Scrapy Autopilot – How to Scrape a Website With Scrapy Autopilot

Scrapy is an open-source Python tool for web scraping. It provides an easy-to-use framework for building spiders to extract data from websites. It is able to handle many requests at once, which makes it a good choice for large scale scraping projects. It also has built-in support for handling and processing responses and exporting data in various formats.

Start a Project

Scrapy uses a well-defined project structure, so it’s easy to set up a new project with just a few commands. All you need to do is put your code in the spiders folder and Scrapy will take care of the rest.

Create a Custom Spider

Creating a spider is the first step in scraping web content. The crawler should follow all links on a website to extract data from every page. This can be done through XPath expressions or CSS selectors.

The XPath expression should include the URL of the webpage to be scraped. Once the crawler has found the URL, it should parse it and return a response object that contains data.

Once the crawler has successfully parsed a URL, it can now store the data that it scraped in a file. It supports a number of file formats like JSON, CSV, and XML.

Save the data

After you have stored all the scraped data, it is important to store it in a structured format that can be easily imported into other programs. Scrapy gives you an option to save the data in various formats such as JSON, CSV, XML, and Pickle.

In addition to this, you can store the output in a readable format such as XML or PDF files. This makes it easier to use the data in your projects.

You can also store the data on the server or in a database. This is useful for storing the data in case you need to update it later on.

Then, when you want to see the output of your spider, you just need to call the parse function with the response object that you stored earlier. The response object is a string that represents the content of the response to your request.

Using Custom Spiders

One of the most useful features of Scrapy is that it lets you easily create and manage your own spiders. This is a great benefit when you need to keep track of hundreds of spiders for different purposes.

A spider has a few properties, such as name, allowed_domains, and start_urls. These parameters help you restrict the spider from crawling unnecessary domains. For example, if a particular URL points to a different domain, this will be ignored.

These parameters are passed to the parse function, which is called whenever a URL is parsed. You can pass any number of parameters to the parse function and the default parameter is the response object that you received from a URL.

You can even add a list of rules that your spider should follow to find the content you are looking for. This can be used to create a complex spider that follows every link on a website based on specific criteria.