Tired of looking for the right web scraping developer on freelancer websites? Read about a shortcut way to find and hire a software specialist for a data scraping project.
Are you looking to hire developers for your web scraping project? Well, you’re not alone in your search for great web developers. Due to the increasing complexity and the sheer amount of data on the web (expanding as we speak), many businesses now need an expert able to do their web scraping job for them. There are a few well-trodden ways to find and hire a contractor like that, such as via freelancing platforms.
However, those might not be the best options anymore for a number of reasons involving burnt deadlines, the low quality of extracted data, and unexpected infrastructure and budget costs. So is there any smarter way to hire data scraping specialists these days? Well, there’s one new solution to this problem: an established system built by trial and error that is already facilitating dozens of web scraping projects every month. We’re going to talk about why creating such a system was long overdue and why it works a lot better than the old ways.
Where do I find web scraping developers?
Let’s say you are determined to hire Puppeteer developers for a pilot data extraction project. The most intuitive way to do it would be to head over to popular freelancer websites such as Freelancer or Upwork in hopes of finding such a web scraping specialist. Another way is to hire someone directly to be a part of your data extraction team. You can also partner up with a data analysis agency and see if you can “borrow” their team members for the project. But all of these ideas involve a few invisible risks that, unfortunately, most customers find out about after they’ve already started collaborating on the project with a freelance web scraper.
Expectations when looking to hire web crawler developers on freelance:
- Supposedly easy to find, lots of choice.
- Freelancers have all the needed software, technical and communication skills, plus experience with such projects.
- Cost-effective and delivered on time.
- Good quality of data, completeness of data, and correspondence of data to brief requirements.
- No post-data-delivery issues.
The freelance platforms may look like an oasis of thousands of available professionals and highly skilled web scraping engineers able to complete your project within your requirements and with the minimum of bottlenecks. All you need to do is pick one, tell them what you want, and agree on pricing. In reality, choosing the right developer involves a lot of gray zones at almost every turn, putting at risk deadlines, data quality, and resource allocations.
Risks of deciding to hire freelance web scraping software developers:
⏳ Timing deadlines are actually the least of your worries
While web scraping has many advantages, every web scraping project is different. You can rate the projects by complexity and group them by website type, but in the end, there almost certainly will be issues that will hold you back from having the job done on time. To be fair, a lot of those issues might be out of the engineer’s scope of control, but at the end of the day, for a customer, those aspects don’t matter if they can’t receive what they paid for on time.
☎️ Communication takes more time than expected
If you thought timing would be your biggest concern, consider communication issues. There are two potential ways it can go wrong: lack of communication and too much of it. Yes, in theory, you can chat with your freelancer 24/7 and review their work at every stage. But who has time for that when all you need is only to get a few neat little scrapers? Plus, you must have already spent a fair amount of time on writing out the brief.
⭐️ Trust in dev skills and quality of work
You can look at plenty of reviews of a potential candidate for hire. But freelance websites are for jacks-of-all-trades and aren't a web scraping or even an IT community. There are many ways to scrape a website, but with no established standard of web scraping work on freelance platforms, there’s a high chance you’ll spend quite a lot of time looking for the right person for the job.
🛠 Infrastructure management will still be on you
In addition to getting non-standardized software from the dev (worst case, not on time) now you have a new problem. Most probably, you will have to run the scrapers yourself. Managing the infrastructure is painful and definitely not what you were looking for when starting this whole data scraping thing.
🤝 Trust in return for value for the scope of work
Though many freelance devs do go out of their way to keep their data extraction customers returning, many others have rather one-and-done mindset. This doesn’t mean you will not get the data or the scraper; it only increases the chances of mediocre, passable work. And you’ll have to start your search all over again. You can see how what seemed to be an easy win can turn into a rabbit hole of issues.
So how do you hire a web scraper developer?
Finding good developers for hire is complicated; finding web scraping experts for hire is even more so - they are rare creatures. In addition, to match the goal with the possibilities, web scraping projects require quite a bit of precise back-and-forth communication. Not every freelance dev is ready to invest time into that.
You can probably sense that we know what we are talking about. We’ve built our own solution from scratch by going through the same mistakes and challenges. We aimed to create a platform that unites the demand for web scraping projects and the supply of quality dev work. So after lots of productive trial and error, we’re here to offer a better way: Apify Freelancers.
What are the pros of Apify Freelancers compared to finding one elsewhere?
1. Apify’s web scraping specialists are experienced
This one is easy. Apify is a web scraping platform we made ourselves. We have a lot of great web scraping specialists in our team, but not enough to cover the demand for all web scraping projects coming our way. This is why we’ve done the job for you to find, cherry-pick, and unite the best-in-class web scraping freelancers within one platform.
2. We have defined processes and standards
This is related to the previous point. Our certified freelancers create scrapers using our platform, so whatever they do has a direct impact on our brand. Therefore we are by proxy (pun intended) interested in delivering only the most high-quality solutions and hiring only the top professionals.
3. Our platform has integrations, API, and webhooks
This opens up nearly limitless opportunities for automation for our customers. Name an app, and we most probably can join your scraper with it.
4. Our scraping solutions are scalable
Again, this is related to the previous point. If you’re only interested in trying out data extraction and completing a pilot project - we’ve got a team ready for you. But if you like the outcomes and plan to scale your scrapers - we’ve got the right team ready for you as well.
5. We have control over the environment devs are working in
They deliver the solution via our platform, where the software is hosted and run. This guarantees safety, the convenience of having everything in one place, and no maintenance issues in the future.
6. You get both technical and communications support
Many customers tend to focus on the just-getting-data part a lot, without considering that any web scraping project requires quite a bit of a learning curve. We’re here to cover both sides and can explain anything from simple questions like what is the difference between web scraping and web crawling to more complex queries.
7. You get what you pay for
Budget agreed in advance, no hidden costs, and a money-back guarantee - simple as that.
Is web scraping legal?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: it highly depends on how you use data you’ve scraped. See our piece on ethical web scraping, the concept we ourselves adhere to. If you’re unsure about the legal sides of your project, we have an in-house legal team that can help with project assessment.
How to define your web scraping project with Apify Freelancers
Step 1. Tell us what you need
Request a custom solution by filling out a quick form; our web scraping experts will contact you promptly.
Step 2. Get and review your project proposal
You will receive project proposals and quotes with a timeline for delivery. We will discuss all aspects and terms of the project with you and agree on the deposit.
Step 3. Track progress
The web scraping developer working on your project stays in contact with you throughout the process.
Step 4. Get your scraper
Receive your solution on the Apify platform, test the developed scraper, and improve and approve it.
To keep it simple, running your fingers through Upwork/Freelancer options in hopes of hiring a good web scraping developer is like going through Craigslist. It is technically possible to find something good, but time- and effort-consuming. In contrast, getting a project made on the Apify platform is like renting an apartment on Airbnb - convenient and reliable. But don’t listen to us; listen to our customers!
Here are just some of their reviews on G2:
Also, check out this story from a freelancer who has already built hundreds of scrapers with us and helped dozens of customers to reach their data extraction goals 💪