Python has a vast store of really useful libraries and modules. As a result, Python is highly growing in the list of top programming languages. Python provides different libraries for web scraping such as Scrapy, Requests, Beautiful Soup 4, lxml and Py Selenium. Therefore, I thought why not an article about Python Web Scraping using Selenium. Above all, let’s start with our awesome beginners tutorial for “Python Selenium for Web Scraping“.
Py Selenium or Python Selenium
Selenium is a tool for automation testing your web application, web pages, and websites. Selenium is able to do this in various methods, for instance (see below Selenium Features).
Python Selenium features
- Selenium has the power to tap on buttons and fields in web apps.
- Can enter content is present in the web app
- Allows users to automate, so bots to scan their site regularly
- Provides an efficiency of doing the same repetitive thing is one click
- Allows us to do almost anything related to web and browser in an automated way.
- Has access to use forms (WebForms) easily.
- Ability to check the site whether everything is “OK” and so on.
Any task done by writing script in order to get(scrape) or access the data that is within a website or webpage is Web Scraping. And if Python language is used then it’ll be called Python Web Scraping.
Benefits of Web Scraping
- One can grab the front-end data of any site easily
- We can implement our custom scripts to the site
- We can save a lot for our time through Web Scraping
- No need to maintain regularly after being developed
- High accuracy of information
Selenium Web Scraping
Any web scraping done using Selenium (selenium compatible web drivers) can be known as selenium web scraping.
Benefits of Selenium Web Scraping
- Easier Installation process
- More pragmatic browser interplay
- Faster Execution time
- RC server is not essential
- Open Source (anybody can contribute on it freely)
- Ability to run tests across various browsers
- Encourages multiple operation systems
- Compatible with mobile devices
- Capacity to execute tests in parallel
Python automation testing
There are several modules for Python automation testing. We can use Python in the automation of web browser and web apps using selenium.
Above all, Selenium can be a more reliable python web scraping and automation testing library. Therefore, using py selenium can be a better way for Python automation testing.
Definition of Python automation testing
Any processes that are done by using the modules and libraries of Python in order to do any automation task that can reduce or boycott the manual human effort is called Python automation testing.
Py selenium vs Java Selenium
Point that Py-Selenium is way better than Java Selenium.
- Execution time
Programs written in Java tend to run slower than Python programs.
- Static and Dynamic Typing
Java uses static typing (can’t use variables directly), while Python uses dynamic typing(can use the variable directly).
Python is simpler and more powerful than Java in the context of automation.
Syntax of Python is too much shorter than that of Java.
- Program writing time period
It takes more time to write a Java program than a Python program because Java uses traditional brackets to begin and end the programs, while Python uses indents.
Therefore using Selenium Py can be a better idea than using Selenium Java.
Getting started with Py Selenium
It’s not much difficult to start with Py Selenium. However, we need to do some setups to install it.
Installing Py Selenium via Pip
Firstly, we need to install selenium via python-pip.
Use the below code to install Py-Selenium. (Go to your Terminal/Command Prompt)
pip install selenium
In addition, you can install Beautiful Soup 4 to manage the HTML codes of web pages in an organized way.
pip install bs4
Installing Webdriver for Py Selenium
There are several Webdrivers for Selenium Py library. For instance,
- Chrome Selenium Webdriver
- Opera Selenium Webdriver
- Gecko / Mozilla Selenium Webdriver
- Firefox Selenium Webdriver
But for now, we will be using Python Selenium Webdriver of Chrome.
Go to this site of Chrome Webdriver and download the latest version of ChromeDriver.
After that, copy and paste that downloaded ChromeDriver into the directory (folder) you’re working on.
Importing Selenium Webdiver
After that, we will learn some syntax of Selenium Py. Let’s import py selenium Webdriver.
from selenium import webdriver
Moreover, you can also import Keys from py selenium web driver. So that you can return ENTER key in the forms.
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys
Adding Webdriver Function
Finally, we are writing the real codes for automating and testing our web pages and apps.
driver = webdriver.Chrome()
There are multiple find_element_by Functions that you can use according to your requirement. These functions help you to locate the exact location of any element.
There are two mail categories of functions to locate element/s in a webpages.
- Single Element returning functions
- Multiple Elements returning functions
find_element_by Functions to find single element
find_element_by Functions to find multiple elements which return a list
But for now, we will be using the single element returning function.
Locating element via Selenium WebDriver.
Right now, we will be using find_element_by_xpath for finding and locating elements.
Watch the below tutorial video learn to find XPath in Chrome Browser for Selenium WebDriver.
Locating element via Selenium WebDriver.
driver.find_element_by_xpath(f'/html/body/xpath/input') will locate the location of the input element. After that,
.send_keys('Text') will insert the ‘Text’. ANd
.send_keys(Keys.RETURN) will return the Enter button.
Lastly, watch this Py Selenium video for more.
Hope it helped you…
Keep learning Python, because it’s #Beneficial_Python.