Datahut vs. Import.io: Which Alternative is better for Web Scraping?
Updated: Feb 12
The web scraping industry is growing by leaps and bounds. The economy of this data extraction industry is strengthening with the growing volume and variety of data. Businesses all over the world are driving value out of web-scraping services. As a result of this, you have a lot of enterprises that provide web-scraping services. They scrape data from the desired websites and store them in structured files for you. All you have to do after that is use the data in the desired pipeline to take the required business decisions.
However, with the variety of services in the web scraping industry, comes the obvious question- Which service is better? We at Datahut understand that it is necessary for you to assess all available options before you make the decision of using data as a service.
This article will give you a detailed comparison of two players in the web scraping market- Datahut and Import.io. The decision to choose one service/tool over the other depends on your requirements and the features provided by the tools. However, you can read a brief comparison of the critical features of the above-stated tools to help you decide!
Import.io and Datahut
Before we start comparing the features, let us give you a brief introduction to both Import.io and Datahut.
Import.io is a web scraping platform that converts semi-structured information in the form of web pages into structured data. This data can, in turn, be used to derive business insights, design marketing strategies, gather information on the industry and make more informed business decisions. Import.io is a self-service platform with data as a service coupled with it.
Datahut is yet another web scraping platform that lets you extract information from web pages and websites and then store them in structured file formats like CSV dumps or even connect to your database and store them there. Datahut is a completely managed web scraping platform and crawls large scale data.
Since Datahut is fully managed – our solutions are easy to use even for the non-technical people. Thus, you can use the data while we take care of all the backend technicalities. We are a cloud-based Data as a Service (DaaS) platform that enable businesses of all sizes to build scalable
data-backed apps and thus, grow their operations.
Comparison of features- Datahut versus Import.io
1. Environment the tool runs on
Import.io is a cloud-based platform. In other words, all data-storage processes and technologies are operated using a cloud-based system. Thus, all the user needs to do is to configure the scraper to extract the data.
Datahut is also a cloud-based platform. This means the scraper does not have a local dependency (or it does not need to run on a local system). The data can also be stored in the cloud. This also ensures a smooth and efficient execution of the scraping algorithm.
Now that we have mentioned about cloud services, let us delve a little deeper in the same.
2. Cloud Service
Import.io provides complete cloud support along with API options. This can promise you regularly updated data without having to keep your computer on. However, you’ll need to make adjustments when the website changes its pattern. You can schedule the scraper run. Import.io offers IP rotation services as well.
As mentioned above, Datahut provides cloud-based Data as a service. We have facilities for you to export the data through a custom API. You can either store this data in CSV / JSON / XML formats or opt to share the same via Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or similar storage systems. We already have inbuilt IP rotation services with more than a million IPs available on demand. Our platform is able to schedule scraping runs.
3. Scraping from multiple websites
We at Datahut can scrape behind a login provided the customer has permission from the site owner to do so. This helps us ensure that the scraping process is legal and abides by the rules set by the site owners. We can scrape from websites by handling pagination, scrolls and captchas, advanced HTML attributes and even loops, conditionals and variables in the structure of the target website.
Import.io can also scrape behind a login. They also support most of the other above mentioned features.
These scrapers function like a bot and automate the process of clicking on links to access linked web-pages and extract the data on these pages. They can then store this data into structured file formats like CSV by modifying the Regular expression or XPath. However, there are a few differences in the mode of operation of these scrapers. Let us now talk about it in the next section.
4. Integration with other tools and platforms
Both the tools mentioned above are technology-agnostic. This means they can be integrated with multiple other platforms and languages through JSON REST-based and streaming APIs.
This also ensures integration with multiple common programming languages and data manipulation tools. This will enable you to directly feed the scraped data into the desired platform, wrangle it for the desired analysis and derive insights without wasting time on setting up the required data pipeline.
This helps us create solutions for a wide array of industries and business domains. We have helped industries like the Retail industry, real estate industry, Travel & Tourism industry.
5. Scale and coverage of scraping
Datahut can handle projects of large scale and complex features in the websites. There are a lot of features, elements and sections in web-pages that cannot be accessed directly. Datahut can handle all these features and scale the operations to all these web-pages.
This is done by creating a hybrid extraction technique. We use an automated scraping system wherever possible and if it is not able to get the task don – we go to a manual mode to configure a custom scraper. As a result, Datahut has one of the highest coverage (ability to scrape information from various aspects and elements of the website) among the players in the web-scraping industry.
Import.io, on the other hand, supports self-service. This means that it provides an interactive user-interface wherein a user can point-and-click on web elements to run the scraper to extract information from the same. Hence, the ability to scrape a website is limited by its architecture. Import.io has lower coverage than Datahut and cannot cover all websites. Also, the response time to sudden website changes is also higher like any DIY tool.
6. Support offered for users
While Import.io offers training to its users availing the premium plans, it has limited professional or community support offered for its users, in case you are stuck.
Datahut has extensive professional support for all its customers. You can contact us if you run into any issues with our services and we will help you with the same. Our online support services are active for the entirety of the business hours. We provide one-on-one support via our own customer support platform so you do not face the need to wait for someone to answer.
7. Pricing of the tool and services
Datahut offers customized pricing plans for its customers. This is done to best suit your requirements and budget. Our monthly pricing plan for personal packages are priced at a mere amount of $40. You can view all our pricing plans on our official website. You can also get a free quote for the plan of our choice by simply for the web-page.
In case of Import.io, its high pricing is one of its cons. The ‘essential’ package here starts from the range of $249 and goes up to around $800. Here, every sub-page costs an extra credit. As a result, the price can increase rapidly if you want to extract information from a number of sub-pages.
At volumes above 500K records per month, Datahut pricing is super competitive comparing to import.io. Get a free quote today and compare.
When customers have a large requirement which requires customizations and need to process a large quantity of Data – Datahut wins hands down. We have better flexibility because of the hybrid scraping setup. When you need to handle complex structures and architectures, when you need script decryption – you need human logic to process it. Here only a hybrid platform can work.
Import.io can do some level of customizations, however, it will have the limitations of a DIY tool when the requirements get complicated. It is not really suited in cases where there is script decryption is needed and similar cases where only human logic say the scraper what do next.
When should you choose Import.io over Datahut
When you need data from the careers page of say 5000 companies – going with a self-service tool like import.io makes sense and Datahut is not a fit for those type of requirements.
When you should choose Datahut over Import.io
When you need to scrape information from 50 high volume websites like Amazon, eBay etc. with heavy anti-scraping technologies – you should go with Datahut because we’re built for scale.
Both import.io and Datahut co-exist in some accounts. They use import.io for simple tasks and use Datahut for large volume scrapes.
Summary of basic comparison
Although each tool has its own USP, the choice rests on you to decide the best tool to fit your requirements and budget.
Import.io uses its unique design and technology to provide a simple to understand self-service tool for web scraping. They support a wide array of websites from where you can scrape information easily. It is fairly easy to use due to the clean interface, simple dashboard, screen-capture feature and the videos that can help you navigate through the tool. However, this user-friendly service is limited by the coverage it can offer on complex website architectures.
Datahut is recognized for its customizable scraping platform which can help you scrape information from complex websites using both automated flows and tailored scripts designed for the web page in question. We also provide these services at affordable and customizable prices to suit your pocket. It is thus safe to say that, data as a service for large-scale extraction at affordable pricing is our USP.
You can read about our services and processes on our official website. You should conduct thorough research of all the features mentioned above and compare all the tools available in the market before you make your final call.
Wish to leverage Datahut’s Web Scraping Services to grow your business? Contact Datahut, your web data scraping experts.