ParseHub is one of the best web scrapers out there. However, just like web scrapers, it does have its cons and if the cons are that important to you, then you can go ahead and use its alternatives. In the article below, we would be revealing some of the best Parsehub alternatives in the market.
Web scraping makes it easier for businesses, government, and other individual researchers to collect data of interest on web pages in an automated manner using bots known as web scrapers. There are many web scrapers in the market each having its own pros and cons depending on how you want to look at them.
One thing you need to know is that unlike in the past that you require a coding skill to scrape data from the Internet, that is no longer required as there are already-made web scrapers that have been developed for that. You only need coding if you need to integrate a web scraping logic in a script/software you are developing.
ParseHub is one of the popular tools out there that non-coders use to scrape data from web pages on the Internet. And just like every other web scraper out there, it does have its pros and cons and while there is no doubt that it works, it might not be the web scraper for you.
If ParseHub is not the web scraper for you, then you need to know that there are many alternatives available to you that you can use. This article would be centered on discussing these alternatives that you can use. Before going into that, let take a look at a brief overview of ParseHub as a web scraper.
Brief ParseHub Review
ParseHub is a software that you can use to build a web scraper or a web scraping workflow without the need to write a single line of code.
It is described as a visual web scraping tool that provides you with a point and click interface to be used for identifying the data of interest.
ParseHub is not built for any specific website — it is a generic web scraper that can be used to scrape all kinds of websites including interactive web pages.
ParseHub comes with some good features including support for IP rotation, Regular Expression, scheduled scraping, API, and webhooks, among others.
Even though it looks simple, it is an incredibly powerful tool. One thing you will come to like about ParseHub is that while it is a paid web scraper, it does have a free tier that you can use if your tasks are not complex as the free tier comes with its limitations.
From the above, you can see that ParseHub is actually functional and even comes with some advanced features you would want in a web scraper.
Why Use a ParseHub Alternative?
However, it does not mean everyone would use it and this is connected to the fact that it does have cons some people cannot overlook or for preference and convenience sake. Below are some of the reasons businesses and data analysts look out for alternative web scrapers for their scraping projects.
Some People Find it Not Easy to Use
The popular notion is that since it’s a non-coders tool, it would be easy to use. However, while this is true for a good number of persons especially for those comfortable with complicated workflows on a computer, others find it not as easy to use as it is proclaimed. It takes many a while to get used to the tool and some do not just have that time going through the initial learning curve.
It fails Sometimes
ParseHub sometimes fails and let face it, that is completely normal because websites can quickly make changes to their anti-spam system that they could detect bot behaviors and when that happens, many bots fail at that period. However, in the case of ParseHub, the failure is not only due to this. Sometimes, the bot will fail to work and you will not even know why.
As humans, there are some software we would not just like because they lack some of the features we like. Somethings, it might just be because of the interface or because we just need more than the tool offers and we start looking out for alternatives to see if they offer more features.
Best ParseHub Alternatives
In this section of the article, we would be taking a look at some of the best alternatives to ParseHub. And let face it, some are actually better web scrapers than ParseHub — others are easier to use while some are meant for a different set of users. In the end, none of the alternatives is also the web scraper for all — each of them has their own pros and cons too.
- Pricing: Starts at $350 for 100K page loads
- Free Trials: Available
- Data Output Format: Excel
- Supported Platforms: Web-based
If you find ParseHub a bit technical and not easy to use, then Bright Data is the web scraper for you. Data Collector is one of the services offered by Bright Data, a popular proxy provider with proxies in the mobile, datacenter, and residential proxy markets. Data Collectors have a set of web scrapers known as Collectors for the websites they support.
The list of websites supported is long, spanning through popular social media platforms, to e-commerce, and property listing websites, among others. The service also has already scraped and prepared databases for some popular sites as in the case of job listing websites.
One thing you will come to like about Data Collector as a web scraper is its ease of usage which is unrivaled in the market. With this tool, you would not even deal with proxies or think of getting blocked as everything is done for you. Interestingly, it requires no download as it is available online.
- Pricing: Freemium
- Free Trials: Freemium
- Data Output Format: CSV, XLSX, and JSON
- Supported Platform: Browser extension (Chrome and Firefox)
WebScraper.io provides a Chrome extension that you can use to scrape data from web pages. This Chrome extension is their free web scraper and it comes with all of the basic features you will need to scrape a website. You only need to use their cloud scraper which is the paid one if you want to access their advanced features.
This browser extension has been developed for the modern web and as such, you can use it to scrape all kinds of websites and data even the ones hidden behind logins. This web scraper can navigate websites at any level including categories and subcategories, as well as paginations in general. It comes with a modular selector system that makes it easy to tailor data extraction for each website.
- Pricing: Starts at a $99 one-time purchase
- Free Trials: 10 days free
- Data Output Format: CSV, Excel, JSON, SQLite, etc.
- Supported Platforms: Desktop
Helium Scraper makes it easy for you to scrape all kinds of websites without writing a single line of code. Just like ParseHub, it is a visual web scraper that provides you with an easy to use point and click interface for identifying data of interest.
Helium Scraper is one of the best alternatives of ParseHub in the market and looking at the advanced features it comes equipped with that is absent in ParseHub, you will agree with me that it is even a better web scraper than ParseHub.
It can handle big data as it uses SQLite which can hold up to 140 terabytes of data. Helium Scraper is good at database creation and manipulation. It detects lists and similar elements, supports task scheduling, and proxy rotation, among others.
- 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
ParseHub has an API that you can integrate into your custom code but let face it — it is not efficient at that and it lacks certain features. Instead of using it, why not use a developer-focused web scraper? Apify is a platform for web automation with web scraping being one of the most important automation tasks.
There are a good number of web scrapers on the platform meant for use on specific websites. Most of the popular websites on the Internet with data of interest to web scrapers are supported on the platform. If a site is not supported, you can code a web scraper for that site on the platform and make money when others use it. You will need to have the Apify module installed into your code before it works. Data is retrieved usually in JSON format.
- 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
ScrapeStorm is arguably one of the best web scrapers in the market and you can see it as a better alternative to ParseHub. The team behind ScrapeStorm is an ex-Google crawler team and as such, they sure know what they are doing. Unlike ParseHub, ScrapeStorm is AI-powered, giving it the ability to identify data of interest on a page automatically without manual operation.
In the case when the data of interest on a page is not identified, it comes with an intuitive point and click interface for manually identifying some of the elements while it automatically identifies the remaining similar elements. In terms of export format support, this web scraper is one of the best as it does not only support regular file formats but also databases, Google Sheets, and even WordPress.
- 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 best alternatives to ParseHub as it shares a lot of resemblance in terms of features supported. However, unlike ParseHub, Octoparse does not have e a free tier — it only comes with a 14 day free trial for new users. Octoparse would help you convert data on hundreds of thousands of web pages into a spreadsheet in no time.
This tool is developed for all kinds of web pages and put in place, techniques to avoid getting blocked but you will need to configure proxies. Aside from installing the program on your computer, they also have a cloud scraping service. If you do not want to interact with the web scraper, you can opt-in for their done-for-you professional data service and they would deliver the data you want.
- Pricing: Starts at $139 for a single user license
- Free Trials: Not available
- Data Output Format: TXT, CSV, Excel, JSON, XML. TSV, etc.
- Supported Platforms: Desktop
WebHarvy is another web scraper worthy of mention as an alternative to ParseHub. To be frank with you, it is even a better web scraper and comes with a lot of advanced features than ParseHub. It might interest you to know that aside from web scraping, you can use WebHarvy for web browser automation such as clicking links, filling forms, and selecting from a list among others.
This tool also comes with an automatic pattern detection system that intelligently identifies similar elements on a page. One differentiating feature between WebHarvy and the other web scrapers on the page aside from Helium Scraper is that you only need to pay ones and use them forever — no monthly payment.
- Pricing: Starts at $49 monthly for 100K API credits
- Free Trials: 1K free API calls
- Data Output Format: JSON
- Supported Platforms: Web API
ScrapingBee is a web scraping API that has been developed for scraping from websites that have an effective anti-bot system. ScrapingBee will help you take care of proxies and headless browsers in other to make sure you do not get blocked and when that happens, you do not pay for the unsuccessful requests.
This tool works like an API — you send it API requests with the URL of the web page of interest and you get the web page content as a response. Interestingly, ScrapingBee comes with support for parsing out data using an Extraction API which is available for some popular programming languages includes Python, NodeJS, Ruby, and PHP.
- 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
Another web scraper that can serve as an alternative to the ParseHub web scraping tool is Phantom Buster. Phantom Buster is a web automation and data extraction platform like the Apify platform.
However, unlike Apify that is meant for coders, you do not need the knowledge of coding to make use of Phantom Buster as it is a code-free platform geared towards non-coders. Phantom Buster is a cloud-based tool but for it to work, you will need to install its browser extension so you can pick up cookies to facilitate your scraping tasks on the supported websites, making of which requires them.
- Pricing: Custom quote
- Free Trials: 30-days free limited plan available
- Data Output Format: CSV, JSON
- Supported Platforms: Cloud
Last on our list of alternative web scrapers to use aside from ParseHub is import.io web scraper. This web scraper is an enterprise-level web scraper that has been developed to collect data t any scale. This tool does not only collect data, but it also has features to make sure the data collected is correct.
Some of the features include anomaly detection, data type conversion, and many more. The tool is stable, powerful, and easy to use once you get used to it. This web scraper also provides a point and click interface which makes it perfect for use even without coding skill.
FAQs About ParseHub
Does ParseHub and its Alternatives Need Proxies?
Web scrapers send too many web requests within a short period of time that they are easily identifiable by their target site. If you do not want to be identified, then you need proxies.
ParseHub and most of the other web scrapers described above all need proxies to function if you would be scraping across multiple pages of the same website. Even for the ones that do not require you to set up proxies such as Data Collector by Bright Data, proxies are being used under the hood.
Does ParseHub has an API?
The developers of ParseHub are aware of the need for a developer API even though the tool is geared more towards non-coders. For this reason, they provided an API known as the ParseHub API. This API has been developed to make it possible to programmatically manage scraping projects and retrieve extracted data. Read the official documentation of the ParseHub to learn how to make use of it.
ParseHub Tutorials (How to use ParseHub)
Even though some users would want to say ParseHub is not as easy to use as it is being taunted, there is no denying that ParseHub is easy to use.
There are straightforward steps you can follow to set up ParseHub and scrape data from your website of interest. ParseHub even provides a video tutorial on how to use ParseHub for web data extraction.
Looking at the above, you can see that there are a good number of alternatives available to you if you do not want to make use of ParseHub for your web scraping tasks. However, you need to know that just as ParseHub is not the favorite web scraper for all those that need a web scraper, none of the other web scrapers described above is.