Bright Data, the Data Collector service is arguably one of the easiest web scraping tools to use for web data extraction. It is one of the easier-to-use alternatives to import.io when you considered the steps required to scrape data.
Data Collector is available as a web-based tool and has a set of web scrapers known as data collectors for the popular websites on the Internet. Sites supported include social media platforms, e-commerce stores, travel booking websites, and job listing websites, among others. The pricing for Data Collector is based on pay as you use model. However, you will have to add funds to your account before you can use the tool.
- Pricing: Starts at $30 monthly for 1h daily and 5 phantom slots
- Free Trials: free limited plan available
- Data Output Format: CSV, JSON
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
If you are looking for a platform that supports the scraping of numerous data points on a good number of websites like Data Collector, then PhantomBuster is the tool for you. PhantomBuster is a cloud-based web automation and data extraction tool that can be seen as one of the good alternatives to import.io.
Even though it is a cloud-based scraper that provides you with phantoms (web scrapers), you are required to install its browser extension which among other things, connects with your account and fetches cookies. The number of sites supported by PhantomBuster is quite impressive, ranging from social media websites to developers’ websites such as GitHub and even Slack.
- Pricing: Starts at $49 per month for 100 Actor compute units
- Free Trials: Starter plan comes with 10 Actor compute units
- Data Output Format: JSON
- Supported OS: cloud-based – accessed via API
The above web scrapers are designed to be used without writing a single line of code which makes them the perfect tool for those without skills. However, if you are a coder looking to use an import.io tool that you can integrate perfectly into your code, then Apify is the platform for you. Apify is an automation platform that provides bots known as actors for many tasks online.
Web scraping is one of the major use cases of the platform and you can find actors for scraping most of the popular websites on the Internet. One thing you will come to like about Apify is that it provides an SDK that you can use to develop web scrapers for unsupported websites and publish it for others to use – and get paid for that.
- Pricing: Starts at $75 per month
- Free Trials: 14 days of free trial with limitations
- Data Output Format: CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, SQLServer
- Supported Platform: Cloud, Desktop
Octoparse is one of the good alternatives to import.io especially if you’re a small business or researcher. This is because it is a visual web scraper just like import.io and does the work quite well. It is cheaper and easier to use than import.io and the pricing is quite transparent. In fact, Octoparse provides new users with 14 days of free trial.
With this tool, you can convert data on hundreds of thousands of pages into a single spreadsheet in a short period of time. Octoparse is the tool for you if you do not have a coding skill and you are looking for a versatile web scraper you can use on any website. You will need to configure proxies to use with this tool.
- Pricing: Starts at $299 monthly
- Free Trials: 2-weeks free plan available
- Data Output Format: many formats supported
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
The Diffbot is one of the best alternatives to import.io and can be regarded as one of the best web scrapers out there. One thing you need to know about Diffbot that is different from the other web data extraction tools described in this article is that Diffbot does not wait for you to use in other to start scraping. It maintains a huge database of mined data from the Internet and has it stored in its Knowledge Graph.
Currently, the tool has data of over 13 million products pre-crawled with 20+ data fields including images that you can extract on demand. It also has data from 243 million companies and non-profits with over 50 data fields that you can refresh and extract. There are also about 1.6B news articles, blog posts, and press releases in its Knowledge Graph. With this tool, you can enjoy 2 weeks free trial as a new user.
- Pricing: Custom quote
- Free Trials: 30-days free limited plan available
- Data Output Format: CSV, JSON
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
Mozenda is for the big companies and as such, can be likened to import.io in terms of the customers they both cater for. The Mozenda solution is one of the best alternatives to import.io as a good never of Fortune 500 companies make use of it. With this tool, you can convert millions of web pages into data for your marketing, growth, and decision making, among other use of data available on the web. Mozenda would help you scrape data at any scale you want from the website(s) of your choice.
Mozenda just like import.io provides a point and click interface for identifying data of interest on a page. It can organize and structure the data into data formats that would make it easier for integration with other tools to further continue data processing.
- Pricing: Starts at $49 monthly for 100K API credits
- Free Trials: 1K free API calls
- Data Output Format: JSON
- Supported Platforms: Web API
Another tool worthy of mention as an alternative to import.io is the ScrapingBee web scraping tool that is developed for coders. If you are a coder that your web scrape keeps getting blocked after putting in all of the measures you know to avoid getting blocked, then it is time to use a scraper API and ScrapingBee is one of the best scraper API in the market. ScrapingBee handles proxies and headless browsers for you so you only think of parsing data out of the page.
Interestingly, they have got an extraction library for popular programming languages that you can use to make the transversing and parsing of the data easy. ScrapingBee only charges you for successful requests and the unsuccessful ones are not paid for.
Similar scraping API service,
- Pricing: Freemium
- Free Trials: Freemium
- Data Output Format: CSV, XLSX, and JSON
- Supported Platform: Browser extension (Chrome and Firefox)
The WebScraper.io is one of the top services for web data integration on the internet. The service has two data extraction offering for users which includes the cloud scraper and a Chrome browser extension for scraping too. The cloud scraper comes with an advanced tool and is a paid tool. The browser extension is a free tool and quite powerful and easy to use.
- Pricing: Starts at $49.99 per month
- Free Trials: Starter plan is free – comes with limitations
- Data Output Format: TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, MySQL, Google Sheets, etc.
- Supported Platforms: Desktop, Cloud
Developed by an ex-Google crawler team member, ScrapeStorm is also one of the best alternatives to import.io when it comes to extracting data from web pages on the Internet. ScrapeStorm provides an easy-to-use point-and-click interface for scraping. The tool is an AI-powered web data extractor that automatically identifies data of interest on a page, reducing manual operation.
It can scrape across multiple pages with the same data points and do that stealthily without getting discovered and blocked. However, for it to remain truly undetectable, you will need to add proxies and we recommend Bright Data or Smartproxy as the provider of choice for Scrapestorm proxies. Scrapestorm is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Pricing: Starts at a $99 one-time purchase
- Free Trials: 10 days free
- Data Output Format: CSV, Excel, JSON, SQLite, etc.
- Supported Platforms: Desktop
Most web scrapers in the market are priced either on a per-use basis or monthly basis. If you are looking for an alternative to import.io that you will pay ones and use forever, then the Helium Scraper is the tool for you to use. Helium Scraper is also a visual scraping software that provides you with a point and click interface for identifying data of interest on a page.
It is not developed for a particular website, it is a generic web scraper and as such, can be used on all kinds of websites. Some of the features you will find interesting for the web scraper includes fast extraction, the ability to store big data using SQLite, database generation, text manipulation, similar element detection, list detection, and task scheduling, among others.
Looking at the list above, you can see that you do not have to keep using import.io if you are not OK with it. Some of the alternatives described above are cheaper and easier to use. Others are also enterprise-level software and can scrape at the scale import.io would.
It is important you know that just as import.io is not the tool for all, none of the web scrapers described above all fits such description. All web scrapers have what they are best used for and the audience they target.