Anatomy Of Web Scraping Costs – Knowing The Time To Create A Custom Scraper

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So you have decided to create your own business-to-business data scraper, but now you are wondering about the cost of web scraping.

That is understandable. You know that your web scraper will save your team a lot of time, but budgeting is also a factor that influences every business decision. If it costs $10,000 to build a simple web scraper, you wouldn’t want to build one, would you?

There are many different costs that could potentially go into building or buying a web scraper. In this article, we will break down these costs so that you can accurately budget your web scraper costs.


What Data Are You Scraping?

Generally, the data that you obtain from web scraping is entirely free. For example, scraping a business’ website for contact information is free as long as all of the data is obtained legally (it is already publicly accessible) and you don’t bombard the website with millions of requests at once.

If the data you want isn’t normally publicly accessible (possibly hidden behind a LinkedIn profile), you might need to use an API. An API is a connection point that allows you to get extra data. Some APIs, such as the LinkedIn API are free, while others could be priced (especially if you need a lot of data).

To put it simply, web scraping data is usually free. If you have a large project that needs several APIs, you might encounter some costs here.


Web Scraping Software

Much of your costs for web scraping are likely to come at this stage. For your web scraping software, you need code. If you have a software development team in your company, they might be able to take on the project to save costs.

However, it is often easier and quicker to get custom software built for you. The costs for getting software built for you depend on different things. Do you know what data you need? How many websites do you need to scrape? How often does your script need to run to get all of this data?

The more websites and data that you need to scrape, the more that you will pay – simply because more code is required for your scraping program. Basic web scraping programs could be as low as a hundred dollars, while more complex programs can grow into thousands of dollars.

Some companies, such as Umbric, will give you free consultations. This will allow you to get a free quote to understand exactly how much the actual software will cost to build.


Costs of Different Web Scraping Software

If you are looking to buy off-the-shelf web scraping software, then there are also a few options.

There is a Google Chrome web extension that allows you to scrape thousands of records in a relatively short amount of time. If you are working on a small web-scraping project, then this is a good option. This extension is completely free.

If you are more technically gifted, then you could opt for a code-heavy option. These include libraries such as Cheerio for Javascript and BeautifulSoup for Python. These are good options if you want control over what you do and know how to code. Again, these options are free.

Looking for something beefier where you don’t need to code? Opt for Mozenda. Mozenda is trusted by a third of all Fortune 500 companies and is one of the leading web scraping platforms. While you can get a free trial, packages can start from around $250 for a monthly subscription.


Where Will The Data Be Stored?

This is something that most people do not think about when they decide to get web scraping software. You will obviously retrieve some data, but where will it be stored?

There are two options for storing your data, and they depend on how your web scraping software will run: local storage and cloud storage.

Local storage is simply using your computer for storing your scraped data. If your script is running on your computer, then this is the simple option. If you are only scraping a few megabytes of data, it is easy to keep on your computer, so why have it anywhere else?

If you are running a more extensive web scraping operation, then cloud storage might be required. When we talk about large, think about scraping and storing gigabytes of data. If you run your scripts regularly to find new data, this could build up quickly, and you may not want to keep it all on one computer.

There are multiple choices for cloud storage. Google Drive has pricing brackets from free to $10 per month. AWS, where you can also run your web scraping scripts, has pricing from as low as $0.023 per gigabyte per month.

In most cases, you will opt for the free option of local storage. But if you know that you will have a lot of data, then data storage could be a few extra dollars per month.


The Cost of Web Scraping

As we have discussed, several different factors could affect the cost of your web scraping project. These include the data you want to scrape, the programs you will use for the scraping, and where you will store the data.

For each of these factors, some options are completely free. That means you can run your whole web scraping project at no cost. But if you are looking for more data or more flexibility, then there are upgrades that you can make. But in these cases, you will be paying for the extra services.

If you are looking to start your own web scraping project, some companies can assist you – and possibly help keep the costs lower. Companies such as Umbric give free consultations so that you can get started today!



About Umbric Data Services

Forget knowledge; data is power – especially when hooked up to custom web applications leveraging the latest in big data, machine learning, and AI to deliver profitable results for business.

Umbric Data Services combines the latest in tech with good old-fashioned customer service to deliver innovative, efficient software that drives productive business insight and revenues in the click of a button. Isn’t it time you worked smart, not hard? Find out more about how we help businesses to grow – visit today.

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