Web scraping tools are highly useful in today’s world. They collect vast amounts of data for analytics. But what is web scraping? It is a process of collecting data from numerous websites using proxy IP addresses and using this data for business intelligence.
Web scrapers, or crawlers, are essential to get actionable insights for effective decision-making. Almost every business uses web scraping tools in its marketing strategy.
What if you want your own automated web scraping tool? Apify is a user-friendly platform to build and deploy web scrapers and automated browser tools.
Let’s review the platform in this post.
Apify is a full-stack platform for building, deploying, and monitoring web scraping tools. As a cloud-based platform, it can be used anywhere and anytime. No need to install it on any device or a browser.
Apify‘s scrapers and automation tools are called Actors. They are serverless micro-apps that can be developed or integrated with your system to automate data collection. It saves you time and your business resources.
On Apify Store, you can find Actors built and maintained by Apify, and ones submitted by community. The community is big, and you can easily become part of it. Craft your own Actor, make it live on Apify Store, and start making money.
Apify is famous for the extensive features it offers to businesses and developers. It is flexible, scalable, and has easy navigation. You can join the Discord community to interact with other developers or order a custom web scraping project from experts (check pricing info for more).
The top features of the platform are as follows:
● Built-in Actors
You don’t have to build a crawler from scratch. Apify has several built-in crawlers or web scrapers, called Actors, developed for exclusive sources like e-commerce websites, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), news portals, and many more.
● Data Transformation
The collected data has to be processed, cleaned, and labeled to be useful for data analytics. Apify helps with this as well. It has different data transformation features to sort and filter the data through the editor. You can also convert the data into Excel, CSV, or JSON formats.
Third-party integrations are a must for businesses to streamline data flows. Apify’s automated web scraping tools can be integrated with other platforms, applications, and dashboards to share real-time information and insights with decision-makers. Moreover, you can also export data using APIs. That means you are not limited to already built integrations but can create your own ones that suit your needs.
Apify is all about simplifying data collection. With just a few clicks, you can automate the tasks for web scrapers to save time. Set the desired target websites for crawling, and the platform will do the rest.
● Scheduling and Monitoring
What if you want the crawler to work at specific intervals? Schedule when the web scraper should collect data from the target sites and automate the rest. You can monitor the status and performance of each crawler through the dashboard.
● Apify Store Marketplace
Want to access more Actors, crawlers, or other data collection tools? Apify store has 1,500+ options to choose from. Interact with other developers and get the web scrapers you want.
Apify has four price plans, excluding the free version.
● Free Plan: Free to use, $5 worth of services free per month, 10 monthly compute units with $0.4 per unit afterward, 8GB Actor RAM, Limited rented actors, 25 maximum concurrent runs, Discord community support, and 5 IPs for data proxy.
● Starter Plan: Starts at $49/month, 100 monthly compute units with $0.4 per unit afterward, 32GB Actor RAM, 32 maximum concurrent runs, chat support, 30 IPs for data proxy, and $200/ hour for personal training.
●Scale Plan: Starts at $499/month, 500 monthly compute units with $0.3 per unit afterward, 128GB Actor RAM, 128 maximum concurrent runs, priority chat support, 200 IPs for data proxy, and one hour per quarter personal training.
●Business Plan: $999/month, 1,000 monthly compute units with $0.25 per unit afterward, 256GB Actor RAM, 256 maximum concurrent runs, account manager, 500 IPs for data proxy, and one hour per quarter personal training.
●Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing and contract based on your requirements.
●Creator plan: For only $1/month, you get $500 of prepaid usage, you can use 7 universal Actors and build as many of your own as you want.
All paid plans allow you to buy more IPs, CUs, etc., as required.
Pros and Cons
✓Map scraper is fast and easy
✓Saves time and money
✓Suitable for large amounts of data scraping
✓Easy to use web scrapers
✓Offers proxies so you don‘t get blocked
✓APIs to export data easily
✓Reliable platform to host web scrapers
✗Slightly higher pricing but is worth the wide range of possibilities, and it becomes significantly cheaper with a bigger scale
To Sum Up
Apify is considered easy to use, though some users may find it a bit complex. This is due to the range of features it offers. Apify online community is quite helpful and friendly.
The final word? Apify is a comprehensive and robust platform for automating data collection through web scraping tools. It is considered a worthy choice for many SMBs, large enterprises, researchers, marketers, and developers. Check out Apify‘s website to sign up for free.