Costs Of Building A Web Scraping System

Copying and pasting large amounts of information.


Web Scraping is a process of retrieving data from website(s) either manually or using automated applications. Businesses refer to it for marketing, optimization, research, and analysis purposes. Manual web scrapping includes copying and pasting large amounts of information. It is an outdated method of retrieving data that takes much time and resources. Automated web scraping tools, to the contrary, fetch the info in seconds. For this time-efficiency, you will have to invest in the development first. However, in the long run, manual web scrapping is less cost-efficient. 

Why businesses refer to web scraping? 

  • to generate new leads;
  • to analyze large amounts of data on the given topic; to research the market;
  • to save data from an old website during redevelopment or migration;
  • to make automated purchases; to retrieve pricing history; to monitor and compare prices;
  • to increase clientele; to track property value;
  • to retrieve information about hotels, restaurants, and other places relevant for the traveling industry;
  • to source talents. 

Custom development of web scrapping tools VS subscription-based solutions

As you meed the need to extract a lot of data, there are two choices to make: subscribe to a ready-made solution or create your own. Both strategies have pros and cons. Your project’s requirements decide which method will generate more benefits for your specific case. 

Go for subscription-based web scraping tools, if…

  • you need a one-time scraping session;
  • you don’t need to extract data regularly;
  • you don’t have special requirements’ for the data that is to be extracted;
  • you don’t need to scrap data from websites with captchas, login ins, etc. 
  • your product does not require customization. 

Choose custom web scraping tools development, if... 

  • you regularly have to retrieve large amounts of data;
  • you need to extract info from websites with additional protection from bots;
  • you need your web scraper to simulate human behavior accurately you need to organize, structure, and analyze your data after scraping;
  • you have special requirements for the extraction of data;
  • you want a high-quality tool that fits your needs precisely in the long-term. 
  • you build your own subscription-based scraping business. 

How much does it cost to build a custom web scraping solution? 

The cost of custom development depends on different aspects, however, they can be combined into three groups 1) time-related, 2) structure-related, and 3) innovation-related. In software creation, time is money, as teams are paid according to the hourly rate. Hence, the more time developers spend building and maintaining your application, the more you will have to pay them. The price depends on the level of skills and experience of each specialist. This way, the more knowledgeable and skilled the developer is the higher his or her hourly rate. The time-efficiency of product creation depends on how well the team understands the requirements and how effectively the manager distributes tasks. Highly-organized motivated teams whose work is well-structured save significant costs for their clients, as the latter doesn’t have to pay extra for debugging and redeveloping. 

As for the structure, it also influences the price. If we have to develop your app from a scratch, it will require more costs, as 1) it takes much time (read the previous paragraph), 2) it takes much planning so that the app is made according to best practices and projects’ needs. If you only need updates and maintenance for your already-existing app, the price will be lower. 

However, what influences the financial aspect of development, is the tools you choose for them. You will allocate less money to the developers who utilize outdated programming languages, tools, and methods. The application, though, will less likely to be of good quality. It will not meet the demands of modern platforms, operating systems, and users’ needs. Developers who use innovative tools tend to have higher hourly rates. However, in the long run, your app will require fewer updates and less debugging. 

All in all, the price of web scraper development depends on

  • the technology stack you choose;
  • team’s qualification (senior/middle/junior developers); team’s type (in-house/outsource/freelance); platforms it targets (single or multi-platform?)
  • timeline and management. 

If you want to know what the deadline dates and budget size is needed for your application to emerge in the Web World, write SapientPro! We will make precise estimations for you to create your product today!