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Recap of data extraction basics

Review our e-commerce website scraper and refresh our memory about its code and the programming techniques we used to extract and save the data.


We finished off the first section of the Web Scraping for Beginners course by creating a simple web scraper in Node.js. The scraper collected all the on-sale products from Warehouse store. Let's see the code with some comments added.

// First, we imported all the libraries we needed to
// download, extract, and convert the data we wanted
import { writeFileSync } from 'fs';
import { gotScraping } from 'got-scraping';
import * as cheerio from 'cheerio';
import { parse } from 'json2csv';

// Here, we fetched the website's HTML and saved it to a new variable.
const storeUrl = 'https://warehouse-theme-metal.myshopify.com/collections/sales';
const response = await gotScraping(storeUrl);
const html = response.body;

// We used Cheerio, a popular library, to parse (process)
// the downloaded HTML so that we could manipulate it.
const $ = cheerio.load(html);

// Using the .product-item CSS selector, we collected all the HTML
// elements which contained data about individual products.
const products = $('.product-item');

// Then, we prepared a new array to store the results.
const results = [];

// And looped over all the elements to extract
// information about the individual products.
for (const product of products) {
// The product's title was in an <a> element
// with the CSS class: product-item__title
const titleElement = $(product).find('a.product-item__title');
const title = titleElement.text().trim();
// The product's price was in a <span> element
// with the CSS class: price
const priceElement = $(product).find('span.price');
// Because the <span> also included some useless data,
// we had to extract the price from a specific HTML node.
const price = priceElement.contents()[2].nodeValue.trim();

// We added the data to the results array
// in the form of an object with keys and values.
results.push({ title, price });
}

// Finally, we formatted the results
// as a CSV file instead of a JS object
const csv = parse(results);

// Then, we saved the CSV to the disk
writeFileSync('products.csv', csv);
tip

If some of the code is hard for you to understand, please review the Basics of data extraction section. We will not go through the details again in this section about crawling.

caution

We are using JavaScript features like import statements and top-level await. If you see errors like Cannot use import outside of a module, please review the Project setup lesson, where we explain how to enable those features.

Next up‚Äč

The next lesson is all about finding links to crawl on the Warehouse store.