Which Language is Better For Writing a Web Crawler? PHP, Python or Node.js?

Posted on Oct 14, 2017 11:53:32 PM
Which Language is Better For Writing a Web Crawler? PHP, Python or Node.js?
I want to share with you a good article that might help you better extract web data for your business.

Yesterday, I saw someone asking “which programming language is better for writing a web crawler? PHP, Python or Node.js?” and mentioning some requirements as below.
  1. The analytics ability to web page
  2. Operational capability to database(MySQL)
  3. Efficiency of crawling
  4. The amount of code
  5. Someone replied to this question.

When you are going to crawl large-scale websites, then efficiency, scalability and maintainability are the factors that you must consider.

Crawling large-scale websites involve many problems: multi-threading, I/O mechanism, distributed crawling, communication, duplication checking, task schedule, etc. And then the language used and the frame selected play a significant role at this moment.

PHP: The support for multithreading and async is quite weak and therefore is not recommended.

Node.js: It can crawl some vertical websites. But due to the support for distributed crawling and communications, it is relatively weaker than the other two. So you need to make a judgment.

Python: It’s Strongly recommended and has better support for the requirements mentioned above, especially the scrapy framework. Scrapy framework has many advantages:
  1. Support XPath
  2. Good performance based on twisted
  3. Has debugging tools

If you want to perform dynamic analysis of JavaScript, it’s not suitable to use casperjs under the scrapy framework and it’s better to create your own javescript engine based on the Chrome V8 engine.

C & C ++: I’ll not recommend. Although they have good performance, we still have to consider many factors such as cost.

For most companies it is recommended to write crawler program based on some open source framework. Make the best use of the excellent programs available. It’s easy to make a simple crawler, but it’s hard to make an excellent one.

Truly, it’s hard to make a perfect crawler. There are many web data extractors available for you like mozenda, import.io and etc.

But, if you are short on time and want to hire somegood really good freelancer to help with your crawler, you can hire on toogit

As the managing editor of the Toogit blog, Essabell works with regular and guest writers to share information that helps freelancers and businesses navigate the future of work. She owns Nimbyist Communications and helps non-profits, startups, and small business owners get their content marketing on track.

Isabelle | Managing Editor

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