Python Web Scraper:

Meta-Description:

In this article, we will be creating a simple web scraper program which we can use to gather information from websites. Follow along with this tutorial to learn how you can create this useful program!

Introduction: 

In this article, we will be creating a simple web scraper program which will allow you to gather any information you want from a website, without having to read through the entire article or webpage. This is a very useful and versatile program that can be used for various projects.

Who is this Project For?

This is an intermediate-level project for those who are new to Python. Before starting this project, you should already have experience printing, for loops, and using functions, as these concepts will be used throughout the project. Basic knowledge of HTML is also useful, but not necessary.

What Will We Learn?

This program uses Python’s BeautifulSoup library to extract data from the website specified in the code. The program searches the webpage’s HTML for specified tags or classes and selects that information to display in the program. The concepts learned through creating this program are essential for learning Python, making this the perfect project to practise and apply these skills.

Features to Consider:

Pseudo Code:

Here is the pseudocode for this project:

Import the BeautifulSoup library and requests

Create a page object and set the webpage to gather information from

Create a variable called ‘soup’ and make it gather the HTML information from the page object

Print (“Top books and number of copies sold”)

For link in soup.find_all():

Print a numbered list with the gathered information

Main Steps:

This project can be broken down into 3 main steps: 

  1. Import the libraries
  2. Set up the BeautifulSoup object
  3. Print the output

Step 1: Import the Libraries

The first thing we’ll need to do when creating this game is import the BeautifulSoup libraries and the requests module. Because these are not a built-in part of the Python programming language, we will need to import them into our project before we can begin using them. We will do this using this code:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import requests

Note: You may need to use the terminal to install the BeautifulSoup library, which can be done using the ‘pip install’ command

Step 2: Set up the BeautifulSoup object

Now that we have imported the library, we need to create an object that will be used to gather and store information for the program. In this case, we will be calling this object ‘page’. We will start by defining what website the object is going to draw information from, and we will also set up the HTML parser, which will be used to parse the HTML file for the web page. The code for this section is as follows:

page = requests.get ('https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/literature/21-best-sellers.htm')
soup = BeautifulSoup(page.content, 'html.parser')

Step 3: Print the Output

For the final step in this project, we will have to output all of the information that we have gathered from the website. We will do this by creating a print statement, and using a for-loop to iterate through all of the instances of a specific tag. The program will then print this information, producing a list of the desired information.

print("Top Books and Number of Copies Sold:\n")
i=1
for link in soup.find_all('a', {"class": "text-lighter-gray hover:text-green"}):
  print(str(i) + ". ", end = "")
  i+=1
  print(link.text, end = "")
  print(" copies sold")

As you can see, this section of code begins by printing a title for the list, as well as creating a variable, i, which will be used to number the list. Then, the code iterates through, looking for any elements with the tag 

<a class="text-lighter-gray hover:text-green" href="#pt1"></a>

You can find which tag to use by going to inspect element and selecting the object you would like to use.

Finally, the program will print the number of the list, increment i by 1, print the information, and add the words “copies sold” to the end of the list element.
Note: The print statements we have used have an added line that says end = “” at the end. This means that rather than adding text and beginning a new line, the following print statement will be added to the same line as the previous.

Project Complete!

Now the project is complete! We hope you’ve had fun creating this simple and versatile web scraper program, and hopefully, you’ve learned more about programming with Python! Make sure to test your code now and see how it works. If you’re stuck or have any issues with your code, try reviewing it again either in your text editor or by looking at the code included in the article as a reference.

Code your future!

Coding and Math envision a brighter future

Geekedu was founded in 2015 by a group of like-minded geeks working at Google and Amazon. We wanted to find a way to share our passion for Coding and Mathematics and inspire kids to become future leaders, influencers and inventors. Our “Geek philosophy” is that learning to code should be accessible to every child and teenager. We are partnered with over 120 schools, academies, and organizations in North America to encourage kids to achieve and innovate.
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With the advent of the computing era and demand for software developers, kids should be able to have a grip on basic knowledge regarding coding and if they ever decide to make it their career in the future. In this age of modern technology, kids have quickly become tech-savvy with access to computers, games, and laptops from a very young age, and developing coding skills won't be that difficult if they started young.

Beginning coding and learning the programming principles can be done by children as early as seven years old. Coding for kids has become increasingly popular in recent years as technology gets more incorporated into our daily lives. Learning to code as a child can set the path for a lifetime of opportunities.

What Is Coding?

Coding is the process of creating or programming a computer through an imaginative procedure that directs the machine to perform a variety of tasks. It is accomplished by using codes or instructions that are required to function properly as essential to a computer. Codes are simply a collection of digital inputs, actions implemented on those inputs, outputs, and their resulting reactions.

Coding abilities are incredibly important in today's digital era for employees in almost every industry. In addition, several studies have shown that youngsters who learn to code from the commencement of their education do better during their lives. It is predicted by the bureau of labour statistics that we’ll see an increase in information and technology professions at the rate of 13 percent from 2020-2030.

When Is The Optimal Time To Start Coding For A Child?

Each child is a one-of-a-kind individual. Children can implement a variety of things at varied rates and in various ways. Experts believe that youngsters should learn to code at a young stage of development. As stated by MIT, children should begin studying coding languages like Scratch Jr while they are between the ages of 5 and 7. People frequently do this by playing various rational games that simulate the dexterity of coding.

At What Age Can A Child Start Coding?

Does It Become Easier To Code If One Starts Very Young?

Experts generally believe that youngsters should be taught to code as early as possible. Every child develops at their speed and in distinct ways. Even yet, youngsters as young as 5 or 6 can begin learning basic exercises. Introduce several logical games that replicate the talent of coding to accomplish this. You can go to more challenging exercises after a year or so.

Several studies have found that children who begin coding in elementary school earn higher academic results throughout their education.

What Necessary Benefits Can A Child Reap From Coding Skills?

In the digital era, coding is measured as a vital skill. As a result, understanding and using technology is a requirement in this day and age. It pertains to a lot of advantages when it comes to cultivating the skills of coding. Children should learn to code for the following reasons:

What Is The Best Way For Kids To Begin Learning To Code?

At What Age Can A Child Start Coding?

To begin with, coding, doing too much too soon can lead to frustration. If your child is going to benefit from coding, you want them to like it. Hence, it's better to take things gently at first, to take your time, and to set minor goals along the road.

Here's how to familiarize coding to your children in a way that they will like and thrive at:

  1. Start With The Fundamental Basics: It is critical to understand the fundamentals to master coding. With some viewing or reading, you may introduce coding to your children. All of the coding principles are covered in several books and articles. If your child prefers to learn by watching videos, YouTube has a wealth of resources. Once the youngsters grasp the basics of coding, they'll be able to describe it in a few phrases to their friends and relatives. If you're not familiar with coding, you might learn something new as well. Check out Code Monkey; this website offers programming language for kids; they can build on their skills and start from scratch with little to no experience at all.
  2. Try Something Small: Your children are enthralled and eager for more information after learning that foundation of various robots, video games, and films start with coding. If you give them a challenging task, they will quickly become frustrated. A complex game should not be their first endeavor. Begin by giving them a tiny gift. This tends to be the most effective technique to keep students interested and involved before they dive headfirst into the realm of programming.
  3. Move Onto Bigger Tasks: They can progress to better things if they have mastered the fundamentals. The following step should not be to aim for the moon. Just fixate on things they're used to. Take small steps and make sure you comprehend everything. It aids kids in understanding how numerous elements come together to bring something to life. Kids will be preparing to develop simple apps as a result of these processes, which is the foundation for creating something bigger. This will allow kids to observe how various bits and pieces work together to create something new. Maybe they'll make a simple mobile app or an internet game.
  4. Learn More: Practice makes a person perfect. Don't give up easily if things don't go according to the child’s plan or they aren't getting the grasp of coding. For instance, debugging can be tiring to solve, but it can feel very rewarding once a kid learns how to take care of it.

Discussing something new with others is a terrific method to help it keep in your mind. Encourage your children to discuss the topic with their peers. For instance, they may be able to connect it to the most recent video game they're playing; your child may be able to explain how the game would not exist without coding.

Better yet, introduce your kid to scratch, a website, and a community or programmer kids to code and share with each other their outstanding projects. This will encourage them to interact with others and take constructive criticism with no fuss at all.

They can inquire how coding aids in powering robots with their science teacher at school. It's possible that no one in your child's everyday circle is interested in talking about coding. You'll need to broaden your horizons in this case. Visit a technology museum or enroll your child in a coding-related after-school program.

At What Age Can A Child Start Coding?

The Takeaway!

Early elementary school is the optimum time for children to begin coding. Strengthening cognitive skills through coding helps to plant seeds for eventual complex knowledge. We have confidence in the fact that the optimal age for children to begin learning to code is around the age of 6-7.

Suppose children are taught to think rationally and develop a problem-solving mindset early in life. In that case, they will comprehend complicated coding ideas later in life. Even if students decide to abandon coding later in life, having a fundamental understanding of technology principles will be helpful in the future.

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