Get up and running with the basic techniques of web scraping using PHP
With the proliferation of the web, there has never been a larger body of data freely available for common use. Harvesting and processing this data can be a time consuming task if done manually. However, web scraping can provide the tools and framework to accomplish this with the click of a button. It's no wonder, then, that web scraping is a desirable weapon in any programmer's arsenal.
Instant Web Scraping With PHP How-to uses practical examples and step-by-step instructions to guide you through the basic techniques required for web scraping with PHP. This will provide the knowledge and foundation upon which to build web scraping applications for a wide variety of situations such as data monitoring, research, data integration relevant to today's online data-driven economy.
On setting up a suitable PHP development environment, you will quickly move to building web scraping applications. Beginning with a simple task of retrieving a single web page, you will then gradually build on this by learning various techniques for identifying specific data, crawling through numerous web pages to retrieve large volumes of data, and processing then saving it for future use. You will learn how to submit login forms for accessing password protected areas, along with downloading images, documents, and emails. Learning to schedule the execution of scrapers achieves the goal of complete automation, and the final introduction of basic object-oriented programming (OOP) in the development of a scraping class provides the template for future projects.
Armed with the skills learned in the book, you will be set to embark on a wide variety of web scraping projects.
What you will learn from this book
Filled with practical, step-by-step instructions and clear explanations for the most important and useful tasks. Short, concise recipes to learn a variety of useful web scraping techniques using PHP.
Who this book is written for
This book is aimed at those new to web scraping, with little or no previous programming experience. Basic knowledge of HTML and the Web is useful, but not necessary.
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Jacob Ward is a freelance software developer based in the UK. Through his background in search marketing and analytics he realized the importance of data and automation, which led him to his current vocation , developing enterprise-level automation tools, web bots, and screen scrapers for a wide range of international clients.
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