Building the Web Crawler in Python

Back to blog
Data scraping

Expanding yourself in an online world has a big perspective. It gives the possibility to enlarge your skills. One effective way to do this is to learn how to crawl a website using Python. 

One of the key aspects of constructing a web spider is its ability to traverse the vast expanse of the internet. By utilizing Python’s powerful libraries, developers can effectively navigate through websites. These libraries provide a systematic approach to extracting information. There can be various options of media from various web pages. 

The flexibility of Python allows for customization. It enables developers to fine-tune their web crawler to collect exactly what they need. Besides, it provides optimizing time and resources. This way, if you develop yourself in this, you can create a well-designed web crawler in Python. It gives innovative features to enhance your capabilities further.

Python Web Crawler Tutorial

Have you ever wondered how search engines crawl and index billions of web pages? Well, the secret is web crawling. Python has a simple way for you to do it, too. Web crawling, also known as web scraping. It is the process of automatically downloading and extracting data from websites.

Building a web crawler in Python is not only a technical feat. It is also a strategic advantage in today’s ever-expanding online world. With the vast amount of data on the internet, harnessing its potential needs a powerful tool. Python’s versatility and simplicity make it an ideal choice for creating a web crawler. It allows developers to move through networks and gain a competitive edge.

Web crawling is pretty straightforward. Here’s the basic process:

  • You start with a list of seed URLs to crawl.
  • You visit the first URL and download the page content.
  • You parse the page content to look for new URLs to add to your crawl queue.
  • You add those new URLs to your crawl queue.
  • You visit the next URL in the row and repeat steps 2-4.
  • You continue this process until you’ve crawled all the URLs you want.

So, are you ready to start building your web crawler? The web awaits! With some basic Python skills, you’ll be well on your way. Here is a Python web crawler tutorial for you to do as best as possible:

Gather Tools and Resources

To build a Python web crawler, you’ll need a few things:

  • Python that you install on your computer. You need to install this programming language to create a web crawler in Python. Download and install the latest version of Python from the official website.
  • A code editor like VS Code, Atom, or Sublime Text. Choose a convenient text editor or an integrated development environment.
  • Some packages like Beautiful Soup, Requests, and Scrapy. To develop a web crawler, you will need packages. These can be Beautiful Soup, Requests, and Scrapy. They will help you with website interaction and page processing.

Choose a Website to Scrape

Choosing a website to collect data is key to developing a web spider. Let’s look at how to crawl a website using Python:

  • Target Website. Determine which site is of interest. Is it news, a shop, a forum, or something else?
  • Legal Issues. Make sure that the process of data scraping from the site is legal. It should not violate the rules of the site.
  • Data Scope and Structure. Consider what information you want to collect and how it is organized on the site.

Inspect the Website

Before collecting data, it is important to inspect the site carefully. It is to understand its structure:

  • Analysis of HTML code. Use your browser’s developer tools to examine the site’s HTML code.
  • Definition of Selectors. Look for CSS selectors or XPath expressions. It is to detect the items you are interested in.

Install Packages 

It is the next step of the Python web crawler tutorial. Before you can start working on the web spider, you need to install the required packages:

  • Beautiful Soup and Requests. Install these packages. The first will help you parse HTML code. And the second will help you interact with websites.
  • Scrappy. If you use Scrapy, also install it for structured data parsing.

Making a Request and Parse the HTML

What is the next step for web crawler Python code? Now it’s time to make a request to the website and parse the resulting HTML code:

  • Request to the Site. Your crawler needs to query the target website. You can do it using Requests.
  • Getting the HTML code. Get HTML content from a website after a request.

Extract the Data

Extracting data is a key stage in the work of a web spider. And proxies play a significant role in this. So, the reasons to buy proxies in this are vital. After all, their use allows you to hide your IP address. It provides anonymity and helps in avoiding blocking by websites. Here is a web crawler Python example of why proxy is useful:

  • Speed Increase. A proxy can improve your online speed. It allows you to make more requests to the server simultaneously.
  • Protection from Blocking. Using different IP addresses increases resistance to website blocking.

Python web crawler tutorial


Web Crawler in Python Example

The uniqueness of the Internet is that it is endless. It has an incredible number of possibilities that anyone can count on. After all, the online space is wide enough for this. And one of the ways to use it effectively is to crawl a website. Here is a web crawler in Python example for you to better understand it.

By following this unique web crawler in Python example, you will not only gain hands-on experience in web crawling but also be equipped with the skills to build robust and efficient web crawlers for various purposes. So, what are you waiting for? Get your coding gears ready and start exploring the fascinating world of web crawling now.

The applications of web crawling are vast and diverse. Whether it is gathering market data for business intelligence, monitoring website changes, or creating tailored APIs, the possibilities are endless. With your newly acquired web crawling skills, you have the power to unlock hidden insights from the ever-expanding digital universe.

By following this step-by-step Python example, you can embark on an exciting journey into the world of web crawling. Armed with the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be able to harness the immense potential of the internet. You will also unlock new opportunities for research, analysis, and innovation. So, why wait? Dive into the world of open doors to a web realm. Here is an example of web crawling for you:

Step 1

The example starts by sending an HTTP request to the desired website. It is the first thing that you need to do. To ensure efficiency and avoid indefinitely crawling the same pages, implement a crawling frontier. It is a queue that keeps track of unvisited URLs. This way, your crawler will explore the web in a systematic and organized manner.

Step 2

Then, you should continue with the extra tool. Use the Requests library to retrieve the HTML content of the page. By leveraging diverse libraries, you can store the info in structured formats. It can be CSV or JSON. It makes it readily available for further analysis or integration with other tools.

Step 3

Then, use the BeautifulSoup library to parse the HTML and extract specific data elements. Some of them include headlines using their class or HTML tags. 

Step 4

You can proceed with extracted data elements further and store it in the database.

Step 5 

Armed with programming knowledge, you can incorporate extra features to enhance your web crawler. For example, you can instruct it to extract specific elements from web pages. It involves headings, paragraphs, or images, using advanced techniques like regular expressions.

Web crawler in Python example

Web Crawler in Python: Code

How to crawl a website using Python is a question that interests many. After all, it allows you to expand your perspectives in the digital dimension. In Python, you can create a web crawler using various libraries. To start, you need to install the necessary options. Open your command prompt or terminal and type the following commands:

  • pip install beautifulsoup4
  • pip install requests

Once the libraries are installed, you can start writing the code. First, you should import the required libraries:

  • import requests
  • from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

Next, define a function that will handle the crawling process:

  • “`python
  • def crawl(url):
  • response = requests.get(url)
  • html_content = response.content
  • return html_content

Now, we can use BeautifulSoup to parse the HTML content. For example, let’s say you want to extract all the links from a webpage:

  • “`python
  • def extract_links(html_content):
  • soup = BeautifulSoup(html_content, ‘html.parser’)
  • links = soup.find_all(‘a’)
  • return links

It is only a small part of web crawler Python code. They are enough for both beginners and advanced. The main thing is to use them correctly according to the instructions. Then, you will succeed faster.

Proxy-Cheap: Proxies for Your Web Crawling

Knowing how to crawl a website using Python can help you gain valuable information. But do not forget that with all this, it is vital to use proxy services. They allow you to keep your IP address anonymous and bypass restrictions. It ensures a reliable and secure website experience. So, if you intend to crawl a website, pay attention to Proxy-Cheap proxies. Our options of proxies are a reliable source of your confidentiality.


Web spider allows you to extract massive amounts of info from webpages. And then you can turn it into actionable insights. The possibilities are endless for this. You can track product prices, analyze social media trends, build datasets for machine learning models, and more. Python is a valuable thing for internet users. So, you should feel engaged and excited about learning the basics of this tool. Thus, keep practicing and building on your awareness!


Can I use the web crawler for scraping dynamic content?

Absolutely! The web crawler has the capability to scrape dynamic content. It can navigate through pages, interact with elements, and retrieve data. It can be even from websites that heavily rely on content rendering.


How do I ensure the legality of web crawling?

It is crucial to respect a website’s terms of use and privacy policies. Additionally, be aware of any legal restrictions imposed by your jurisdiction.


Are proxies necessary for web crawling?

Proxies can be beneficial for web crawling. It is good when dealing with websites that may limit your access. They allow you to make requests through different IP addresses. It reduces the risk of being detected and blocked.


What if the website’s structure changes?

You should regularly monitor the site for updates. Then, you should adjust your web crawling script. It is to accommodate any modifications in the layout or element hierarchy.

Augustas Frost

Support Manager

Augustas Frost is a valued contributor at Proxy-Cheap, specializing in proxy-related content. With a knack for simplifying complex topics, he's your go-to source for understanding the world of proxies.
Outside his work, Augustas explores the latest tech gadgets and embarking on hiking adventures.