Choosing the Right Web Scraping Solution: Custom vs. Pre-made Tools

Choosing the Right Web Scraping Solution: Custom vs. Pre-made Tools
Credit: Pixabay

Web scraping is a term that’s thrown around in the data world. While it may seem like one of those jargon business owners shouldn’t care about, it is worth every penny invested. Web scraping done well can unlock your business for scale. 

However, it’s essential to invest your pennies wisely, and the first decision to make is whether you should choose between custom web scrapers and pre-made tools like Google Scraper API. This article explains everything you need to know. 

What is Web Scraping? 

Web scraping involves using software tools to collect data from different websites and subsequently store the collected data for further processing. Web scrapers send HTTP requests like regular web browsers, parse the returned HTML content, and collect the required data for storage. 

The data returned during web scraping are structured and can be used to generate insight that will inform business decisions. For e-commerce businesses, examples of data that can be produced are product prices, reviews, SEO keywords, etc. Companies in other industries can also customize the data they need through the scrapers. 

What are the benefits of Web scraping?

Web scraping requires resources, but the results are always worth it. Here are some benefits of web scraping: 

Business intelligence

Business executives need all the insights they can get to make intelligent business decisions that keep the company ahead. Web scraping can contribute to that trove of data. Business intelligence involves figuring out user needs from patterns and subconscious user activities. Being able to deduce such info from data is essential, and web scraping can be the start of it. 

Cost and time-saving

You’re web scraping when you copy information from the web into your Google Keep notes or spreadsheet. But there’s a limit to what you can find on your own, manually. Setting up an automated system makes the job of numerous people that of a single script. This saves time and cost. 

Competitive Advantage

Market conditions are constantly changing. As a business owner, keeping up with market trends is pertinent. You should also collect data on your competitors. Doing these can help you identify market opportunities and stay ahead of the curve in business. 

The Pros and Cons of building your web scraper

Developing an in-house web scraper has its upsides and downsides, and here are some of them. 

Pros of having an in-house web scraper:

  • You can customize your web scraper to meet specific needs
  • Your data is secured and not at risk of falling into the wrong hands
  • You will also be able to implement changes at will

Cons of having an in-house web scraper:

  • Developing an in-house web scraper requires the commitment of some resources. For instance, you may need to hire a developer if you don’t have one. You’ll also need to pay for hosting, plugins, etc. 
  • Maintenance will also cost you; you may need a full-time developer to keep your scripts updated and bugs-free. 
  • You need to hire more people to create a custom web scraper that operates at scale. Most common in-house web scrapers can only work at a small scale, which may not provide the quality insights you need. 

The Pros and Cons of Using Pre-made Tools

Pre-made tools can also come in handy for web scraping. Tools like Google Scraper API help you gather data from the world’s largest e-commerce site. There are other tools to explore, and here are the pros and cons of using any of these tools. 

Pros of using pre-made tools

  • Ease of use and quick implementation
  • Pre-made tools have numerous pre-built functionalities to leverage
  • You don’t need to worry about maintenance and updates
  • Third-party tools are also easy to scale and can function at high-performing levels.

Cons of using pre-made tools

  • You can’t customize these tools as much as you want
  • The cost of running these tools can be somewhat high with subscriptions
  • You don’t have control over the tool’s development direction

Tools like Google Scraper API makes the data collection process simple and helps you get high-quality data in no time. Since websites constantly update their security features, navigating with custom-made tools may take a lot of work. With pre-made tools (that have dedicated development teams), you don’t have to worry about such headaches. 

How can companies choose between custom web scrapers and third-party tools

When starting with web scraping, the first decision is choosing which direction to follow between custom tools or third-party tools and APIs. Here are the factors to consider when in a dilemma: 

Data extraction requirements

Check out how complex the destination websites are. You should also consider your specific data needs. You can use pre-made tools if the destination and the needed data are simple enough. If, however, there are some specific requirements you have, third-party tools can’t meet that, develop your scraper. 

Technical expertise

If you have or can afford the technical expertise required to operate in-house technologies, build yours. If not, subscribe to a reliable scraper API. 


Building a web scraper takes time and will require resources. You must pull together the human resources, infrastructure, maintenance resources, and development time. If you can’t efficiently afford this, get third-party tools. 


Every business wants scale; third-party tools are best positioned to help you achieve this. 


Choosing the right tool is essential for everything you want to do in business. Furthermore, considering how important data is to your business, getting the best infrastructure for your web scraping is crucial. 

About the author

Ombir Sharma

Ombir is a SEO Executive at The Next Hint Media, Inc. He is a SEO and writer has 2 years of experience in these respective fields. He loves spending his time in doing research on different topics.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe us

Please wait...
Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.