first of all, you should need to remember that Selenium is designed to automate test for Web Applications.
It provides a way for the developer to write tests in a number of popular programming languages such as C#, Java, Python, Ruby, etc.
This framework is developed to perform browser automation.
Let’s have a look at the sample code that automates the browser.
# Importing the required Modules.
from selenium import webdriverfrom selenium.
keys import Keysdriver = webdriver.
org")assert "Python" in driver.
titleelem = driver.
RETURN)assert "Google" in driver.
close()From the above code, we can conclude that API is very beginner-friendly, you can easily write code with Selenium.
That is why it is so popular in the developer community.
Even Selenium is mainly used to automate tests for web applications, it can also be used to develop web spider, many people have done this before.
Choosing the Appropriate LibraryWhen it comes to the selection of a particular library to perform web scraping operation we need to consider various key factors because every library has it’s own pros and cons so In this selection criteria we will discuss the various factors that we need to consider while we are selecting a library for our project.
The key factors that we must point out are —ExtensibilityScrapy: The architecture of Scrapy is well designed to customize the middleware to add our own custom functionality.
This feature helps us our project to be more Robust and flexible.
One of the biggest advantages of Scrapy is that we can able to migrate our existing project to another project very easily.
So for the large/Complex projects, Scrapy is the best choice to work out.
If Your project needs proxies, data pipeline, then Scrapy would be the best choice.
Beautiful Soup: When it comes to a small project, Or low-level complex project Beautiful Soup can do the task pretty amazing.
It helps us to maintain our code simple and flexible.
If you are a beginner and if you want to learn things quickly and want to perform web scraping operations then Beautiful Soup is the best choice.
but the Data size should be limited.
PerformanceScrapy: It can do things quickly because of its built-in feature i.
e usage of asynchronous system calls.
The Existing libraries out there not able to beat the performance of Scrapy.
Beautiful Soup: Beautiful Soup is pretty slow to perform a certain task but we can overcome this issue with the help of Multithreading concept but However the programmer need to know the concept of multithreading very effectively.
This is the downside of Beautiful Soup.
Selenium: It can handle up to some range butn’t equivalent to Scrapy.
EcoSystemScrapy: It has a good ecosystem, we can use proxies and VPN’s to automate the task.
This is one of the reasons for choosing the library for complex projects.
we can able to send multiple requests from the multiple proxy addresses.
BeautifulSoup: This library has a lot of dependencies in the ecosystem.
This is one of the downsides of this library for a complex projectSelenium: It has a good ecosystem for the development but the problem is we can’t utilize the proxies very easily.
From the above three common factors, you need to decide which one should be the right choice for your next project.
ConclusionI hope you got a clear understanding of Scrapy, Selenium, and Beautiful Soup.
I discussed pretty much everything about the most popular web scraping libraries in a detailed manner.
But the Selection of the library is really a big task.
But I would suggest —if you are dealing with complex Scraping operation that requires huge speed and with low power consumption then Scrapy would be a great choice.
If you’re new to programmer want to work with web scraping projects then you should go for Beautiful Soup.
you can easily learn it and able to perform the operations very quickly up to a certain level of complexity.
then Selenium would be a great choice.
Hope this helps you learn about various differences between Scrapy, Selenium, and Beautiful Soup for web scraping.